These macarons are actually for two different requests that came about the same time. The full-bodied minions are cake toppers for a strawberries and cream cake for my friend's son. The head-only version of the minions and Mike are for my cousin's fiance.
I used the basic recipe without sugar reduction for these macarons as I was making other complex shaped macarons at the same time. Please refer to this post for video tutorials of macaron basics, this post for video tutorials of piping complex shapes and my Creative Baking: Macarons book for more details and pointers. I will just briefly describe the process here.
Macaron shell recipe
200g superfine almond powder
200g icing sugar
80g egg whites
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
Yellow, green, blue and black gel food colouring
Any other natural or powdered food colouring
200g caster sugar
80g egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
1. Prepare baking tray with template and baking sheet.
2. Prepare mass. Combine sifted almond and icing sugar in a large bowl. Add egg whites and mix well to form a paste. Divide mass into portions for different colours. Add respective colouring. Divide the mass according to estimated surface area that each colour covers.
3. Prepare Italian meringue. Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan until 115°C. In the mean time, beat egg whites in clean metal bowl with electric mixer at medium low speed until soft peaks. Reduce mixer speed if necessary. Once syrup is ready, increase mixer speed to medium high and carefully pour syrup into egg whites in a thin stream. Continue beating on high for 10 minutes or until meringue is stiff, glossy and cool.
4. Divide meringue into portions for the different coloured batters according to formula weight of meringue = 0.55 x weight of mass. Fold meringue into mass in two additions until batter flows off the spatula in a slow-moving lava-like manner.
5. Transfer into piping bags fitted with round piping tips of aporopriate sizes and pipe. Remember to bang the tray on the table after each stage of piping. Use a toothpick to pull the batter where necessary or to pop stubborn air bubbles.
Piping minion heads and Mike
Piping full-bodied minions in stages.
6. Dry the shells under the fan and/or in an air-conditioned room for 1-2 hours or until the shells are dry to touch. Preheat oven to 140°C towards end of drying time. Set rack to lowest position.
7. Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate tray and bake at 130°C for another 7-8 minutes before checking the feet of the shells to test for doneness. If the feet appear wet, place the macarons back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes at 120°C. Cool completely before removing shells from baking paper. Be extremely careful with the full-bodied minions as the arms are fragile and prone to breaking. I broke one arm off a minion while removing it from the baking sheet.
Freshly baked shells!
Add on the details with royal icing and edible marker for the mouth.
I filled the macarons with dark chocolate ganache. Refrigerate in airtight container for at least 24h before serving.
Here's a closer look at the awesome feet!