Readers of this blog are well aware of my obsession with all powdered forms of food, spices and herbs to experiment with in making French macarons. I probably would try laundry washing powder if it was edible. However, even I was a bit skeptical when I saw this hot apple cider drink powder. I mean yuck. With all the fresh pressed gorgeousness available at this time of year. Who would resort to that?
It was hard getting over my initial reluctance of trying it in macaron shells. I was almost embarrassed purchasing the box, but my macinstinct said go for it.
Yay for instinct. This questionable powder produced the most gorgeous flavored French Macarons shells. Tangy, apple taste with a mild hint of spice, just like apple sider. The manufacturer should market it to bakers just for macarons.
Because the spices were mild in the shells, I paired it with a nice cinnamon buttercream and tinted it candy apple red just for the drama. These were simply. Yum. These are now on the short list for my Thanksgiving dessert table this year. They are that good.
Apple Cider French Macarons with
Cinnamon Buttercream Filling
For the Apple Cider French Macaron Shells:
- 90 grams of 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
- 2 tablespoons apple cider drink mix
- 110 Grams of almond flour*
- Pinch of cream of tarter
- Pinch of salt
*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.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.
- Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together or pulse them together briefly in a food processor. Make sure there are no large pieces.
- Remove and discard two tablespoons of the mixture and whisk in the 2 tablespoons of the pomegranate powder 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. Add the pinches of salt and cream of tartar.
- Add the powdered sugar/almond/pomegranate mixture to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. Add the powdered color midway through the folding process. The batter should have a "flowing like lava" consistency. Make a peak of the batter and if it does not disappear after 5-7 seconds, keep folding. If it's running all over the place, you will probably have to start over.
- Place a pastry bag fitted with a round shaped tip in a tall water and and fold the edges down around the glass.
- Fill the pastry bag with the macaron batter, twist the open top to secure and pipe circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a Silpat.
- Let the macarons dry for about a half hour or until they harden.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place the macarons on the middle rack in the oven. I keep the oven door propped open with a dish towel or wooden spoon.
- I place another empty baking sheet on top to prevent the shells from becoming toasted and discolored.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- When checking them after 10 minutes or so, if the ones in the back of the sheet seem to be cooking faster that the ones in front, flip the tray around.
- To test to see if they are done, peel the baking paper or silpat back, if the shell comes off easily, they are done.
- If you do have a problem with the shells sticking to the surface when removed from the oven, lift up the baking paper and pour a bit of water underneath. this will steam them off the paper.
- Transfer to a baking rack and let cool completely before matching up the shells into pairs according to size and then fill.
For the Cinnamon Buttercream:
- 1 stick butter at room temperature
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Red food coloring (optional)
- Place the butter, 2 cups of the powdered sugar , cinnamon and the cream in a mixer and cream together.
- Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Add the rest of the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until combined. If the mixture is too liquid, add more powdered sugar.
- Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and fill the shells with the buttercream.