Monday, March 23, 2015

Macaron Monday: Rum Raisin French Macarons

Since Rum Raisin is one of my all time favorite ice cream flavors, I am embarrassed over how long it took me to transfer the flavor to a batch of French macarons.

Shame on me. These are so good I may forget I ever liked rum raisin in ice cream form.

I used very little rum in the shells, only 1 teaspoon for the entire batch. The filling does the heavy lifting in the flavor department. Pureed rum soaked raisins. That's all.

I recommend soaking the raisins in the rum overnight for maximum potency. These are not for children of non drinkers. Obvi.

Rum Raisin French Macarons

For the Rum 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 extra fine white granulated sugar
  • 200 grams of powdered sugar
  • 110 Grams of almond flour*
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 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. 
  • 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/ginger powder 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. 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. Fold in the rum extract. 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 away from one of the shells. 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 rum soaked raisin puree or your choice of filling.

For the Rum Raisin filling:

  • 3/4 cup dark raisins
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • Pour the rum over the raisins.
  • Cover with plastic cling film and let stand overnight.
  • Transfer to a food processor and puree.
  • Load into a pastry bay and fill the macaron shells. 

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