Easter Egg Macarons

Easter baking is some of my favourite kind of baking. Perhaps it’s because around this time of year everything is starting to get colder. The woolly jackets find their way from the depths of our closets, the heaters and electric blankets gets their first work out in months, and we start to crave comfort food. Warm dinners and mugs of hot drinks we can curl up with, while nibbling on hot cross buns fresh out of the oven. Everything just feels cosier. And then, of course, there’s all the chocolate!

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Amongst all the Easter baking I’ve been planning the cake. I decided I wanted Easter egg-shaped macarons on top, so these little guys are destined to be a garnish, but they’re a delicious treat in their own right.

To make the macarons Easter egg-shaped, you’ll want to begin by prepping your trays. I needed 3 of them. On each you’ll want to put two sheets of baking paper, then trace egg shapes onto one sheet from each tray. I used a petal cutter as a template. Don’t forget to turn the sheet upside down when you’re finished, as you don’t want the ink getting cooked into the macarons.

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I then set about making the macaron batter. I’ve gone into detail of the macaronage process a number of times, so hit up an older recipe if you need help getting your macaron batter perfect.

Because I wanted multi-coloured macs, and because I’m too lazy to make multiple batches, I divided the batter into three small bowls. To each, I added just enough food colouring to gave each a pastel colour.

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Then you just need to fill up the shapes with batter. I started piping them outside then in, but by the end I found inside then out gave a more even result.

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And because I am still lazy, I didn’t bother changing over the bag in between batches. But I also wanted to have that moment in between batches of coloured batter where the colours ran into each other. It gave a few of them an interesting marbled effect.

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20 minutes in the oven and they are done. Once they are cool you’ll want to pair them up and transfer them to a work surface covered with more baking paper or something similar, because things are about to get messy.

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I wanted to make the eggs speckled. There are a number of ways you can do this, using food dye being the easiest, but I opted for cocoa splatters instead. For this, you’ll want to mix the cocoa with alcohol as the alcohol will evaporate much faster than other liquids. Any flavouring essence will do, preferably a clear one but it doesn’t matter too much for this.

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Then you just need to mix them until you get a nice, runny chocolate mixture.

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Then it’s time to speckle! You need to use either a new or only-used-for-food-stuff paintbrush, then splatter the cocoa onto the macarons. You can do this by drawing your finger across the bristles, but it’s messy and harder to control (and I hate getting my hands dirty). Instead I enlist the help of a fork. I do this a lot with food colouring (it’s how I got my owl cake‘s feather all speckledy). Just hold the fork above the macarons and drag the brush across the tines to splatter the cocoa everywhere.

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Leave it for a few hours or overnight to dry.

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Next it’s time to make your ganache. I stuck with my usual method of infusing some tea into the ganache: this time I used a cranberry and pomegranate tea. If you leave the ganache to cool for a little while, you can them whip it to a soft peak. Total matter of preference here, but I love the lightness in both texture and colour you get from whipping it.

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If you’re whipping it you’ll need to pipe it immediately after, and sandwich the two halves of the macaron quite soon after they are piped. By the time it’s whipped it has cooled quite a lot and isn’t far from setting.

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By the time you’ve got to the end of the batch your first macs will probably be set and ready to dig into!

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That said they are nicer if given a day in the fridge for the flavours to mature.

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Eat some now, eat some later?Cakecrumbs' Easter Macarons 13

 

 

 

Easter Egg Macarons
Ingredients
Macaron Biscuit

125g almond meal

150g pure icing sugar

100g egg whites (approx  3 eggs) aged 1-7 days

65g caster sugar

Gel paste or powdered food colouring

1 tsp cocoa

1 tbsp flavouring essence or vodka

Tea-infused ganache

150g white chocolate, chopped

75ml cream

2 flavoured tea bags

Method
Macaron biscuit

  1. Prepare baking trays with double sheets of baking paper. Trace 2.5-3cm egg-shaped rounds onto one of the sheets of baking paper as a guide for piping your macarons, leaving a few cm between each; make sure the side with the ink/lead is facing down so it does not come into contact with your food.
  2. Sift almond meal and icing sugar together; sift mixture twice more, then set aside.
  3. Beat the egg whites until foamy; you can add food colouring here if you only want one colour from the batch. Continue beating on low speed, adding caster sugar a tablespoon at a time. Increase to high speed and beat until mixture forms stiff peaks and is glossy. You should be able to hold the mixture above your head without it falling.
  4. Fold in half of the almond meal mixture until combined, add the second half and repeat.
  5. Using your spoon or spatula, swipe the mixture against the side of the bowl, scoop the batter from the bottom and plop it upside down. This movement deflates the meringue. You need to repeat this process until your batter is sufficiently runny. To test, look for the following signs: Your batter will slowly slide back down the sides. If you scoop up a bit of batter with your spatula or spoon and let it drop back into the bowl, it will fall slowly, form a small mound on top of the rest of the batter slowly sink back into it. Another good way to test is by getting a tea spoon of batter and plopping it into a small plate. If the peak formed when it falls from the spoon sinks back into the batter within 15 seconds, it is done.
  6. If making a multi-coloured batch, divide the mixture into equal portions and gently fold the food colouring into each.
  7. Fill a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle, and pipe rounds of macaron batter onto your baking trays. Once done, bang your trays against the counter to knock any air out of the batter. Set aside your macarons aside to dry at room temperature. This will take 45mins-1 hour. Macarons are sufficiently dried when the batter does not stick to your finger when touched.
  8. Preheat oven to 200°C or 230°C fan-forced.
  9. Place tray in the oven, reduce temperature to 140°C or 130°C fan-forced. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Here is where you need to experiment, as every oven is different and it will make a difference for macarons. Keep an eye on them and make sure your shells don’t char. Shells will be ready when they can be lifted from the baking paper without sticking.
  10. Set aside to cool.
  11. Once cool, combine the cocoa powder and flavouring essence in a small bowl. Use a food-safe paintbrush to dip into the cocoa, then splatter the cocoa as demonstrated above. Allow to dry.

Tea-infused Ganache

  1. Set aside the chocolate in a bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to the boil. Remove from the heat and dunk in the tea bags: leave them in the cream for 5 – 10 minutes to infuse, then squeeze them out.
  2. Bring the cream back up to the boil, then pour cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is combined.
  3. If you’d like to whip the ganache, let it cool to room temperature then beat it to soft peak.

To assemble, spoon or pipe the honeycomb ganache onto the macaron half of the macaron shells, then sandwich with the other halves. Macs are best after a day in the fridge but can be eaten immediately.

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12 thoughts on “Easter Egg Macarons

  1. Pingback: Mexican Chocolate Cake [vegan] | Cakecrumbs

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