I had to use a filter from Instagram to create a photo that has colour closer to the actual macarons.
Both 2D and 3D versions! This was the original photo taken, which had a yellow hue
Pardon the poor photography as it has been really rainy and gloomy lately so I couldn't make use of natural sunlight to take pictures.
The 2D version of the hedgehog is modelled after a little boy's favourite stuffed toy. Mummy wanted some 3D hedgehogs as well so I included them as well. I first made 3D hedgehog macarons last year. Since I have bought another silicone mat with smaller hemispheres, I made little hedgehogs too! The inspiration to make each critter wear or hold a berry came about because I thought there should be a way to identify what type of jam filling is in each macaron since the jam is not visible from the outside.
This is the third time I am making 3D hedgehog macarons so I am ready to disclose a bit more detail on how it's done for those of you who are interested to try.
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.
Just to share some pictures...
Piping the 2D hedgehog
Piping the base shells for the 3D hedgehog
Piped 3D shells!
These are the smaller hedgehogs!
Baking time for hemispherical shells are much longer than regular macaron shells due to the shape and the fact that the hump of the silicone is not in direct contact with the metal baking tray. The shells must be totally dried out as well or it will be impossible to unmould without shattering the shells. Reduce temperature to around 110℃ after 15 min of baking and continue to bake for another 30 min to an hour or more as necessary. Thoroughly baked shells should be fairly easy to remove from the moulds. Don't worry about overbaking it. Simply let the shells mature for a longer time with filling, or brush the inner surface with milk or syrup before filling it.
Freshly baked shells!
I made some royal icing raspberries, blueberries and strawberries as identifiers for the type of jam filling in the macarons.
I made them concurrently with food items for some Pusheen macarons which I will post in the near future. I cheated a little for the strawberries by using red heart shaped sprinkles as the base. I just added the seeds and leaves. I put my thumb there to show just how tiny these things are!
The shells were decorated with black royal icing and edible marker. The berries were glued on with royal icing too.
I filled the macarons with an outer layer of dark chocolate ganache and berry jam filling in the middle. I made raspberry, strawberry and blueberry jams from scratch. You may refer to this post for the raspberry jam recipe. You may use the same recipe for strawberry and blueberry jams. Adjust the amount of sugar accordingly. If your fruit is sweeter, you may want to add less sugar. Raspberry is the most sour of the lot.
Cooking the strawberries and blueberries to make jams
Jams in piping bags
Turn the hemispherical shells over onto the silicone mould as support when you fill it.
Coat the insides with a layer of dark chocolate ganache. Fill the center with jam.
Cover the jam with more dark chocolate ganache.
Fill the bottom round shells with chocolate ganache.
Filling the 2D shells too!
Cover the hemispherical shells with the bottom round shell before flipping it over the right side up. Store the macarons in airtight container in the fridge for at least 24h before consuming.