Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Nut-Free Strawberry Bug Macarons (Swiss method)

I shared in an earlier blog post my experiment with nut-free macarons using the French method. The purpose of that experiment was to create these critters 😊.

I love the way they stare at you! 

The shells for spider were made using the french method recipe I shared in the earlier blog post. I will share the Swiss meringue method version for the bee and ladybug in this post. This is not the first time I am making bug macarons using hemispherical macaron shells. You may refer to this post for the version made using almond flour.

I used a combination of rice flour and pumpkin seed flour for this Swiss method recipe as well. As mentioned in my French method post, unfortunately for nut-free versions, the sugar content is higher due to the change in batter consitency caused by the use of something else other than almond flour. You may compensate the increase in sweetness level by making a really tart or bitter filling. I try to compensate the increase in use of icing sugar in fhe almond paste portion by reducing the sugar by a little for the meringue. You still need enough sugar in the meringue for stability, so that the meringue doesn't break down too soon.

I bought this can of pumpkin seed flour from Yue Hwa, a shop that sells traditional chinese medicine as well as other sundry items

Recipe for nut-free macaron shells (Swiss method) 
Almond paste
35g rice flour
35g pumpkin seed flour
100g icing sugar (choose one with cornstarch added)
31g egg whites

Swiss meringue
55g caster sugar
15g icing sugar
46g egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp fine salt (optional)

Please refer to this post for the detailed steps for Swiss method.

You may refer to this post for video tutorial on how to pipe hemispheres. You need a silicone mould with hemispheres to create the shells.

Piped bee and ladybug

Piped spider shells

I used white confetti sprinkles to create the eyes but used royal icing to add a small dot in the middle and an even smaller dot of white for the eye highlights. I used royal icing transfers for making the wings of the bees. The spider legs were made out of modelling chocolate. You may refer to this post for the details. Do note that ratio of chocolate and corn syrup may be varied according to your work environment. I live in a hot and humid climate so I use a higher chocolate to corn syrup ratio.

When you have a box of critters staring back at you like this, you can't help but smile 😊

I filled the bugs with strawberry white chocolate buttercream and homemade strawberry jam/compote. You may refer to this post for detailed recipe of both the buttercream and jam. The jam is really tart as it is meant as filling for sweet macaron shells.

Line the insides of the hemisphere with buttercream, add a dollop of jam, and then top off with more buttercream seal the jam

I hope these bugs put a smile on your face as it did mine!

With love,
Phay Shing

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