Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Strawberry shortcake macarons

In my 30+ years of life, I honestly don't think I've ever eaten a strawberry shortcake. I find that a bit odd since Strawberry Shortcake was one of my favorite cartoon characters, and I even decorated my room with the Strawberry Shortcake curtains and bedspread. You think I'd be the strawberry shortcake queen by now and have 1,284,242 versions of the recipe. Nope.

When I found out that Driscoll's was having a strawberry shortcake recipe contest, I jumped at the opportunity. But rather than bake a classic strawberry shortcake (which I will hopefully make soon), I wanted to do something out of the box. Not surprisingly, I had some leftover egg whites in the refrigerator and decided to make strawberry shortcake macarons instead.

These macarons were light, crispy, and sweet. The crunchiness of the macaron shells nicely offset the plump, juiciness of the fresh strawberries. My husband really enjoyed these, and I did as well. This light dessert was definitely welcome during the hot days we've been experiencing here on the East Coast.

Thank you, Driscoll's, for giving me this opportunity, and fingers crossed that I win!

Strawberry shortcake macarons
Macaron shells
  • 1/3 cup + 4 teaspoons (50 g) powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup (30g) almond flour
  • Red powder food coloring, optional (I did not use)
  • 1 egg white (40 g)
  • 2 and 1/2 TBSP (30g) superfine (granulated) sugar
Filling
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1 TBSP sugar
    • Sliced Driscoll's strawberries
    Directions
    To make the macaron shells: Using a blender, finely blend the powdered sugar, almond flour and powdered food coloring. Use a sieve to sift out any large pieces of almond remaining and toss them out. Transfer the dry ingredients to a large bowl.

    In the bowl of a spotless stand mixer (or in a large clean bowl if using a handheld mixer), beat the egg white on high speed until it is frothy. Add in the granulated sugar and continue to beat on high speed until you reach stiff peaks. The egg white mixture should be very smooth and shiny.

    Turn off the mixer and slowly transfer the dry ingredients into the egg white mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients and use no more than 60 strokes. Your macaron shell mixture is ready once you lift your spatula and the mixture falls back onto itself like lava.

    Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a medium-sized round tip (if you don't have a piping bag, use a ziploc bag with the end snipped off).

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Gently squeeze out some batter from the piping bag onto the lined baking sheet in a vertical motion. Pipe until the batter forms a circle about 1/2" to 1" in diameter. Pipe the remaining circles on the sheet.

    Lift the baking pan up and rap on the counter several times to get the air bubbles out. Allow the tray to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

    Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Bake the macarons for 12 minutes and allow the shells to cool before removing from the baking pan.

    To make the filling: Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or, transfer to a large bowl if using a handheld mixer). Beat the heavy cream on high speed for 2-3 minutes until the cream is no longer liquidy. Add the 1 TBSP of sugar and continue to beat on high speed until you reach stiff peaks. Turn off the mixer and gently transfer to a piping bag with a round tip (or a zip top bag with a hole cut in a corner).

    Gently pipe the whipped cream onto the center of a macaron shell. Top with sliced strawberries and add another macaron shell on top. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

    Macarons should be stored in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator and will keep for a few days. They are best consumed the day the whipped cream is made.

    #Driscollsberry
    @strawshort

    Yield: About 12 filled macarons

    Source: An Eva Bakes original; macarons are from this post

    Disclaimer: Driscoll's provided me with coupons for their products, but the opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.

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