Daddy Pig, Mummy Pig, Peppa and George
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 of the process...
Piping the shells
Freshly baked shells
I decorated the shells using royal icing and edible marker.
I filled the shells with strawberry white chocolate buttercream. Although I used the recipe here, I used homemade strawberry jam instead of strawberry puree as I find that the natural strawberry flavour is more intense this way. I don't measure the ingredients in a precise manner when making fruit jams for macaron filling as it's really simple to make and depends on your taste. I usually weigh out about double the weight of fresh fruit. E.g. I use 60g of fresh fruit when I need about 30g of jam. Simply finely chop or puree the fruit, add a little sugar, a pinch of salt and half to one tsp of lemon juice. Put everything in a small saucepan pan and cook over low heat until the liquid is reduced and jam-like in consistency. Be careful not to burn the jam.
Homemade strawberry jam
Since some of you are lazy to click on the blog link, I shall copy and paste the recipe here :p
Recipe for strawberry white chocolate buttercream
Ingredients (fills about 16-20 macarons):
55g white chocolate, chopped*
10g vegetable shortening
10g unsalted butter
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
26g strawberry puree (or preferably homemade strawberry jam)
1/2 tsp strawberry emulco/ paste
* you may replace up to half of the white chocolate with cocoa butter for an even less sweet filling.
1. Place white chocolate, vegetable shortening and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at medium power for 20 seconds. Mix well with a spatula. Repeat until mixture is smooth. Add salt and mix well.
2. Freeze the bowl for 2 minutes and mix well with spatula. Repeat freezing and mixing. As the mixture thickens, start to beat it with the spatula. You will notice that the texture will lighten up and become creamy.
3. Add a teaspoon of puree and whip the mixture with the spatula until well combined. Repeat until all the puree has been added. Add strawberry paste and mix well. The texture should be like buttercream.
4. Transfer whipped strawberry buttercream into piping bag and pipe onto the shells. Store assembled macarons in the fridge in an airtight container for at least 24h before serving.
Filling the shells with strawberry buttercream that is bursting with flavour!
I made some extra plain round macarons because I had extra batter and filling, and shared this with helpers at the Creche. Feedback was it's really yummy! Do give this recipe a try!