I know to some of you, it might seem strange that I am using strawberries in the middle of winter, but here in Florida, we have a funny strawberry season that starts in December and lasts through May. The peak of the season and the best strawberries will be around next month and into March, but I couldn’t wait to start eating them and baking with them. So I made a strawberry pate de fruit to go inside these vanilla bean macarons that I filled with a white chocolate and vanilla bean cream.
I had an eventful week filled with positive things and not so fun ones (like having my car broken into and my handbag stolen while picking up my son from school), so I am looking forward to a camping trip we have planned for this weekend. I will be taking some of these macarons on our trip and sharing the rest with friends who really deserve a thank you for all the support I have been getting lately.
I just realized yesterday that this little blog of mine will be turning one next week. Time flies, doesn’t it?
Thanks everyone for your kind words, comments, votes, support… have a great weekend!
Strawberry Pate de Fruit
120 grams strawberry puree, strained
3 grams yellow pectin
15 grams sugar
150 grams sugar
30 grams glucose
4 grams lemon juice
Puree about 175 grams of strawberries to get 120 grams of seeded strawberry puree (it might vary a bit).
Mix the pectin with the 15 grams sugar.
Place the strawberry puree in a small saucepan and bring to a light boil. Add the pectin and sugar mixture and whisk. When it comes to a boil, add the rest of the sugar. Whisk and let it come to a boil again. Add the glucose and cook to 106C. It will take about 3 minutes or so on medium heat. Stir so the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom.
When it reaches the desired temperature, remove from heat, add the lemon juice and cast into half sphere silicon molds (or any mold that you would like). let it sit for a few hours until it hardens completely.
Cut into small pieces that will go inside the macarons.
Vanilla Bean Macarons
180 grams almond flour
240 grams powdered sugar
140 grams egg whites, aged
3 grams egg white powder
2 grams fine sea salt
80 grams vanilla sugar
few drops of red food coloring
Make sure that the egg whites have been separated from the egg yolks at least the night before. This bit of aging really makes a difference in the macarons.
In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar and sea salt. Set aside.
Whip the egg whites with the egg white powder until very fluffy, almost fully whipped. Start adding the vanilla sugar slowly while whipping. Add a few drops of red food coloring and continue whipping to stiff peaks.
Add the dry ingredients to the meringue and fold with a spatula until a shiny mass forms. We want to achieve a batter that makes ribbons. You might have to test it to see if it’s done. Pipe a small amount on your sheetpan. If it keeps a little bit of a top when piped, then you have to mix it a bit further, if it spreads really fast, you have gone too far and your macarons will turn out flat.
When you have the right consistency, place the mass in a pastry bag with a number 5 tip and pipe small rounds onto sheetpans lined with parchment or silpat. Let them dry at room temperature for at least 45 minutes to an hour.
If you want to sprinkle them with anything, you must do it right after piping while the batter is still wet. If you want to paint them, wait until they are dry and before they go in the oven.
Have the oven preheated to 350F degrees. Place one sheetpan in the oven at a time and reduce the temperature to 300 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes and rotate sheetpan and bake for another 5 minutes.
White Chocolate and Vanilla Bean Cream
125 grams heavy cream
60 grams white chocolate
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
Chop the white chocolate nto a bowl. In a saucepan, boil the cream and the vanilla bean and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
Let this ganache sit in the refrigerator overnight and whip the next day until a thick cream is formed.
Pipe onto the macarons shells and place a piece of strawberry pate de fruit in the middle. Top with another macarons shell.