I made only 3 of each but will type out the recipe as if it were for a bigger batch.
Do checkout my Creative Baking: Macarons book as it brings you through the basics to the various techniques required for creating complex shaped macarons!
Recipe for Chip n Dale macaron shells
Ingredients (makes about 40-45 macarons):
200g almond meal (preferably superfine)
200g icing sugar
200g caster sugar
160g egg whites, divide into two equal portions (aging is not necessary but I do it to save time separating eggs on actual day of baking)
Colouring and flavouring**:
Beige: 2g Earl grey powder + tiny drop of yellow gel food colouring
Brown: 1g Dutch processed cocoa powder + 2g Earl grey powder + yellow and orange gel food colouring
Dark brown: 5g Dutch processed cocoa powder + pinch of charcoal powder + orange and yellow gel food colouring.
** replace with gel food colouring or more cocoa powder if Earl grey powder is unavailable
1. Prepare baking trays with Chip n Dale template under baking paper. Stick the corners of baking paper with Italian meringue when you have made the meringue.
2. Make the mass. Sift almond and icing sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add 80g egg whites and mix well to form a thick paste. Divide the paste into 3 equal parts. Add food colouring/ flavouring until desired shade is obtained.
3. Prepare the Italian meringue. Boil caster sugar and water in a small saucepan until 115°C. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. In the mean time, beat the rest of the egg whites in a clean metal bowl at medium low speed until soft peaks form. Do not beat past this stage. Reduce mixer speed if necessary. Once temperature of syrup is reached, remove from heat, turn up mixer speed to medium high speed and carefully pour syrup into egg whites, avoiding the beaters. Continue beating for another 10 minutes until cool, stiff and glossy. Divide the Italian meringue into three equal portions.
4. Macaronage. Fold the Italian meringue into the mass in two additions until the consistency is like slow-moving lava. The first addition is about a third of the meringue. You may refer to this post for video tutorials of the macaron basics.
5. Transfer the batter into piping bags fitted with round piping tips of appropriate sizes. Use a toothpick to nudge the batter into place where necessary. You may refer to this post for video tutorials on how to pipe complex shaped macarons. Bang the tray hard on the table top a few times to release trapped air bubbles.
Piping out in stages!
7. Bake for 17-20 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through baking. If the feet of the shells still appear wet, bake for another 5 minutes at 115°C. Cool completely before peeling the baking sheet away from the shells.
Freshly baked and starting to decorate with royal icing, edible marker and lustre dust! Yes I was baking some bears concurrently as well!
Recipe for whipped Earl grey white chocolate ganache
I chose to use a ratio of 3:1 for white chocolate : cream + butter for a firm ganache. You may play around with this ratio or replace the butter with cream if you want a softer ganache.
Ingredients (fills approximately 40 macarons):
180g white chocolate, chopped
45g heavy cream
15g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1.5-2 tbs Earl grey tea powder*
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
* you may infuse 3 Earl grey tea bags in hot heavy cream if you are unable to obtain Earl grey tea powder. Prepare about 60g of cream instead and steep teabags in hot cream for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the bags and measure out 45g of Earl grey infused cream.
1. Place chopped white chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt using medium power in 10-20 seconds heating cycles, stirring well in between.
2. Place cream in small saucepan and heat over low heat until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat and pour over melted chocolate.
3. Use a spatula or whisk to mix the cream into the melted chocolate, stirring in one direction until well combined.
4. Gradually add sifted tea powder and mix well. Add salt and vanilla and mix well. Adjust amount of tea powder according to taste.
5. Chill the ganache for about 10 minutes in the fridge. Use an electric mixer, hand whisk or spatula to whip the chilled ganache for a couple of minutes until texture lightens up. If you prefer a denser filling, you may skip this step and use the ganache once it firms up to toothpaste consistency after sitting at room temperature for half an hour to an hour.
Whipped Earl Grey White Chocolate ganache!
6. Transfer to piping bag and pipe onto shells.
Sandwich the shells and refrigerate for half an hour or overnight. This ganache is firm enough to leave the macarons in cool air-conditioned room temperature for a few days. Perfect as gifts :). If you are storing them in the fridge, leave them out at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving or the ganache will be too firm to eat.
Take a peek at the insides! I only get to take these photos when my kids eat the macarons! Excuse the blur image. My kid's hand was shaking. Can't wait to eat the macarons!
Strong flavour without being too sweet! The Earl grey makes the whole package fragrant but less sweet. I made this filling because I have the privilege of making some macarons for the staff of Marshall Cavendish and Earl grey flavour was requested. They were very well received so do give this recipe a try if you are looking at not-so-sweet macarons that need to stay out of the fridge for a few days.
With lots of love,