Jamie and Deeba, those colorful and worldly mistresses of MacTweets threw down a Color My World Challenge this month.
My first thought turned to my obsession with all things ombre.
These were a bit more work than regular macarons to make. Lots of separating and coloring batters and frostings. It took two batches each of the shells and buttercream to get these four different colors of ombre. I should have taken them a step further and flavored each one differently. But I didn't. Sorry about that now. This post would have been so much more interesting.
Ombre French Macarons
For the Shells:
I used the Tartelette's basic recipe. Use a kitchen scale for precise measurements.
- 90 grams egg whites - aged at least 2 days. Let them sit out on the counter uncovered.
- 25-50 grams of fine granulated sugar
- 200 grams of powdered sugar
- 110 Grams of almond flour*
- Powdered food coloring in any shades you like
*You can buy almond flour that has been ground with or without the skin. I use 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.
- Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together or pulse them together briefly in a food processor. Make sure there are no large pieces.
- 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. About halfway through add a bit of powdered food coloring to make the lightest shade. Then separate the batter half and add more food coloring to the other half to make the darkest shade.
- Fill two Pastry bags and pipe circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a Silpat.
- Let the macarons dry for about one hour until they harden.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- I keep the oven door propped open with a dish towel or wooden spoon. Try to refrain from obsessive peeping to see if they get feet.
- Let cool completely and then match up the shells into pairs according to size.
- 1 stick butter room temperature
- 1/8 cup milk
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- Same powdered food coloring used in the shells above
- Beat the butter, milk with one cup of the powdered sugar.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar one cup at a time.
- Separate the batter in half.
- Add the food coloring to each half until you get a shade in between the colors of the two shades of shells.
- Spoon the frosting in to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Stand it up in a tall glass and fill the bag.
- Pipe the filling onto one macaron shell and sandwich together with the other.