Yield - 24 assembled 1.5 inch macarons
Freeze dried raspberries infuse so much flavor and a pretty color into these macarons. These macarons were made with the Swiss meringue method. This method is now my preferred way of making macarons. It yields consistent results with every batch because Swiss meringue is more much more stable than French meringue. Besides, I am a fan of the delicately domed macarons it yields. The all natural flavored and colored versions of my macarons are my favorite. I used dried powdered natural ingredients to infuse color and flavor. You can check out my other all-natural macarons like my matcha macarons here.
For the raspberry shells:
3/4 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon powdered freeze-dried raspberries (finely ground with food processor and served to remove seeds)
For the raspberry buttercream filling:
1/2 cup salted butter
1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons powdered freeze-dried raspberries (finely ground with food processor and served to remove seeds)
1. Lay parchment paper on baking sheets. You will need 2 baking sheets. Have a macaron template under the parchment paper (you can slide it around as needed when you start piping later).
2. In a food processor, grind confectioners’ sugar, raspberry powder, and almond flour to mix it up and make it a fine texture. Next sieve through a fine sieve (make sure you use a fine sieve). You may have 2 tablespoons of coarse almond flour that doesn’t pass through the sieve. It is okay to toss this.
3. Prepare a water bath where you will begin making your meringue. Heat some water in a saucepan until it is just about to boil.
4. Place egg whites and granulated sugar in your mixing bowl and place this over your water bath from step #3. Immediately begin whisking this to dissolve the sugar. I use an electric hand mixer on low speed but you can also just use a whisk.
Note: To make your water bath, use a saucepan that your mixing bowl will fit in. The trick here is to use a setup in which the mixing bowl does not touch the hot water in the saucepan but the steam from the water heats the bowl. To achieve this, I use a rimmed saucepan that suspends my mixing bowl.
5. Continue to mix until all the sugar is dissolved. This is the trick for Swiss meringue. You have to let the sugar completely dissolve. You can test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers to ensure a smooth texture.
6. Once the egg white-sugar mixture is ready, take your mixing bowl off the water bath. At this point, you will want to start whipping up your meringue under high speed with your hand mixer or stand mixer. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Using a hand mixer, this takes 12-15 minutes. Stop whipping once stiff peaks form.
7. Using a spatula, fold in the sieved almond flour mixture from step #2. Do not whisk anything from this stage on. Handle the meringue with care. Fold it in 2 to 3 additions. Be careful not to over handle this mixture. Carefully continue combining by folding, always sliding the spatula to the bottom of the bowl and back up to make sure no pockets of dry ingredients remain. Fold till you have the correct consistency.
Note: The correct consistency is like molten larva. When you raise your spatula, the macaron mixture should trickle down like a ribbon and the ribbon lines slowly fade into the mixture in the bowl within 8-10 seconds.
8. Prepare a pastry bag with the 1/2 inch round piping tip. Carefully transfer the macaron mixture to the pastry bag.
9. Pipe the macaron mixture on the baking sheets. Hit tray on the counter for a few times to let out bubbles. Then let them rest for at least 20-40 mins, could be longer if humidity is high.
10. Preheat the oven to 295 degrees Fahrenheit.
11. Test if the macarons are ready to bake: lightly touching the macaron mixture, a light coating should have developed and it should not stick to your finger.
12. Bake for about 14 minutes at 295 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake only one tray of macaron at a time. The macarons are ready when they lift off the parchment paper easily.
13. Let them cool on the sheet for 5-10 minutes then transfer the parchment paper and macarons to a cooling rack.
14. Make the buttercream filling by whipping the butter for a few minutes. Then add the powdered sugar, raspberry powder, milk, and vanilla extract.
15. Add your filling and assemble macarons after they have cooled to room temperature. It is best to pipe your filling with 1/2 inch round tip, making a dollop on the under-surface of a macaron and sandwiching with another one of comparable size.
The perfect macaron has a smooth shiny finish, like an eggshell. It cracks when you take a bite. It has beautiful airy feet and is chewy on the inside. It is like a piece of heaven in your mouth.