This is the second time I am making Pusheen macarons. Checkout my first attempt here.
I used the reduced sugar recipe for macaron shells and chose whipped Earl grey white chocolate as the filling. If you don't have a sweet tooth, tea flavoured or dark chocolate flavoured fillings are best to pair with macaron shells that are sweet.
I actually made these cuties along with some Siamese cat macarons and a pink macaron carousel structure. But for your convenience, I will type out the full recipe for these cuties.
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.
Reduced sugar macaron shell recipe for Pusheen (makes about 50 macarons, 100 shells)
210g superfine almond meal
196g icing sugar
10g rice flour
82g egg whites
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/6 tsp charcoal powder
A drop of orange gel food colouring (optional)
78g egg whites
196g caster sugar
1/8 tsp Cream of tartar (optional)
1. Prepare baking trays with Pusheen template and baking sheet over it. Stick the baking sheet to the tray with Italian meringue after you have made it. You may find pictures of Pusheen easily and since it is a trademarked character I will not reproduce the template here.
2. Make the mass. Sift together almond, icing sugar, rice flour, cornflour, salt and charcoal powder in a large mixing bowl. Add egg whites and mix well until a thick paste forms. Add a drop of orange food colouring to make the grey shade warmer but this is optional.
3. Prepare Italian meringue. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan until it reaches 115°C without stirring. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. In the meantime, beat egg whites with cream of tartar with electric mixer at medium low speed until soft peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat till stiff peak but also do not underbeat such that the egg whites are foamy but unable to hold a peak for 1 second. Reduce mixer speed to keep egg whites moving if temperature of syrup is not reached yet. Once syrup is ready, increase mixer speed to medium high, carefully pour the syrup into the egg whites in a slow, thin stream while avoiding the beaters. Continue beating for another 10-15 minutes until the meringue is cooled to about body temperature. The meringue should be stiff and glossy. Reserve about 2 tbs of meringue for sticking the baking sheet onto the trays.
4. Fold the meringue into the mass in 2 batches (with the first batch about a third of the meringue) with a spatula until the batter moves in a slow-moving lava-like manner.
5. Transfer batter into piping bags fitted with round piping tips of appropriate sizes (depends on your template). I used Wilton #10 and #5 tips for the large and small portions. Use a toothpick to pull the batter whenever necessary. Bang the tray on the table to release trapped air bubbles.
6. Let the piped shells dry in an air-conditioned room and/or under the fan until the surface is no longer sticky to touch. About 2 hours.
7. Bake in preheated oven with rack at lowest or second lowest position at 140°C for 12 minutes, rotate the tray and bake at 125°C for another 5-10 minutes or until the feet of the shells do no appear wet. Baking times may vary according to size of shells. Let the shells cool completely before peeling the baking sheet away from the shells.
Freshly baked shells! Along with some Siamese cats and a little peek of the pink carousel shells.
Decorating with brown edible marker. I decided to stick on some heart sprinkles for one of the Pusheen designs with royal icing or melted chocolate.
Filling up the shells with whipped Earl grey white chocolate filling!