Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Passion fruit macarons

Passion fruit macarons / Macarons de maracujá

My whole life I've heard that being persistent pays off – and I should say it’s true. That works in several levels in life, but today I’ll stick to the culinary side of the story. :)

After getting two not so good batches – and tossing many others – I finally made beautiful macacons, with feet! I sure looked like a crazy woman dancing around my kitchen after taking these out of the oven. :)

I have to tell you that my successful macaron adventure was only possible due to Ms. Humble rich, complete and very detailed post – pay her a visit because she has lots of delicious recipes there, besides gorgeous macarons.

The delicious ganache is a courtesy of the lovely Julia.

Passion fruit macarons

150g almond meal
150g confectioners’ sugar
120g egg whites (room temperature)
185g granulated sugar
50g water
gel food coloring (optional)

Passion fruit ganache:
140g dark chocolate, chopped*
½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
4 tablespoons passion fruit pulp

You will need 2-3 baking sheets for these , depending on how closely you pipe them; make sure you use good quality aluminum pans – if they’re too thin, the macarons might crack on top. I followed Ms. Humble’s tip and double layered the pans. I also used baking paper, this baking mat and this one and got the best results with the teflon one.

Prep a large pastry bag with a #11 Ateco tip (or a similar medium sized round tip, little under 1cm) – I did not use a tip, I just cut the tip of the pastry bag. Pre-heat your oven to 160-162°C (320-325°F) – I wouldn’t recommend making macarons with an oven thermometer.

You will need a candy thermometer for this method, as it will require bringing the sugar syrup to a precise temperature. Half of the whites I used had been in the fridge for 4 days (and had been previously frozen for 2 weeks) and half was from fresh eggs.

Weigh out your confectioners’ sugar and almond meal and give them a whirl for a minute, pulsing in a food processor. Pour the almond/sugar mixture into a large bowl and set aside.

Weigh out 60g of egg whites into the bowl of your stand mixer (make sure the whites are yolk free and your mixer's bowl and whisk attachment are very clean and free of any traces of oil). Also measure out 35g of granulated sugar into a small bowl and set it near the mixer.
Weigh out another 60g of egg whites into a small bowl and set aside.

Weigh out 150g of the granulated sugar into a small sauce pan. Add 50g of water to the sugar, attach your candy thermometer and place it over medium heat – use a very small saucepan so its tip will be immersed in the syrup.
When the sugar hits 87°C/190°F, start beating the egg whites in your mixer on medium low speed until foamy, while keeping a close eye on the sugar syrup. No need to stir the syrup, just let it come to a boil over medium heat (you're aiming for 110°C/230°F). Once the eggs are foamy, slowly add the 35g of sugar and beat to soft peaks on medium speed.

When your sugar mixture hits 110°C/230°F pull it off the heat, increase the speed of your mixer to medium high, and slowly pour in the syrup. You want to let the mixture trickle down the side of the bowl, so it doesn't splatter and get tossed onto the sides of the bowl. You want the sugar in your meringue, not a candy coated bowl.

Now you can relax, the hard part is over. Allow the mixer to beat the meringue for about 5-8 minutes until cool.

While waiting for your meringue to cool, combine the remaining 60g of egg whites with the sugar/almond mixture and mix until well combined. Add any food coloring you wish to use now, aim for a little darker than your goal as it will lighten considerably when the meringue is added.

Once the meringue is ready, add it to the almond/sugar mixture and quickly fold it together. You should fold until it is just barely uniform, using as few strokes as possible. It is very, very important you don't over mix as the batter will thin considerably with each stroke of the spatula. Your batter is perfect when you lift your spatula and a thick ribbon slowly cascades off, back into the bowl.
Now you're ready to fill your piping bag. If the mixture is just right, it will ooze from the tip slowly under its own weight. (If it oozes out quickly, something went horribly wrong and you'll need to start over.)

Pipe 3cm macarons onto your prepared baking sheets, spacing them a few centimeters apart.

Once you complete a full pan, knock it on the counter gently, to bring up any bubbles and quickly pop them with toothpick (I forgot to do that).

Allow the macarons to rest like this for 15 minutes. (They can sit longer if you want to bake one or two sheets at a time, but will develop slightly thicker shells).
Bake at 160-162°C/320-325°F for 14 minutes.

Once done, remove from the pans using the silicone baking mat and allow to cool completely (about an hour) before carefully attempting to remove them from the mat. If you're having trouble even after an hour, pop the sheet into the freezer for about 5 minutes and they should pop off easily.

Make the ganache: heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir. Cool slightly and add the passion fruit pulp. Cover and refrigerate until thick.
Fill a piping bag with the passion fruit ganache and use to sandwich your macarons.

To store, keep the shells chilled in an air tight container. Bring the macarons to room temperature and then fill before serving.

* I used chocolate with 70% cocoa solids and the filling wasn’t too sweet – if you prefer something sweeter, I recommend using semisweet chocolate (54% cocoa solids or so)

Makes about 50 macarons (already filled)


The Urban Baker said...

I just tuned into you and voila...a new post. Your photography is amazingly delicious! You inspire me...

I have egg whites aging as I write this! xx

The Urban Baker said...

P. S. these are pure perfection. I am coming to you so we can bake together!

Manggy said...

Well done Patricia! Here's to dozens more great batches! ;) (clink)

Allie said...

Beautiful macarons! Passionfruit and chocolate is a lovely combination...wish I could make them like you! :)

Jamieanne said...

Oh my gosh, they're beautiful! Awesome job! You've done these a different way than what I have tried them, so I'm going to try your way soon and see if I can get better results as well. Yours look amazing! :)

Paula said...

absolutely adorable!

Dawn (KitchenTravels) said...

I am dying to try making macarons, and yet terrified at the same time. ;) They are one of my only kitchen fears. Yours look incredible, and the flavor combination sounds delicious. Love photos!

M. said...

I'm seriously addicted to macarons...I made my first attempt in making them myself...but unfortunately failed...
yours look so beautiful!

Jo said...

Your macarons look absolutely perfect and I love the combination of passionfruit and chocolate.

WendyinKK said...

Indeed beautiful.

and those polka dots made them look even better

Erica Lea said...

They are beautiful! The only time I made macarons was a failure...I guess I need to try again!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Susan, you are just sweet - thank you, dearie!
I'd love to bake with you - that would be so much fun!

Mark, thank you, hun! :)

Allie, thank you! I love passion fruit in just about anything. :)

Jamieanne, tks for stopping by! Hope you like the recipe!

Paula, thank you!

Dawn, thank you! We have to face our fears and then feel on top of the world! :)

M., they are pretty addictive, I agree!
I'm sure you'll come up with beautiful macs next time!
Thank you!

Jo, thank you! Those flavors are great together, I agree!

Wendy, thank you!
I'm a sucker for anything polka dot. :)

Unknown said...

Your macarons look absolutely perfect! Nice job! Passion fruit and chocolate is the ultimate macaron flavor I think, too.

Anonymous said...

Your macarons look so smooth....like a baby bottom!!!
Those are indeed beautiful looking macarons! And...you only had "two" failed batches before this perfection???!!! No fair!!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Anna, thank you! I love anything passion fruit and agree that it goes really well with chocolate.

Anonymous, thank you! Actually I had several ruined batches before making these - I tossed several of them! :)

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