Whether you are getting ready for Valentines Day or you desire a fancy chic dessert, these macarons will wow and impress. Not only are they stunning, but they are filled with a homemade whipped white chocolate ganache and a fresh strawberry coulis.
I love making macarons. I really make them anytime we have a party, holiday, it's raining and we have no plans... Seriously though, if we are invited over to a friend's house for dinner and they say we can't bring anything, I always come with a batch of my speciality macarons.
My kids have become so accustomed to me making macarons they pop them into their mouths like gummy bears. I love it! You might say they are spoiled, but I love watching their little eyes light up. As soon as they hear me banging my baking trays onto the kitchen island they run down the stairs screaming MACARONS! YES!
If you are brand new to making macarons I recommend you first read through my 'How To Make Perfect Macarons' post just to see all the technical aspects. I do my best to give you detailed steps like time and speed for how long you need to whip your egg whites and how to fold your macaronage.
I want to spend time today talking about these amazing fillings. Not only are these fillings flavorful and fresh but they can also be used for cupcakes and cakes. So definitely double the recipe if you want to use it in the near future!
And do you want to know a secret?
The flavors of macarons rarely come from the actual shell. Shells are almost always made exactly the same and with the same ingredients:
Then if you want, you can add gel food coloring to give it a pop of color. Or you can add any special spices like cinnamon or instant espresso. The true flavor comes from the filling(s).
Let's talk about the food color. You MUST use a gel food color. You only need about 1-2 tsp depending on how rich of a color you want.
Making sure you fold you macaronage correctly is just as important as how you whip up your egg whites.
Then it is time to pipe! I love piping macarons. I love the focus and attention to detail it takes. Definitely only do this step if you have a good 5 minutes of uninterrupted time.
Can we just take a second to admire how smooth and shiny these freshly piped macarons are???
After 40ish minutes of resting and 15 minutes of baking they came out beautifully with perfect feet. If you are new to macarons, the term 'feet' refers to the little bubbly part at the bottom. I prefer tall straight feet as opposed to the bubbly-out kind that you sometimes see. Both are considered correct, but I have a favorite.
Let's talk about our whipped white chocolate ganache. It is so easy to make, but does take time. Make sure to have at least 2ish hours. I like to make my shells one day and then do the ganache the next day. You can do both at the same time, but with work and kids I like to divide my tasks.
Here are your ingredients
I pictured two different kinds of heavy whipping cream. Either is fine. In Germany there are two kinds and they are interchangable. Schlagsahne and Schlagrahm. The important factor is to make sure you are buying a whipping cream that has a fat content of at least 30%.
Then you have white baking chocolate. Each block cost me 0.99€. Yep less than 1 Euro! That is $1.14 US Dollars.
Step 1: Chop up your white chocolate.
Step 2: Heat up your cream to an almost boil and then pour it directly on top of chocolate. Do not stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Stir with a wooden spoon and reheat at 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval until it is smooth.
So smooth and creamy!
But it isn't really white. White chocolate is actually more of a cream or off white color. I like to add a little bit of white food coloring to ensure a rich white color.
Now you have to let the ganache sit and thicken. You can place the bowl in the refrigerator to speed up the process. Check on the ganache every 20 minutes and stir. It will thicken in about 45-70 minutes.
If you want to decorate the tops of your macarons with this white chocolate ganache then take about 3 heaping spoonfuls and place it in another dish. Set it to the side until ready to decorate. It will thicken up but that is no problem.
Here is the consistency that you want.
Once you have achieved this then spoon it all into your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn the speed to 10 (the highest) and let it whip up your ganache for about 1-2 minutes.
When you beat a very thick ganache on high speed it whips air into it, creating a thicker more stable substance that is perfect for piping or spreading onto a cake.
For these macarons you need to create a ring around the edges that acts as a dam or barricade. Whenever you put some sort of fresh fruit coulis or jam you want to make sure that it doesn't ooze out.
Now we have to make our coulis. Actually I made the coulis once the ganache was thickening. Coulis also needs time to set. I recommend making your couli 1-3 days ahead of time. You can also make it way in advance and freeze it. Just take it out of your freezer a day before you want to use it and place it in your refrigerator to defrost.
A fresh fruit coulis is SO EASY!!!
You need strawberries, some lemon zest and fresh squeezed lemon juice, sugar and water. Dump it all in a saucepan. Stir. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until it is thick. Stir every so often and smash the strawberries with the back of a wooden spoon.
Put it all in a strainer and just save the smooth liquid.
Place the bowl, uncovered, in the freezer for about 45 minutes to thicken. If you are making this coulis a day or so ahead of time just place all of the liquid (cooled to room temperature) in a mason jar or an airtight container and place directly in the refrigerator.
You want a coulis that is as thick or even thicker than this.
Then spoon it directly into the perfect little carved out space in your macaron letting the whipped ganache be your barricade.
If you have any extras like me, then keep it for your next batch.
Now remember how I said you can decorate the tops of your macarons with the white ganache? Well on your kitchen counter should be a seperate small dish with a few spoonfuls of the ganache that you did not whip. Place that in the microwave for about 7-8 seconds to loosen it up. Stir with a wooden spoon and then fill a piping bag with a very small opening. Alternatively, you can cut the tip off the piping bag and not use the metal nozzle at all. Now you will not need a lot. A little goes a long way!
Now place your macarons onto a tray. It is going to get messy.
That's it. Feel free to decorate with sprinkles to make these macarons even more festive!
I sent a picture of these macarons to my husband while he was still at work. The second he came home, there was no hi. No how was your day. He stood there with puppy dog eyes, and a grin on his face asking for one of these macarons. It was adorable. I love him so much... especially when he offers to clean up my mess after all this work.