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Girls Day Out, with My Heart

Posted by on Feb 15, 2011 in French Macarons, Home, x | 36 comments

Strawberry Vanilla Macarons

Okay, before I begin this post I am warning you this is a “mushy” heart felt post. Anyone who has read my blog knows Sydney is my heart from the day she was born. As she has journeyed through her life, I have been there to help and guide her. If she was hurting, I tried to reduce the pain. However, there are some pains that I cannot reduce. I am having a difficult time with the pain she is experiencing now; she has come to me for guidance. I know through my own journey that the guidance she seeks comes with experience and wisdom of living through the pain. A disturbing place to be for a mother; my heart is breaking for her, I want to seize the situation and fix it. Even if I had the ability to put all the pieces together, the way she wants them to fit, the out come would be more painful later.

I pronounced we needed a girls day out, lunch first, pedicures, waxing, hair, and make-up lessons (we both wanted to learn the smokey-eye look). I arrogantly believed if she had a special day of pampering and the end result was her looking even more beautiful (not easy, she is eye “poppingly” exquisite without any make-up) she would feel better. Since her pain runs deeply, just the opposite happened, she became more melancholy than ever, and Valentine’s Day exaggerated the issue. Please don’t miss understand, she was thrilled to be pampered, and during the day and early evening she was blissful and grateful. As the night wore on the distress eked  it’s way into her heart.

The night of our day out!

As any parent knows there is nothing worst than not being able to help your child. The psychologist in me knows the best way to guide through this experience is to let her figure things out herself and come to her own conclusion. Knowing I was unable to say anything that wouldn’t sound condescending, I decided we should bake up some of her favorite macarons, Strawberry-Vanilla. Believe it or not I always have at least 200 grams of liquid egg white “aging” in the refrigerator.

With almond flour and egg whites, we were ready

It astounds me the way food can help heal the heart. From the moment we dug our heels in the kitchen floor Sydney’s disposition changed. She was smiling and we were joking around.

You can never have enough macarons

Strawberry-Vanilla Miracle Macaron:

For the macaron shells:

99 grams egg whites, divided in half, at least 3 day old separated

48grams egg white/ about 1.5 egg whites, room temperature

2 grams/1/8-teaspoon egg white powder, optional & helpful

104 grams/7/8 -cup icing sugar

88 grams/7/8 almond finely ground

Sugar Syrup:

26 grams/ 1/8 water

103 grams/ 1/2-cup sugar

1 vanilla bean, scraped for seeds keep skin

10 grams/ 1-Tablespoon super fine sugar

50 grams egg white, about 1.5 eggs whites room temperature

1/8 -teaspoon cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

7 grams strawberry powder

Powdered pink food coloring, a dash to 1/8-teaspoon

Prepare your mise en place, this is extremely important, everything should be weighed or measured and set aside prior to beginning.

Pour half of the egg whites into the bowl of your mixer.

In a small pot over low heat, combine sugar, vanilla skin, and water. Swirl the pot over the burner to dissolve the sugar completely. Do not stir. Increase the heat and boil to softball stage (235 to 240 degrees). Use a candy thermometer for accuracy. Wash down the inside wall of the pot with a wet pastry brush, to prevent the sugar from crystalizing on the sides of the pot.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the eggs whites, salt and egg white powder on medium low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar (if not using a copper bowl), increase the speed to medium, and beat until soft peaks. Add vanilla seeds, and  begin to slowly add the 10 grams of sugar to the egg whites. Whisk egg whites to medium firm.

With the mixer running, pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over the fluffed egg whites. Beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry. The meringue should resizable a whipped cream texture, as my daughter says.

Place the almonds, powdered sugar, reserved powdered  strawberries in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground.

In batches of three add a third of the meringue to the almond mixture, give it a good fold to break some of the air. Keep folding till the almond mixture is mix into the meringue, and then fold another third of the meringue into the batter, continue to vigorously fold till there are no white streaks. Now add the last third of meringue to the batter fold till thick, shiny and ribbons fall from the spatula.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip  with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto silicone mats lined baking sheets.

Let the macarons sit out for about 1 hour to make sure the shells develop a skin. A well-made macaron features a crinkly “foot” on the bottom of each shell. I have found the best baking pans have ventilation holes.

Preheat the oven to 300 F.

Reduce the heat to 280ºf.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size.

Bake the macarons for 5 minutes, then quickly open, turn the pan, and close the oven. Bake them for another 5 minutes and open and close the oven again. Continue to bake the macarons until the tops are rounded and firm and a “crinklely” ridge, and the foot  has formed around the base, about 5 minutes more (check the macarons after a couple minutes, as the baking time will vary by oven).

Let cool.

Slide the silpat off the hot baking pan and onto a cooling rack and set aside until the macarons are cool.

If you have trouble removing the shells, gently twist the macaron and peel the silpat from the macaron. (Do not pull).

Don’t let them sit there in the pans for too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer.

Strawberry and Vanilla crème fraiche cream:

125 grams Crème fraiche, very cold

31 grams mascarpone cheese

23 grams powder sugar

1-teaspoon Fragoli

2 (66 grams) egg whites

Pinch of salt

Smidge cream of tartar

10 grams of super fine sugar

1 vanilla bean, split open and seeded

Place the bowl of a standing mixer along with the whisk attachment in the freezer ½ hour before preparing the filling.

