I was really hesitant to write this post. When I was making these, I thought that this was the end I will no longer an excuse not to make macarons. I was always under the impression that macarons are time consuming, little delights that need the upmost care and attention. Then I came across BraveTart.
She completely changed my view of the macaron world. I also love her spunk and candor. She makes macarons on the reg and has multiple posts on macarons like the Ten Commandments and Macarons Mythbusters. After reading through all her posts, I was ready to try out her recipe. It cuts down the entire process to just a couple of hours. Insane right? I have everything in grams below since that is what I use on my scale, but she does have the ounces if that’s what you prefer.
- 115g almond flour
- 230g powdered sugar
- 144g egg whites
- 72g sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
- 3-4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/4 cup champagne
So for this recipe, forget about preparing the egg whites a week before in order to loose elasticity. Bravetart suggests that it is irrelevant, and they don’t even need to sit out until they are room temperature!
Preheat oven to 300F. Measure the almond flour and powdered sugar. Sift together into a large bowl and set aside. In a standard mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites, sugar, salt and scrappings of a vanilla bean. Beat on medium (level 4) for three minutes. Increase speed to a level 6 for another three minutes. Then increase the speed to a level 8 for another 3 minutes.
I was always afraid of over working egg whites. I was always under the impression there was a thin line between good egg whites and just a liquidy mess. These egg whites came out perfectly. They were a completely stiff meringue. Since i was adding color, this is the point to add it, and then beat the meringue for another minute at a level 8 to mix in the color.
Fold in the egg whites to the flour mixture to break down the egg whites. Put the batter in a pipping bag and pipe on a prepared baking sheet. I decided for Valentine’s Day to try making heart shaped shells. I normally free hand my shells and I came to realize its much harder to match shells. Either way, the shells do not need to sit out. However, Bravetart does say to pick up the sheet and hit it hard against the counter. Turn 90 degrees and rap it two more times. This will break up any air bubbles in the shells.
Bake for about 18 minutes. I never used my own oven to make shells because it is usually hotter. I haven’t had the time to calibrate it yet, but I guess I should do that soon. I had to lower the temp and the shells cooked in about 14-16 minutes. You have to know your oven and keep an eye on the shells.
Once out of the oven. Allow the shells to cool on the pan before putting them on the cooling racks. To make the buttercream, start by using the food processor to break down the frozen strawberries to dust. In a standard mixer using the paddle attachment beat the butter on high until it becomes light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides using a spatula and add the strawberries, champagne and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix until well incorporated. Add each cup one at a time until the buttercream starts to take shape. The strawberries and champagne will make the frosting pretty liquidy so you may need to use more powdered sugar. Fill the pipping bag once more with frosting and pipe the frosting onto the shells. Place macarons in an air tight container in the fridge. If you can, wait to consume at least a day. The frosting will soften the shells a bit and they taste so much better.