Sunday, February 28, 2016

Buttered Popcorn French Macarons for Oscar Night

I know these are last minute and I'm still thinking of boycotting the Oscars, but you know, the dresses.

I'll never  boycott baking and since this French macaron flavor has been on my mind for years. Yes, been on my list for years, I thought I'd give it a try.

I've not made French macarons since last June. How did that happen?

I am seriously out of practice so these are not the prettiest ones I've ever made but the flavor is banging so I had to post them.

The shells are made with butter flavor powder and a smidge of yellow food coloring. The filling is a simple buttercream with a hint of vanilla extract and mixed with popcorn dust I made myself in the nutri bullet. 

Side note on the nutri bullet: I love that thing. I bought it to drink more smoothies in an attempt  to be more healthy.  I quickly learned it pulverlizes ingredients so well, it's on it's way to becoming my number one cooking and baking assistant. 

Back to the popcorn dust. I recommend using unsalted naked popcorn to create the dust. I pop mine in cococnut oil which adds such great flavor, I happily consume it with no added toppings. 

Anyway. If you have time and the ingredients, these are worth the effort. Not only for an Academy Awards viewing party treat, they are also a great addition to a summer party menu as well as a great gift for anyone who loves movies. 

Buttered Popcorn French Macarons 

For the butter flavored 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 tarter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 25-50 grams extra fine white granulated sugar
  • 200 grams of powdered sugar 
  • 110 Grams of almond flour*
  • 1/4 teaspoon butter flavor powder 
  • 2-3 drops yellow liquid food coloring or a 1/4 teaspoon of  powdered food coloring (optional)
*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. The batter should have a "flowing like lava" consistency. Fold in thebutter powder.  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 yellow food coloring, if desired. 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 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 popcorn buttercream or your choice of filling.

For the Popcorn Buttercream Filling:

  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1+1/2 cups popcorn dust (instructions below)
  • Place the butter, 2 cups of the powdered sugar and milk 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.
  • Add the popcorn dust.
  • Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and pipe some buttercream on a macaron shell. Top with a matching size shell.

For the 
Popcorn dust:

  • 3 cups unsalted, unbuttered freshly popped popcorn (you can use an air popper or I recommend popping the corn in coconut oil for great flavor)

  • Place the popped popcorn in a food processor or blender and pulverize. 

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the Oscars, especially Chris Rock's opening monologue and I love that he wore a white jacket and black pants ensemble. Leave it to you to come up with a popcorn mac! They look great.


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