Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Honey Mustard Macarons - A MacTweets Challenge


Baking bloggeresses extraordinaire Jamie and Deeba over at Mactweets threw down the challenge this month of making a savory and sweet macaron for the holidays. One that combines both flavors. I admit I was a bit stumped in the beginning but after rifling through my cabinets, I found my stockpile of Monschau mustard and an idea started to form...

Monschau is a very old city in Germany very close to the Belgium border. The city was spared bombing in WW2 and has unique timber houses.


We take take our visitors there because it's so quaint and beautiful. A fairytale town for sure.


The town also has a famous mustard mill where you can buy all varieties of their signature flavored stone ground mustard.


I love the jars they come in.


A trip to the Monschau Christmas market was on my list this year.  I definitely didn't need any more mustard but thought to pick up the powder for the macarons shells.

"Senf" means mustard in German. I love the name of the store where I bought the powder - "Senfonie"


This is the smallest bag they had. I use mustard powder in a lot of things at home including salad dressing but seriously, 500 grams? Does anyone need any? I'll send you some.


When I spotted a jar of chestnut honey on the shelf in the store, I knew I had my sweet filling.


For the next few hours I enjoyed the Christmas market


Then I scurried home to make macarons.


For extra crunch and flavor punch, I topped off the shells with mustard seeds.


Mustard Macarons with Chestnut Honey Buttercream Filling




For the Mustard shells:


I used the basics from Tartelette's recipe. BTW, here is a recent UPDATE on her macaron tutorial.

Ingredients:
  • 3 egg whites - aged at least 2 days. Let hem sit out on the counter uncovered.
  • 1/4 cup fine granulated sugar
  • 1+1/2 cups  powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour*
  • 3 tablespoons mustard powder
  • Mustard seeds

*You can buy almond flour that has been ground with or without the skin. I used the later (blanched). The former looks really nice if you are not coloring the shells. You can also grind your own almond flour by putting whole or sliced almonds in a food processor or blender. If you do, make sure you throw a little of the powdered sugar in to prevent the almonds from forming a paste.

Directions:
  • Sift the powdered sugar, almond flour and mustard together or pulse them together briefly in a food processor. Make sure there are no large pieces left and set aside. 
  • Whip the egg whites. When they start to get foamy, slowly add the sugar. Continue whipping until you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing slides out. (I also add a pinch each of salt and cream of tartar)
  • Add the powdered sugar/almond mixture to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. No more than 50 strokes all together. The batter should have a "flowing like lava" consistency. 
  • Fill a Pastry bag and pipe circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a silpat. When I first started making macarons, I used to trace circles using a small cookies cutter onto the parchment. Then I would flip it over and use it as a guide for piping perfect circles.
  • Sprinkle the shells with mustard seeds

  • Let the macarons dry for about one hour until they harden.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes and here is the hard part - refrain from obsessively peeping though the oven window or opening the oven door to see if they get feet. 
  • Let cool completely.


For the Chestnut Honey Buttercream Filling:

Ingredients:
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons chestnut honey

Directions:
  • Beat butter and sugar together
  • Add honey one tablespoon at a time and mix until well blended.
  • Fill a pastry bag with the filling to pipe into the shells.
  • The feet are not so pretty but these macarons definitely make it up in flavor.

11 comments:

  1. These are great! The flavor combo is fabulous!! But how did they taste I am dying to know! What a perfect macaron for our challenge! Yay!!

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  2. Oh, and that town is stunning!

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  3. What a cool combination! Chestnut honey and mustard sounds super yummy. Plus they're in macaron form! Delicious!

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  4. I think it ate up my comment! Mustard & chestnut honey butter cream? WOW...how novel and creative Lora. And 500gm of mustard powder? Whoa...have fun my dear! Thank you for sharing the pictures of Germany and the market, and the mustard factory. I ♥d the post! Thank you for being with us at MacTweets!

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  5. Thanks ladies! @Jamie - They are really delicious. I thought they might be too weird for my family but they loved 'em. Great combination of sweet savory spicy from the mustard shells and the chestnut honey added a bitter undertone to the honey buttercream.

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  6. What a creative combo for mac flavors. We're wondering how they taste but your family gave some good reviews. And yes, those German mustard jars are adorable. Have a Merry Macaron Christmas!

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  7. Oh Lora love that little town and pics and yes I love the jars...orgeous Macs..a bit unusual but hey it works!

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  8. Lovely idea, I love honey and mustard flavour combos. What a beautiful town and that store, just gorgeous! Have a wonderful Christmas Lora.

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  9. Very creative, they look and sound delicious .

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  10. OH I totally adore those mustard jars, I used to buy some for my mother but they don't seem to get them in Australia anymore (Grandmother was German). I would love to have tasted these and they look sweet (and savory of course).

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  11. What a fantastic flavor combo! If I had been able to take part, mustard was one of my thoughts, but I didn't know where I would go with it. Well, you sure did, and wow! Love the chestnut - honey buttercream filling and the photos of Monschau, what a beautiful place, especially for the holidays. My BF was justin Germany this Xmas :) Looking forward to visiting one day myself!

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Thank you for your comments and feedback. I love hearing from you!