Monday, December 9, 2013

Thanksgiving Macarons

Pumpkin macarons - finished product

Every couple of months I forget how painstakingly long and arduous the task of making macarons is and I am consumed by an overwhelming urge to make a couple hundred of them. Indecision leads to choosing multiple filling flavors, and why would I make half batches of ganache when I can make a double batch of shells, right? I mean, I'm already piping these things until my arms fall off, might as well make a supply that lasts through the holiday party season.

Cranberry macarons - finished product

In honor of the holiday party season, I chose the the quintessential ingredients of November - cranberry and pumpkin. I was talked out of attempting savory turkey and gravy macarons. Maybe next time.

Oodles of shells

I used Pierre Herme's recipe for the shells. They use an italian meringue, meaning a sugar syrup is heated to the thread stage and beaten into egg whites. I highly recommend his book Macarons, as his shells seem to come out perfectly, the fillings are creative and delicious, and the photos are inspiring (sometimes too inspiring - I'm addicted).

Filling the pumpkin macarons

The grinding, sifting beating, folding, piping, resting, baking, filling, and assembling process probably took me most of a day with some breaks for food and water now and then.

Cranberry Ganache

Cranberry Filling
8 ozWhipping cream
  1. Mix sugar and cream in a saucepan.
8 ozWhite sugar1
12 ozRaw cranberries
  1. Add the cranberries to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. Cook cranberries until most of them have popped.
  3. Puree the cranberries with a stick blender until smooth.
6 ozWhite chocolate, cut into small pieces
  1. If the white chocolate is in small enough chunks, strain puree directly onto the white chocolate and stir the mixture vigorously until all of the white chocolate has melted. The cranberry mixture may take a long time to strain, due to its viscosity, so it may be safer to return the strained puree to a boil before pouring onto the chocolate.
  2. Lay plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ganache to prevent a thin film from developing on the top. Place ganache in the fridge until thickened.

Pumpkin Ganache

Pumpkin Ganache
80 gWhite sugar
  1. Mix the cornstarch and sugar together in a bowl.
16 gCornstarch
180 gWhipping cream
  1. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Mix the cream into the sugar and cornstarch mixture little by little to temper the cream.
  3. Return the sugar cream mixture to the pan and bring to a boil.
6 tbspPumpkin puree
  1. Add the pumpkin puree, allspice, cinnamon and ginger and mix well.
2 tspGround allspice
2 tspGround cinnamon
a pinchGinger powder
90 gWhite chocolate
  1. Pour the liquid over the white chocolate and whisk until smooth.
100 gUnsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  1. Let the ganache cool to 40°F and mix in the butter.
  2. Lay plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ganache to prevent a thin film from developing on the top. Place ganache in the fridge until thickened.

  1. If I did this again, I'd use way less sugar as the bitterness of the cranberries was completely lost 

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