Now that Valentine's Day is over, I can get back to the business of boring you with my Mexican vacation posts. Only two more to go counting this one so hang in there. Vacation posts may be boring but this is one exciting macaron flavor.
I've already described my day trip to Todos Santos in an earlier post and mentioned I had discovered a fabulous Mexican candy shop there.
The shop had so many interesting items to check out.
A lot of the candy was homemade, some from old family recipes and they were very generous with handing out samples to customers.
I was extremely tempted to buy the coffee and vanilla bean infused tequilas but at the thought of adding more bulk to my luggage and the hefty price tag of $58 USD each, I passed.
Below was my haul from the shop including a chili spice mix, Mexican chocolate disks packed in a cute basket, cute colored edible wafers, chili infused guava, vanilla beans, herbs to make tea for better digestion and caramelized coconut. However, after I had sampled the caramelized guava, I knew it would cross the international flavor border to be part of a French Macaron.
For the shells, I scraped and put the seeds out of the Mexican vanilla beans and added them to the meringue.
As a macaron filling, caramelized guava not traditional in looks or easy to work with. However, the flavors together work perfectly. Exellente!
So there you have it, Frexican Macarons.
Mexican Vanilla Bean French Macarons
with Caramelized Guava Paste Filling
For the Mexican Vanilla Bean 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.
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 25-50 grams extra fine white granulated sugar
- 200 grams of powdered sugar
- 110 Grams of almond flour*
- Seeds from 2-3 large Mexican vanilla beans
- 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. The batter should have a "flowing like lava" consistency. Fold in the vanilla bean seeds. 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 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 under the shell, 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.
- Fill with caramelized guava paste or your choice of filling.