I must be a masochist. I’ve only made macarons a few times now, but I always seem to make them in the summer, during the height of humidity. And this particular summer has been more humid (and much warmer) than any I can recall. In fact, did you know that in the US, June 2010 was the hottest on record? Thanks, global warming!
And yet, I decided to make macarons, simply because I wanted to do a raspberry-cream cheese frosting combination. What can I say? It sounded good, and well, summery.
What I like best about this flavor combination is that I can only eat one at a time. I love the frosting, I love the raspberry punch that these macarons have…but after one macaron, I’m satisfied. Built-in portion control is always a good thing.
This time, I played around a bit with recipes I’ve tried before. I tried to pick the least humid day to make these, which resulted in egg whites that were super-aged because I had to wait an extra couple of days to make these, and even then, my kitchen felt like it was located in a tropical rainforest. So I added a little extra sugar and a little cream of tartar, just to give the batter a little more stability.
I can’t say if those steps helped at all, since I didn’t make a “control” batch, but the macarons did turn out the way they were supposed to. My mom pronounced them “delicious,” and that was several days later.
One little recipe note that I found interesting: for the first time, I used a silpat for one sheet and parchment for another. The color of the macarons was much more vibrant when I used the silpat, but I liked the texture better for the macarons that were baked on parchment. In the past, I’d only used a silpat for macarons, so I was not prepared for these results!
90 grams room temperature egg whites, aged 7 days in the fridge
30 grams granulated sugar
1/16 teaspoon cream of tartar
205 grams confectioners’ sugar
110 grams almond flour
8 grams raspberry powder*
2 drops red paste food coloring
Sift confectioners’ sugar, almond flour, and raspberry powder (I used a sieve for the sifting).
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites to a foam and start gradually adding granulated sugar and cream of tartar, until glossy. Add food coloring and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overwhip.
Add almond mixture to the meringue; fold with a spatula until the batter falls back on itself in a ribbon. Be careful not to overfold (to be safe, pipe a small disk onto a plate; if a small peak remains, give the meringue another couple of folds and test again; if the top flattens on its own, you’re good to go – it’s always best to do this test just before you think the batter is ready).
Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
Fit a pastry bag with a round tip (Adecco #807 or 809) and fill with the batter. Pipe 1 inch rounds onto baking sheets. If desired, top macarons with raspberry seeds that didn’t fit through the sieve. Let stand at room temperature for an hour.
Heat oven to 350*F. Reduce temperature to 300* and bake for 8 minutes, then rotate pan and bake for another 6 minutes. Cool completely. Pipe frosting on the flat side of one macaron and top with a similar-sized macaron. Enjoy!
*Whirl freeze dried raspberries through a spice grinder or small food processor
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese**
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter**
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
**Remove cream cheese and butter from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to making frosting.
With an electric mixer (use paddle attachment with a stand mixer), beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth; add butter and beat until blended. Turn mixer to low and slowly add powdered sugar and salt; blend until smooth. Add vanilla and mix in. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy. You may need to refrigerate the frosting for about 30 minutes before piping.