Ummmm...why didn't anyone tell me that you could put sprinkles on macarons before you bake them and they still come out SO cute? Seriously! Here I was, for months thinking that you are not by any means to mess with the macaron shell. Pipe and pray, that was my routine. This changes everything.
For starters, I made these adorable Valentine's Day macarons for you guys! Can you even? I can't even.
In true Valentine's Day fashion, I paired together raspberries and chocolate to flavor these beauties. I used freeze-dried raspberries for the shell, and then filled them with a dark chocolate ganache. I also sprinkled additional ground freeze dried raspberries over the ganache to add an extra oomph of tartness!
Let me tell you, you will never go wrong with this flavor combination. It is absolutely delectable.
Now I'm off to buy more sprinkles for my macarons. If you have any flavor suggestions you'd like me to try, leave them in the comments below!
Dark Chocolate Raspberry MacaronsYield: Approximately 24 macarons
Ingredients:57 grams almond flour
115 grams powdered (confectioners) sugar
8 grams ground freeze-dried raspberries
72 grams egg whites, aged, room temperature
36 grams granulated sugar
One drop red food coloring (preferably gel paste)
Sprinkles or jimmies, of your choice
For the dark chocolate ganache:
6 oz. dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
Directions:Add almond flour, powdered sugar, and ground freeze-dried strawberries to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine and break apart any big lumps. Sift mixture into a clean bowl. Discard any large pieces that do not pass through the sieve.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites, sugar, and red gel paste on low speed for 3 minutes, medium speed for 3 minutes, then high speed for 3 minutes. The beaten egg whites should stick to the whisk when you remove it. Tap the whisk against the side of the bowl to release them into the bowl. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the egg whites. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites, until the batter is smooth and lava-like. Be careful not to overmix. The batter should slowly fall off your spatula when you pick it up and any peaks in the batter should settle down within 20 seconds.
Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat.
Pipe 1.5 inch rounds onto the parchment paper(or silicone mat). It is helpful to use a guide here, so all your macarons are the same size. Once all the rounds are piped out, slam the baking sheet against a flat stable surface, then rotate, and slam again. This is done to force any large air bubbles to the surface. Sprinkle half of the piped macarons with jimmies or sprinkles, then let them dry on the countertop for 60-90 minutes. The macarons are properly dried when you touch the top of the mounds and the batter doesn't stick to your finger.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place the baking sheet with piped macarons on an empty baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes. Oven temperature varies, so keep an eye on them. To check if they are done, touch the top of the macaron. If it wobbles, it's not done yet. Let cool completely on baking sheet before removing.
To prepare the ganache, place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat heavy cream in a medium saucepan until simmering, then pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips. Let stand for one minute, then stir together until all the chocolate chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Let ganache sit at room temperature until it thickens to piping consistency. You can pop it in the fridge to speed up the process, but keep an eye on it.
To assemble the macarons, match macaron shells into pairs of similar sizes as best as you can. Spoon ganache into a piping bag fitted with a small round decorating tip. Pipe a dollop of ganache onto the center of half the macaron shells. Top them with opposite shells. Refrigerate in an airtight container for 24 hours to let the flavors develop. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Notes: I used a KA stand mixer and the low, medium, and high speeds correspond to speeds 4, 6, and 8 on the mixer.