Strawberry Macarons

Strawberry Macarons8

Admittedly, I wasn’t planning on making strawberry macarons.  I wanted to make blueberry ones, as the colour of them is so vibrant and gorgeous!  However, I already had strawberries in the house and I needed to use them for something (I could have just eaten them as is, but where’s the fun in that?).  So, after a trip to Tesco for some more eggs (and I found some freeze-dried strawberries, so bought them, too!), I made these beauties.

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I know I say this a lot, but these taste delicious.  Mixing some of the freeze-dried strawberries into the shells gives them an extra boost of flavour – but I’m still trying to work on getting them smoother on top!

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Recipe (yields roughly 20 macaron):
For the shells:
– 
128g icing sugar
– 90g ground almonds
– 15g freeze-dried strawberries
– 2 egg whites
– 50g granulated or caster sugar (I haven’t noticed any difference if I swap between them)

For the filling:
– 85g icing sugar
– 65g ground almonds
– 45g powdered milk
– 55g unsalted butter, metled
– 26g freeze-dried strawberries
– 65g fresh strawberries
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– Pinch of salt
– Red gel food colouring (if you want it really vibrant)
– 1-2 tsp milk

Method:
Blitz the icing sugar, ground almonds and freeze-dried strawberries in a blender until smooth.  Sieve into a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk the 2 egg white until foamy.  Add half of the granulated/caster sugar and mix for another minute, or so, before adding the rest of the sugar.  Whisk to soft peaks and add your food colouring (preferably gel colouring, as it doesn’t change the texture of the macarons).  Whisk to stiff peaks.

Fold half of the almond mixture into your eggs, taking care not to remove any of the whisked-in air.  Fold in the rest of the almond mixture.  Fold the macaron mixture a few more times, until it falls off of the spatula like a ribbon (I just remembered I was going to take a video of that part just now!  Whoops!).

Pipe your mixture into a piping bag, fitted with a round tip and pipe out circles roughly 4cm in diameter, spacing them roughly 2cm apart to stop them from running into one another.  Leave to form a skin (sitting them in front of a fan helps!).

Set your oven to 150C.  Bake for ten minutes, turn the tray, and bake for a further 5 minutes.  Remove the macarons from the oven, run a tiny amount of cold water under the greaseproof paper, and leave the macarons for a couple of minutes, before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I usually make the filling while I’m waiting for the macarons to form a skin.  To make the filling, blitz your fresh strawberries in a blender until they’re basically goo.  Spoon into a bowl, as you’ll need the blender again.

Mix the melted butter, icing sugar, ground almonds, powdered milk, freeze-dried fruit, vaniilla extract and salt in your blender until smooth.  Blend in half of the strawberry goo and blitz until smooth.  Mix in the other half.  If needed, add a couple of teaspoons of milk to make the filling easier to pipe.  Add food colouring, if using.

Spoon into a piping bag and pipe onto half of the macaron shells, topping with the other half of the shells.  Enjoy!

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Strawberry Macarons
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