Friday, February 21, 2014

More French Macarons

As I mentioned earlier in the week, we just got home from spending 10 days in Hawaii with my parents, my brothers and their spouses/girlfriend, and my in-laws. It was fabulous. I wanted to bring along some treat to share with everyone, and given that I have a ton of almond flour to go through, I made some more macarons. I ended up making two different flavors of macaron - margarita and purple sweet potato.

First up - margarita! I don't know why, but suddenly the idea of mixing alcohol with French macarons seemed like an ingenius idea to me. It ended up pretty good, but I think I could have taken it a bit farther than I did. I started with the regular shell recipe, but colored the meringue a bright green.

The color mellowed a bit as I mixed it with the almond flour and they piped out a nice lime green color - perfect! While they were resting, I sprinkled some kosher salt on half of them. Next time, I would probably salt all of them.

Once they were done baking, I got working on the filling. I used a standard Swiss meringe buttercream. The first step was to cook the egg whites and sugar.

The mix for ages until the mixture cools.

At that point it forms a gorgeous meringue.

Then deflate the meringue with butter to make the buttercream.

Once the standard recipe was done I grated the zest of a sudachi, a citrus fruit that is similar to a lime into the buttercream. Then I added some of the juice. Finally I put in a healthy helping of tequila. I think I could have added more than what I did, but I started to get nervous.

Finally I piped the buttercream onto the bottoms and covered with the salted macaron. These were all boxed up and ready for the airplane.

Next were the purple sweet potato macarons. I did a standard shell, leaving the color natural. For the filling I used the same recipe from the sweet potato snackies I made for K a few months ago. After steaming the potatao, I mixed it with cream, milk, butter, sugar, and an egg yolk.

Then I mashed all of that together.

And let the liquid cook out of it until it seemed a good consistency.

Instead of piping it on, I formed little balls just as I had done for the ichigo daifuku French macaron fillings.

I flattened them out a bit and then sandwiched them between two of the macaron shells.

They looked a bit bland, however, so I painted on a design using luster dust mixed with vodka.

I tried a few designs and asked K which he preferred the most. He decided that the "sword one" (??)should be the winner.

My oldest brother's mother-in-law lives next door to the house we rented in Hawaii. It was absolutely perfect. Our house had a pool, so it was the main hang out. After my brother and his wife, we were the first to arrive. We got to the house and K immediately got in the pool with my sister-in-law. It was cloudy and I really wanted a snack, so I busted out the macarons. They were a hit! The margarita ones were really good. Unfortunately, the sweet potato ones got all crumbled on the plane ride. I think maybe the excess moisture in the filling made them soft. That combined with our luggage being transferred to three different planes didn't leave them in their original state. That being said, the taste was still really good - you just needed a fork to eat them from the tupperware. When I took the macarons out to the pool, it was a tad cloudy. It got nice and sunny, however, and I forgot they were outside. By the time I had remembered, the buttercream in the margarita ones had melted quite a bit. It was a bit of a bummer, but I threw them in the fridge to harden up and they were good as new by the time my parents arrived. Perfect!

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