Friday, 24 November 2017

Superhero Themed Vanilla Macarons (Tips on how to colour shells deep red and black)

I have a request for superhero themed macarons for a little boy!
He loves vanilla so I filled the shells with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream

The purpose of this blog post is to share how I achieve a deep shade of black and red when making black and red macaron shells. Certain shades of colour may be difficult to achieve if you don't know how to and these two colours are examples. I will also share how I decorated the shells with adequate precision by hand.

I used the reduced sugar recipe for the macaron shells here. Both regular and reduced sugar recipes can be found here. You may refer to my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic presentation of the basics and complex shaped macarons. You may refer to my video tutorials for macaron basics and piping of complex shapes on the blog too.

Although I used the Italian method, the ratios specified here should be applicable for French and Swiss methods as well.

For black colour, add 1g of charcoal powder for every 10g of almond meal along with an additional generous chopstick dip of black gel food colouring for every 30g of almond meal.

For red colour, use 1/2 tsp red yeast powder* for every 45g almond meal, and 1/8-1/4 tsp red powder colouring for every 90g almond meal. I use the red powder colouring easily available from supermarkets that is more for local desserts such as Ang Ku Kuih as a little bit goes a long way. I use in combination with gel as I find powder alone tends to stain my fingers and baking paper. This is more of personal preference so you may stick with just powder colouring. I add a drop of red gel colouring for every 30g almond meal.

*Red yeast powder doesn't colour the batter much but serves to dull down the brightness of super red artificial colouring and give it a more earthy tone. Note that too much red yeast powder will cause meringue to deflate and results in denser macaron shells. Omit this if you are unable to obtain it. I prefer using natural sources wherever possible.

Just to share some photos of the process...

Piping the various shapes

Freshly baked shells. Check out the feet!

In order to get nice identical logo prints on the shells, I made stencils out of paper by cutting out the shapes with a craft knife. I traced the outlines using edible marker (yellow colour to match the royal icing colour), and then decorate with royal icing. Feel free to use a toothpick to nudge the icing where necessary. To give it a slightly glittery effect, I brushed on a little gold dust on the yellow icing after it is dried.

Decorating Superman shells

Decorating Batman shells

The fine webbing of Spiderman was done using a fine tipped edible marker.

Really tedious to draw by freehand. I took on an average of 8-10 minutes for each one!

Keep a picture of Spiderman's head right next to your macaron shell so that you can copy each line as accurately as possible. I treated the web pattern like a complicated Chinese character and "wrote" it as such :p. After a couple of heads, I get the hang of it and memorized the steps to "write" the web pattern.

Spiderman's eyes were added on with royal icing.

I filled the shells with reduced-sugar vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream.


With love,
Phay Shing

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