These adorable little heart-shaped strawberry macarons are infused with strawberry flavour in every layer (no artificial flavouring)! So good, you wouldn’t want to share!
For Macaron Shells:
½ cup (10gr) freeze-dried sliced strawberries (yields about 3 tablespoons of powdered strawberries) • 1 cup (100gr) almond flour •
¾ cup (100gr) powdered sugar • 2 large egg whites (about 70gr) •
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar •
¼ cup (50gr) sugar •
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• Red gel food colouring
• 3 tablespoons (40gr) unsalted butter, softened •
¾ cup (100gr) powdered sugar • 2 teaspoons heavy (whipping) cream • 1 tablespoon strawberry jam, plus additional 2 - 3 tablespoons for the filling
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• Place the freeze-dried strawberries between two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, crush the strawberries into a fine powder. (Alternatively, you can use pestle and mortar, or coffee grinder).
• In a medium bowl, sift together almond flour, powdered sugar, and powdered strawberries twice. Set aside.
• In a large mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat. Slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until hard peaks form. Add vanilla extract and red food colouring. Beat on medium speed for one more minute.
• Sift the almond flour mixture over the whipped egg whites. Gently fold the mixture, running the spatula clockwise from the bottom, up around the sides and cut the batter in half. The batter will look very thick at first, but it will become thinner as you fold. Be careful not to over-mix it though. Every so often, test the batter to see if it has reached the correct consistency. To test the batter, drop a small amount of the batter and count to ten. If the edges of the ribbon are dissolved within about ten seconds, then the batter is ready. I repeat: do NOT mix again. If you still see edges, fold the batter a couple more times and test again. This step is so crucial, so please make sure to test often to ensure not over-mixing the batter.
• Transfer the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip.
• Place the template with hearts under the parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pipe the batter as if you’re drawing two hooks facing each other, tracing the template. You’ll get about 58 single shells on two baking sheets.
• Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. If you don’t release the air bubbles, they will expand during baking and crack the beautiful macaron shells.
• Let the macarons rest and dry for 15 - 30 minutes. On a humid day, it might take an hour or so. To see if it’s ready to be baked, lightly touch it. If the batter doesn’t stick to your finger, then it’s ready.
• Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
• Bake the macarons for 18 - 20 minutes. To check the doneness, remove one macaron. If the bottom does not stick, they are done.
• Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Then carefully remove from the baking sheets.
• While macarons are drying, prepare the strawberry buttercream. In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, strawberry jam, vanilla extract and salt and beat until well combined.
• Transfer the buttercream into a pastry bag and fill the macarons, leaving a small hole in the middle. Using a small spoon, drop a small amount of strawberry jam into the hole. Cover with the other shell, and done!
• It’s best to serve the macarons the next day.
• Store the filled macarons in an airtight container inside the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the filled macarons in an airtight container for up to 5 months.
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