Caterpie, Pikachu, Jigglypuff and Charmander!
You may refer to this post for a detailed write-up about the reduced sugar macaron shell recipe, my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic approach of presenting the basics to fancy shaped macarons, this post for video tutorials of macaron basics and this post for video tutorials of piping complex shaped objects.
Despite the complex shapes I thought why not try the reduced sugar recipe for these. I may stick to the reduced sugar version from now on and if I am brave enough, experiment with a higher percentage of sugar replacement.
Just to share some photos of the piping process....
Full-body version of Pikachu
Take a look at the freshly baked shells!
I used a combination of royal icing and edible marker to decorate the shells. Remember not to use edible marker on top of royal icing as it will smudge when the macarons are kept in the fridge.
All decorated along with the Pororo set!
Peppermint dark chocolate flavour was requested for some of the macarons from the Pororo batch so I used it for these. I used my regular dark chocolate ganache recipe but added Peppermint extract.
I use the good stuff!
Peppermint dark chocolate ganache
180g dark chocolate, chopped
60g heavy cream
20g unsalted butter
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
3/4 tsp Peppermint extract
1. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 20-30 seconds at medium power. Stir to mix well. Repeat until mixture is melted and smooth.
2. Place cream in a small saucepan and heat on low heat until it starts to bubble. Pour over melted chocolate and stir with spatula in one direction until smooth and well incorporated.
3. Add salt, vanilla and peppermint gradually and stir until well mixed.
4. Let the ganache sit at room temperature for half an hour to an hour or until consistency is toothpaste-like. Transfer to piping bag and pipe onto shells.
5. Refrigerate the macarons for at least 24h in airtight container. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before consuming. Ganache filled macarons can withstand cool room temperature storage for 2-3 days so they are good as gifts. For longer term storage, you may freeze individually wrapped macarons for a month or refrigerate them for 5 days-2 weeks (Depending on how moist the fillings are. Wet fillings like lemon curd or jams can only last for about 5 days whereas firm ganaches like this one can last for 2 weeks).
Here comes the part about packing macarons...
Some of these Pokemon macarons are to be given away as gifts so they have to be individually packed. I use transparent cylindrical plastic containers (bought from Phoon Huat) for this purpose. I prefer to use rigid packaging instead of self-seal bags that I use for cookies as macarons are delicate and prone to being easily crushed. I always line my macarons with cupcake cases to absorb any moisture due to condensation from refrigeration and to help cushion any shock during transport. They also serve as good "handles" when you need to move the delicate macarons around without breaking or smudging them. Macarons with thin bits sticking out will tend to break more easily than roundish ones. Parts decorated with edible marker will smudge if you touch them.
Packing each macaron
Although the container lids are pretty tight (they won't fall out), they are not airtight. I could tape down all the lids but the tape is a pain to remove after that. Instead, I pack the containers into jumbo ziplock bag. I include a dessicant and a paper towel in the bag to absorb any moisture due to condensation. It's unfortunate that Singapore is hot and humid so condensation takes place quickly when we transport the macarons in and out of the fridge.
This whole assembly is refrigerated.
Keep a lookout for my next post on how to pack macarons for display at parties or as cake toppers.