It's grey and snowing heavily here in NYC with the weather peeps forecasting only more of the same. What better excuse to post these perky happy pink heart shaped French Macarons?
Although I believe I have a talent for creating crazy and interesting macaron flavors, I am severely challenged at piping shaped macs. I've only attempted heart shaped macarons once before, also for a Valentine's Day post a few years ago.
Out of practice much?
Anyway. I seem to have the heart shape down, sort of. This batch was a little too puffy but the bigger challenge was getting them all the same size. The original idea was to go for the ombre effect with the color but I am not sure I pulled it off as well as I did last time. So I just went with pink. Lots of pink.
Leftover vanilla buttercream was tinted pink and I added some raspberry flavor for the filling. These taste juste as happy as they look. A perfect Valentine's Day treat or one to brighten up a grey snowy day.
Pink Heart French Macarons with Raspberry Vanilla buttercream Filling
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*
- 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. The final result should have a "flowing like lava" consistency. About halfway through add a bit of 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 fitted with large round tips and pipe V shapes 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. I also place an empty baking sheet on the rack on top of the macarons to prevent the oven from discoloring them.
- 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
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon raspberry extract
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- Same food coloring used in the shells above (optional)
- Beat the butter, milk and extracts with one cup of the powdered sugar.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar one cup at a time.
- Separate the batter in half.
- If you want to color the filling or go for the ombre effect, 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.