Monday, March 17, 2014

Macaron Monday: Green Macarons with Chocolate Irish Cream Buttercream for St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  To celebrate here on Macaron Monday, I turned French macarons green as a a nod to the Irish. No flavor. Just green.

I saved the taste bomb for the chocolate Irish Cream filling. Using leftover vanilla buttercream as a base, I added some homemade chocolate syrup and Irish Cream liqueur to make it fancy pants and Irish themed. 

To be honest, these came out a bit wonky in shape and a fair amount of them cracked. I chalk those problems up to using very watery green food coloring for the shells instead of powdered or paste. 

Regardless, the taste was great. The filling is so delicious I may or may not have eaten the leftover by the spoonful.

Green Macarons with Chocolate Irish Cream Filling for St. Patrick's Day

For the Green French macaron shells:

Use a kitchen scale for precise measurements.

  • 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
  • 110 Grams of almond flour*
  • Pinch of cream of tarter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Green powdered or paste food coloring
*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. 
  • 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 mixture to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. Add the green food coloring. 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 Chocolate Irish Cream Frosting Filling:

  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 3 tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur
  • Place the butter, 2 cups of the powdered sugar, milk, chocolate syrup and Irish cream Liqueur in a mixer and cream together.
  • 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 pipe a small amount of buttercream on a macaron shell.
  • Cover with matching shell

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