In the very cold bowl place cold crème fraiche begin to whip to a very soft peak and add mascarpone cheese. Continue to whisk on medium high, slowly add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla beans till stiff peaks form, be careful to not go to far and break the filling.

In a copper bowl whip egg whites (on medium low speed), a pinch of salt and cream of tartar till foam appears, and then increase the speed to medium. When medium peaks start to form slowly add sugar and increase speed to medium high and whisk till firm peaks form.

Fold the egg whites into the crème fraiche cream.

Prepare a piping bag with tip of your choice and pipe filling onto 1 macaron and than sandwich with another macaron.

She is still distressed, but the macaron baking helped!

36 Comments

  1. I’ve been watching your blog for sometime now; this is my favorite post. The photograph are stunning and the macarons are absolutely perfect.

  2. I certainly tell you, impressed with your site. I had no trouble piloting through all the tablets and so particulars was implausibly not very difficult to access. I looked for what I searched within hebdomads in any respect. Jolly best. Would call for to prize it should you add community forums or something like that, it becomes a tones means for your customer to socialize . Unequalled job .

  3. Very pretty if I don’t say so myself…though I would REALLY need to taste them to be sure…Ahem :)
    If only…

  4. I love to come here! i continuously find the best stories and recipes.

  5. I starting to wonder if there is anything you can’t bake. Those macarons are gorgeous, I hope you daughter starts feeling better!

  6. Bobbie, what beautiful photos, and those macaron are amazing. I can almost taste them, almost so send some, PLEASE…

  7. You and daughter sound so close, I hope she is felling better now. The picture of both you is beautiful!

  8. wow, this looks delicious, and cute. I hope your daughter begins feel better!

  9. I WANT it!! Delicious recipe…those are just lovely and i do love strawberries:) veryvery pretty macarons!

  10. I just have one thing to say – WOW! Your macaroons are just perfect! I love the flavors’ combination and as always the pictures are amazing.

  11. Cute! I love the effect that it makes! It’s really neat! And yhr filling sounds delicious!

  12. Hard to believe that you have only been doing this a short time…I’ve been dreaming of making my own macarons , but the humidity is playing with my baking!

  13. Lovely website! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am bookmarking your feeds also

  14. I can’t wait to try this, I always fail at macaroons! I don’t own a food processor though, do I need one for this or could I use a blender or just mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together? Thanks!

  15. Gorgeous macaroons, and stunning photos. Just a word of caution though: I noticed you have a copper bowl, and used cream of tartar…. this is not a good combination, b/c it results in copper toxicity! Careful.

  16. Thank you for heads up; I do not use creme of tartar. I put in the recipe, because most people don’t use a copper bowl

  17. I’ve always wanted to make these since I had them in Paris!
    I’ve read soooo many fails when making macarons, but seems like these turned out fantastically well! Very inspiring and maybe I will attempt afterall!!

  18. After visiting this site three time per week, your writing skill are a masterpiece, this last beautiful macaron post has forced me to join Bobbie’s Baking Blog. You need to understand I never join blogs, but this one is special. Good Luck!

  19. Love how beautifully you coloured them. Lovely and perfect macarons my dear. Love the flavour combination.

  20. Nice

  21. What perfect and beautiful macarons! Your photo’s are amazing, I love the black background!

  22. Wow, what beautiful macarons, I hope your daughter is felling better.

  23. Nice!! These look absolutely gorgeous and yummy!. I could snack on them right now.

  24. Wow,you are like the macaron goddess! and always coming up with new flavors. Love your photo set up!

  25. Your photography is outstanding! I love the black with the reflection and the care you’ve taken with details. I also love your depth of focus. I will be coming back and “drooling” often. ;)

  26. Wonderful Post! Beautiful macarons!

  27. I’ve never made macarons & all I’ve ever heard about these little things is how hard they are to make so I’ve wondered why they’re such a big deal. Now I know…, thanks for putting it altogether for me.

  28. Stunning presentation! They look like delicious strawberries and vanilla great flavors. Love the photo of the macarons on the black background, it draws you straight to the macarons:)

  29. OH MY GOD, I just stumbled upon your blog and it’s so my new favorite. I’m subscribing immediately! I am so jealous, they look absolutely gorgeous… I have been craving strawberries for weeks – I can’t even find decent strawberry icecream.

  30. What stylish macarons! So impressive, great job.
    Your spoon is so cute! Where did you buy it?

  31. Hi all. Just wanted to say that this recipes works perfectly and I’m a novice as you can get!! The macarons turned out beautifully as well as super tasty. Thanks for a brilliant recipe and great pictures.

  32. Gorgeous. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I would love to try this one some day… soon!

  33. My Review On your post.
    I love the color. I’ve always been a bit intimidated about macarons. I guess it’s the whole baking process of it. I’ll try it eventually. For now I’ll just eat up the ones made by someone else. Got anymore? ; Ii don’t know if any one has every toiled you, but your writing is awesome!

  34. Sigh…they’re just too amazing and the photos…wow!

  35. I’ve been searching the search engines for exactly what you’ve submitted.

  36. This post may be incredibly insightful and beneficial to increase my discernment in neuro-scientific knowledge and its lots of sides. Thanks to you, I am going to definitely retreat to visit often and positively tell a number of my internet-inclined friends to see this website.

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  2. Kate - Absolutely gorgeous. I really need to invest in a scale so I can perfect the macaron; I'm afraid to try …

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