Aloha Macarons filled with Lilikoi (Passionfruit) Buttercream - Macaron Mashup Challenge
I put the challenge out there to challenge ourselves to bake more macarons at home. The first theme for end of April for the "Macaron Mashup" was Spring Fling. This past one was Aloha Macarons. We visited Hawaii (our first time there!) end of March and loved everything about it! I decided to make a macaron shell that captured the beautiful sunsets that we were treated to every night with a Hawaiian flavour for the macaron filling.
Here is sunset photo taken near the Mauna Kea Observatory. We were doubtful that we would see anything at night given the fact that it would nearly be a full moon that evening. While the moon is pretty, it outshines anything else in the night sky making it hard to see the stars. However, as we drove up past the cloud line, we were rewarded with this cotton-candy pink sky that seemed to have a cushion of fluffy white clouds. It was beautiful and made the drive worth it.
Aloha Macaron Shell Recipe
Ingredients for Aloha Macaron Shells
- Make your own berry sugar by processing regular sugar in the processor until the sugar crystals are super fine.
- Keep almond meal in the fridge when you are not using it. A few hours before baking, take the almond meal out and let it come to room temperature.
- Egg whites need to be aged for 2 days in an airtight container. Keep the egg yolks in the fridge for the buttercream.
- Pre-measure all ingredients before starting.
- Kitchen tools needed: a kitchen scale, a food processor will be helpful to grind the almond meal and icing sugar together, a sifter, spatula, hand blender or stand-up blender, piping bag and tip, silicon mats or parchment paper and heavy duty baking sheets.
Directions for Making Aloha Macarons
- Measure all ingredients.
- Set up the piping bag for the macarons with the piping tip (I use a Wilton 2A or Ateco 804 piping tip).
- Line baking sheets with silicon mats or parchment paper.
- Process the almond meal and icing sugar in a food processor until it is well mixed together. Use a spoon to occasionally move the ingredients around before processing again.
- Sift the icing sugar-almond meal mixture through a sifter to ensure there are no clumps. Place a bowl underneath.
- Measure out 100g of egg whites and place in the bowl of the stand-up mixer with the whisk attachment.
- Slowly whisk at low speed until little bubbles form. Once the bubbles form, add in the mixture of berry sugar and albumen. Then turn the mixer to medium speed (e.g. 4 on the Kitchen Aid).
- Continue to whisk the egg whites until "soft peaks" form. To check, stop and tilt the head of the Kitchen Aid back or stop and lift the tip of the whisk into the mixture to see if a small "bird's peak forms". If you see a peak form, then you are done whisking the egg whites. If it looks drippy/wet as you lift up, keep whisking until the "soft peaks" form.
- Slowly incorporate the almond meal sugar mixture by sifting 2 tablespoons at a time into the meringue. Mix in a clockwise direction. This step is probably one of the most crucial steps in making macarons - also known as the macaronage process.
- Mixing in a clockwise direction do the following while sifting 2 tablespoons of the almond meal-sugar mixture into the whipped egg whites.
1st part= 16 turns
2nd part = 11 turns
3rd part = 14 turns
4th part = 11 turns
5th part = 11 turns
6th part = 23 turns.
- Split the batter into two equal parts (225g each). Colour one batter pink and the other one teal (2 drops in each).
- Mix each macaron batter a few more times by scooping through it with the spatula (use different spatulas for each batter). Once the macaron batter feels and looks like magma (flows slowly) you are ready to combine the two batters together into one bowl.
- In a wider bowl, gently scoop one of the batters to the side. Then slowly pour the other batter into the bowl. It should look like this:
- Transfer the macaron batter into a prepared piping bag.
- Pipe out small circles. Hold the piping bag vertically. Pipe straight down and then do a quick circular movement to the right to finish piping one shell. I pipe across the length of the tray with 18-20 macaron shells per tray. How many shells you pipe on a tray will depend on how big you make each shell. Before piping the next sheet, firmly rap the tray on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles inside the shells. This is called "tamping". Use a toothpick to gently poke any bubbles.
- Let macarons sit for at least 60 minutes until a skin forms and is dry to the touch (this is an important step).
- Continue to pipe the rest of the trays. I usually am able to pipe 3 full trays of macarons with 18-20 macarons on each one and a few on the 4th tray. 5 shells on the first row, then 4, then 5, then 4.
- Preheat the oven to 280-290F. Allow the oven to come to the correct temperature. This may take 30 minutes. Using an oven thermometer will be helpful. Depending on your oven you may be baking anywhere from 280F to 290F. Bake each tray one at a time for 19-20 minutes. Take the macarons out of oven and allow the shells to cool on their tray before you gently peel them off. Lift under the mat and then push up to gently release each macaron shell.
- At this point you can choose to place the macaron shells in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. You can fill the macarons with buttercream another day. Otherwise, continue on with matching shells together in order to fill them with the buttercream.
Ingredients for Lilikoi (Passionfruit) Buttercream
- 80g berry sugar/superfine sugar
- 25g water
- 1 whole egg (~60g)
- 1 egg yolk
- 160g soft unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
- 2 tsp freeze dried passionfruit powder
Directions for Lilikoi (Passionfruit) Buttercream
- Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small pot. Heat the sugar to 250F(120C) using a candy thermometer. If it boils, clean the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush. Try not to mix the solution, but allow the sugar solution to heat on its own.
- In another bowl or the bowl of your stand up mixer whisk the eggs and egg yolks until it lightens in colour.
- Once the hot sugar mixture reaches 250F slow down the whisking speed of the eggs, and immediately pour the hot sugar mixture into the egg mixture (do this part quickly). Increase to a higher whisking speed (8 on my KitchenAid). Continue whisking until the mixture has cooled down completely (approximately 15 minutes). It will look glossy, white and meringue like.
- Keep whisking the meringue until it has cooled (10-15 minutes). Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk the butter until it has thickened. It will lighten a bit in colour. Once the meringue has cooled (temperature drops down to 50F), slowly add in the whisked butter a tablespoon at a time. Continue whisking until the buttercream is smooth.
- Add in the 2tsp of freeze dried passionfruit powder.
- Once the passionfruit powder has incorporated into the butter mixture, smooth out the buttercream with a few turns of the spatula. Then transfer the Lilikoi (Passionfruit) buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a tip.
- Set up your macaron shells so that each shell has a partner shell that matches it in size. Pipe a small mound of buttercream into the middle of each bottom shell.
- Assemble the macarons by placing the tops on the macaron and gently push together until the buttercream mound flattens. Store the macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days. 2 hours before serving, bring them out of the fridge as they are best enjoyed at room temperature.
I hope you enjoyed these Aloha Macarons that I created. While visiting Kona, I loved how we were able to get fresh Lilikoi (passionfruit) at the markets. I tried hard to capture the tart fruity flavour of the lilikoi in these macarons. As for the shells, I found it interesting how each of the shells turned out differently depending on how the batters swirled together.
If you haven't already, read more about the new initiative I have about the "Macaron Mashup" or head over to my Macaron Recipe List for more Macaron ideas and recipes. Feel free to participate anytime with our Macaron Mashup adventures and to contribute Macaron themes; just comment below! I will post the round-up for these Aloha Macarons as my next post! Check back shortly.
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