Mango Berry Macarons
Today’s guest post comes from Susan of She’s Becoming DoughMesstic. Susan found her love of food while working as executive sales & catering director for Mountain Lake Hotel, the home of Dirty Dancing. From there, she got the travel bug and has dined in restaurants around the globe, from Bangkok to Paris, Cairo to London and even Kenya! You can find her blogging these days at www.DoughMessTic.com, where she shares recipes, ideas and product reviews. You can follow Susan on Twitter @doughmesstic and become a fan on Facebook.
Recipe, text and photos from Susan.
Spring is upon us. Pretty soon, slow roasts and pot pies will give way to fresh greens and lemon pies…and I for one am ready. When Michelle asked for Guest Posts, I knew just what I was going to make – Macarons. Not just any old macaron, though, I wanted something that oozed springtime. And thus, Mango Berry Macarons are what I deliver.
For those of you not familiar with the macaron, well, you should be. Macarons are being touted as one of the contestants to take over the cupcake, should the cupcake actually be taken over. Which I doubt…but even still, the macaron has its place in the baking line up. For one, they are unlike any other cookie. Lite and chewy and terribly delicate, they melt in your mouth and it’s love at first bite. Though making them has a reputation for being fussy and problematic, I find that stepping up and tackling the cookie with oomph versus trepidation is about all it takes to be successful. That, partnered with a few simple tricks and tips and you’ll be on your way to fingerfuls of petite French deliciousness. Give them a shot – I think you’ll surprise yourself!
Mango Berry Macarons
For the Macarons:
2 ounces almonds
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon dried mango, ground in a food processor
2 egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon mango extract
¼ teaspoon raspberry or strawberry extract
1 tablespoon meringue powder
Orange and pink food coloring gels (a very small bit)
For the White Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling:
¾ cup white chocolate chips
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/4 to 1/2-inch) ready.
2. Grind together the confectioners' sugar, ground dried mango, and almonds in a food processor until finely chopped.
3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, add in the granulated sugar a little at a time, until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes. If you can turn the bowl upside down and the meringue stays put, you've got it.
4. Carefully fold half of the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. Add your food coloring, meringue powder and extracts. Stir quickly and gently, then add remaining dry ingredients. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you're alone).
5. Pipe the batter on the prepared baking sheets in 1-inch circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch or more (3 cm) apart. Rap the baking sheet a few times on the counter to flatten the macarons. Place an empty baking sheet on the lower oven rack, then place the macarons in the upper third of the oven.
6. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet. Macarons that are not being baked (waiting their turn on the counter) are fine, and can be left out unbaked at least 30 minutes or more.
7. To make the White Chocolate Cream Cheese filling, heat the white chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 second intervals until smooth. Stir and add in softened cream cheese. Stir until smooth, then add in extract. If the mixture seizes, place it in the microwave for 15 seconds and stir again. Spread or pipe onto the bottom of half of the cooled macarons. (If filling is too loose, place in refrigerator for a few minutes until it is a spreadable consistency.) Top with the remaining macarons.
8. Store filled macarons in refrigerator in an airtight container.