This batch of raspberry macarons surprised me. They didn't behave the way I thought they would...
I've read so many times in various books that fruit juice can only be incorporated into macaron shells if in powdered form. I once decided to try making the syrup with apple juice rather than water. My batch was a flop ... cakey type shells that were very very cracked and distorted. I only ever had that one go to incorporate fruit juice and then gave up.
More recently, I actually found fruit juice powder (freeze dried raspberry, mango and pomegranate) and thought I'd have a go incorporating it into macaron shells.
Well..... I used a 1/4 cup / 60ml dry measure of the raspberry powder and incorporated this into my macaronage. The mixture had a lovely pale pink hue. I guessed if I baked it at a lower temperature than normal, I should be able to preserve the beautiful pale pink colour without the need for food colouring.
I GUESSED WRONG.
On opening the oven door, all I could do was STARE. The shiny smooth shells in front of me were not at all as I had imaged .... They'd turned out a caramel / toffee colour !!!
Had I baked chocolate macarons or toffee .... or coffee - I'd have been as happy as a pig in mud BUT raspberry macarons just don't look right that colour !
Don't get me wrong, they smelled like raspberry and tasted like raspberry, they just didn't look raspberry. My attempts at salvation were in decoration. A (new) artists brush dipped in a little gel paste colouring with a couple of drops of alcohol allowed me to brush a pretty pattern on the tops and I filled the centres with some buttercream with added powdered raspberry juice. I don't know. They tasted good - but the macaron purist in me says they still aren't raspberry. I'll let you decide. The recipe is below.
200g ground almonds
200g icing sugar
2 x 90g egg whites
60g raspberry juice powder
200g caster sugar
Blitz the ground almonds and icing sugar together until a very fine power.
Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, raspberry powder and one lot of egg whites in a bowl. Mix to combine.
Boil the caster sugar and water until a temperature of 110deg C is reached. At this point, start whipping the whites to stiff peak. At 118deg C, remove the syrup from the heat. Slowly add it to the second batch of egg whites whilst beating at high speed.
When cooled, add to the sugar / almond / raspberry juice paste mix and fold in.
Pipe on to a Revolutionary Double Sided Macaron Mat. This volume did 50 of the large shells (25 large 2" / 50mm ) macarons and about 20 or so on the small side. Bake at 160deg C with the door open for 5 minutes, then a further 20mins with the door closed.
Wait until fully cooled before removing from mat. Fill with normal buttercream, with raspberry juice powder added to taste.
For full instructions on making macarons, see my YOUTUBE TUTORIAL
These photos were simply taken on a mirror in the garden, so the blue background is the sky.
Sarah-Jane Nash., June 2010 - www.siliconemoulds.com