My friend requested for these sweet macarons for her kids' school and Sunday school teachers.
Although I prefer swiss meringue buttercream based filling for its light texture, it is often not practical to use it when the macarons need to be individually packed and given as a gift in hot and humid Singapore. So I came up with a strawberry white chocolate "ganache" of sorts that is stable at room temperature in Singapore. As you know, white chocolate is notoriously sweet so I temper the sweetness with a bit of salt and enhance the strawberry flavour with a dash of rose water. I used shortening instead of butter or heavy cream as the oil-based medium to incorporate the strawberry paste and rose water as it is stable at room temperature and won't turn rancid as fast.
Here's the recipe for the macaron shells...
Strawberry macaron shells
Ingredients (makes about seventy 3.5-cm strawberries, 140 shells):
200g superfine almond meal/ ground almonds
200g icing sugar
200g caster sugar
160g egg whites, divided into two equal portions
4g Queen's natural pink powder (optional)
1/4 tsp strawberry emulco (optional)
3 drops of red gel food colouring
4 drops of pink gel food colouring
1 drop leaf green food colouring
1. Sift almond and icing sugar powder together. Portion out 350g of almond mixture for pink and 50g for green.
2. Add 70g of egg whites and strawberry emulco (if using) to pink mixture and mix well to form the mass. Add red and pink gel food colouring and mix well.
3. Add 10g of egg whites and green food colouring to the smaller mixture. Mix well to form the green mass.
4. Make the italian meringue. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan without stirring until 115°C. In the meantime, beat 80g of egg whites in a clean metal bowl using electric mixer at medium-low speed until foamy and opaque. Do not beat past the soft peak stage. Slow down the beater if necessary to keep egg whites moving. Once syrup reaches 115°C, remove from heat. Turn the mixer speed to medium-high and slowly pour the syrup into the egg whites, taking care to avoid the beaters. Keep beating for another 10 minutes until meringue is stiff, glossy and cool to touch.
5. Portion out the meringue into 7:1 ratio for pink: green. Fold the meringue into the masses in two additions. The first addition is about one-third the portion. Mix in well thoroughly until no trace of meringue is seen. You don't have to worry about over folding at this stage. When you add the second addition, fold in as shown in my video demos for a better idea of how to fold and the consistency you should get that is often described as "slow-moving lava-like consistency".
6. Transfer pink batter into piping bag with Wilton #10 tip and green batter into piping bag with Wilton #5 tip.
7. Pipe the strawberry body by piping a rounded triangle. Bang the tray on the table a few times to release trapped air and flatten any peaks on the piped shells. Dry in air-conditioned room or under a fan for 15 minutes or until a sticky membrane forms on the surface. Checkout my video tutorial for piping the shells!
8. Pipe the leaves on. Checkout my video tutorial for piping the leaves!
Dry the shells until no longer sticky to touch. About 1-2hours depending on humidity.
9. Bake at 135°C with oven rack at lowest position for 16-20 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through baking. If the shells appear wet at the feet or are still stuck to baking sheet, bake for another 5 minutes at 120°C before checking again.
10. Prepare some white royal icing and add white seeds onto the strawberries.
Let the shells air-dry or oven-dry at 60°C fan mode for 15 minutes. Until icing is dry. In the meantime, prepare the filling.
Strawberry white chocolate (fills about 70 strawberries)
200g white chocolate, finely chopped (I used Meiji)
38g vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp salt
2.5 tsp strawberry emulco
1 tsp rose water (optional but flavour is much better with this secret ingredient!)
1. Place shortening, salt, strawberry emulco and rose water in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat and stir until shortening is melted.
2. Melt white chocolate over double-boiler or in microwave oven at 10 second bursts at medium power. Stir well in between bursts of heating until smooth.
3. Gradually add strawberry mixture into white chocolate, stirring well after each addition.
4. Transfer to piping bag. Snip a small hole at the end.
5. Pipe some strawberry white chocolate onto the bottom shell. If the ganache is too runny, wait for 5 minutes before trying again. There is no need to refrigerate the ganache. Place an ice-cream stick or lollipop stick and pipe on more ganache before placing top shell on.
Store in airtight condition in a cool and dry place.
Individual packaging was requested...
All of them in a box!
That's not all the strawberries I made. I made some for my younger kid's school party for Teacher's Day and my kids' teachers too but filled with green tea or Earl grey white chocolate fillings. A total of 70 strawberry macarons! Plus all the pink shells of video tutorials that you have been seeing lately!! Think I am off pink for a while :p. Thank God my mum was around to help with packing the macaron pops!
Thank you teachers for your hard work! Much appreciated! God bless!
Update: these macarons were very well received! My friend said the filling was wonderful and the macaron pops stayed intact! All said the strawberry macarons were very pretty :). The best part is, these are not too challenging to pipe so why not try it out!
With lots of love,