My friend requested for some macarons in the likeness of her daughter's favourite Anime characters: Levi and Nezuko!
In case you think that these aren't macarons, let me reveal the side view of these!
Just a note here for macaron bakers, don't fret if you don't get nice even feet all around for intricate shapes where some parts are rather thin. You need to have sufficient batter volume at each spot to get nice feet so this would be extremely challenging to achieve for fine parts. I would rather have nice defined shape of the macaron when viewed from the front but have a little uneven feet, than to have even feet all around but undefined shape from the front. And honestly, recipients care more about how macarons look from the front than to be concerned about whether the shells have feet all around. We bakers are human too so don't aim for perfection. It will kill the joy of baking😉. Seek to continue learning and improving your skills instead.
As anime characters tend to have a lot of details, some careful planning needs to be done. I try to use as few colours as possible for the base macaron batter to make the baking process more manageable. But it still turned out to be a whooping 10-colour batter bake!
Piped macaron batter
Choose colours that are easy to overlay with edible marker so that you can minimize the number of colours of batter. E. G. Lighter shade of grey can be painted over with darker grey, the light brown sleeves of Levi and the details of the eyes can be added in on white macaron shell. I used the Swiss meringue method recipe but modified it slightly. I transferred about 5g of unwhipped egg whites from the almond paste portion to the meringue portion. This is to produce an overall more stable batter but still smooth and not overly dry, as I know the figures will need a long time to pipe. Instead of colouring individual almond pastes and then adding in the meringue, I prepared a single batch of underfolded batter and then split into the various coloured portions to continue macaronaging. The reason for this is due to the small portions of each colour needed.
I added in the details on baked shells using edible marker, vodka and paint brush for all the colours except white where I used edible paint made by mixing white gel colouring with a little vodka. I didn't use royal icing at all as the features are too fine to work with icing as the medium.
All the stuff needed for edible marker work!
I have edible markers from Rainbow Dust and Americolor. I like Rainbow Dust as their edible markers have a super fine tip on one end and a thicker tip on the other. I like Americolor set for the range of colors in the pack although the tips are thicker and harder to control if you are using directly for fine work.
Where does the paper cupcake case come in then? You may use parchment paper if you wish but since I have these around and they don't require cutting, I might as well use it. I use the paper case as my palette for mixing colours. Sometimes I need a duller or browner hue I mix black or brown with say green to get the shade. I colour small patches of brown/black and green with marker adjacent to each other, then use the brush with a little vodka to mix the colours and apply it to the macaron shell. This method is a lot faster and uses less dishes compared to making edible paint for every single colour you need. I hand painted the popcorn that the cow was holding in my recent Star Wars macaron creation too.
I use the brush with some vodka to "erase" or lighten any shades too. For erasing, brush affected area with a little vodka and quickly dab with paper towel and repeat as necessary. This is how I create some eye shadow effect too except I don't use paper towel.
As-baked shell and fully painted/drawn shell for Levi
Dark chocolate ganache was requested for the filling flavour.
I may do up a Youtube video for this edible marker technique since some have expressed interest for it but probably not so soon as I still have another choux pastry video to edit! Still really busy with classes, requests and life in general.