Wedding season is almost upon us! Which means, Bachelor-ettes and Bridal Showers! Speaking of which, my friend Meaghan has a friend getting married and she is helping host a Bridal Shower Tea Party! What better to serve at a Bridal Shower Tea Party (other than tea) than Salted Caramel Macarons and Vanilla Macarons?!
One day about a month ago, after a hot yoga class, at the cafe grabbing some water and tea, she said she had official business to discuss, and asked if I wouldn’t mind making some macarons for the Bridal Shower Tea Party. Of course I wouldn’t mind! It gives me another excuse to try my hand at perfecting this delicate recipe, especially if she came over to help, she is my macaron sidekick after all! (See Oreo Macarons)
I made two different sizes for the party. Regular size and then I also piped a smaller, perfect one-biter. 🙂
This was a new way of making buttercream for me. I’ve never used yolks before, but it made it way creamier with a richer texture. The website, Hint of Vanilla, that I found the buttercream recipe on, says it’s a French Buttercream. I believe the yolks is one of the distinct ingredients of a French buttercream. Either way, I’m not complaining. It was delicious!
If you pipe the macarons smaller, it turns out that you get a lot more cookies! Duh! Way better option for a party like setting, more people can have them, or have more than one.
They are getting ready for party time in their fancy carrying box!
PREP TIME: 1-1.5 HOURS COOK TIME: 25 MINUTES COOL TIME: 1 HOUR
0.110kg almond meal or almond flour
0.225kg icing sugar
0.120kg aged* egg whites
0.050kg regular sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 tsp brown gel food colouring
1/2 vanilla bean
FRENCH VANILLA BUTTERCREAM:
38 g granulated sugar
38 g granulated sugar
63 g egg yolks
75 g whole milk
250 g unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, at room temperature
1/2 vanilla bean
In a food processor, grind together the almond flour and icing sugar.
Using a metal sieve, sift almond mixture into a medium bowl. If there are still a lot of bits that will not go through the sieve, you can re-grind in the food processor.
In another medium bowl, whisk aged (*when the egg whites have come to room temperature and rest for a few more hours after that) egg whites by hand as not to over whip into medium peaks. Add cream of tartar and sugar a little bit at a time. Whisking until medium to stiff peaks form on the whisk when lifted.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the almond mixture. Once folded, scrape the batter against the side of the bowl until shiny. This is called “macaroner“. You will know when to stop when you lift the spatula and the ribbons of batter hold their shape when they fall onto each other for 15-20 seconds. Fold in the scrapings of 1/2 the vanilla bean seeds.
Place batter into a piping bag with a big round tip (#12). On parchment or silpat lined baking sheets, pipe out 1 inch circles and tap the baking sheet on the counter to release any air bubbles from the batter. Let rest for minimum of an hour up to 3 hours in the summer, and 30 mins to 1 hour in the winter. This is due to the humidity in the air. You can test the rounds to know when they are ready when there is a crust when you gently touch them.
Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Once heated, bake for 15-18 minutes.
**My suggestion is to create a tester batch as we adjusted the temperature a little bit for the second baking sheet to 330 degrees F and they came out perfect. It depends on the humidity and elevation of your city.**
Once baked, let them rest on the baking sheet on a cooling rack until completely cool. They will peel away easily from the parchment.
Once cookies are fully cooled, release them from the parchment and place in pairs, with one flipped over.
French Vanilla Buttercream
Whisk 38 grams sugar and the yolks together in a medium bowl and set aside.
Combine the milk and remaining 38 grams of sugar in a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, and stir to dissolve the sugar. When the milk is just below a simmer, remove the pan from the heat and, whisking constantly, pour it into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the pan and place over medium heat. Whisking constantly, bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 1 minute, lowering the heat if necessary to prevent the mixture from curdling. It should be very thick.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with a whisk attachment, turn the mixture to medium, and whisk for about 8 minutes, until the mixture is completely cool.
Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, to the egg yolk mixture. If at any point the mixture looks broken, increase the speed to re-emulsify it, then reduce the speed and continue adding the butter. Check the consistency: if the buttercream is too loose to hod its shape, it should be refrigerated for a few hours to harden, then beaten again to return it to the proper consistency.
Scrape the seeds from half a vanilla bean into the buttercream and fold in.
Megan from Hint of Vanilla says that if you wish, the buttercream can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Take the buttercream out of the fridge thirty minutes before you need to use it and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow it to soften and then mix on low speed until it is the proper consistency.