Summer weather has made an appearance in Portland over the last few weeks and I’ve spent my days off from work relaxing and looking at all the beautiful roses at the Rose Garden (although obviously as I type this it’s cloudy and rainy).
Strawberries are one of my favourite summer fruits and Oregon has some of the best strawberries I’ve ever tasted. And by now, you all know that I’m 100% obsessed with macarons so it only makes sense that I made the perfect summer macaron.
My mum and sister spent a couple of weeks in England and when they came back they gave me a book called “Secrets of Macarons“. I’ve only ever used the French meringue method of making macarons, but this book introduced the idea of the Italian meringue for macarons, so I tried that.
I might prefer the Italian method over the French…which is probably sacrilegious given that the macaron is a French confection, but what are you gonna do?!
The Italian method involves boiling your sugar into a syrup and pouring it into your whipping egg whites, creating a more stable batter.
It’s shiny and glossy and basically just beautiful.
You also make up an almond paste by combining your almond flour and powdered sugar with egg whites.
Then you combine it all, pipe it, let it sit and bake them. So simple!
For the filling I made a vanilla buttercream and topped it with some strawberries. It’s like a summer explosion in your mouth!
I mean, come on. How beautiful are these little guys?!
Strawberries & Cream Macarons:
Makes about 40 macarons
- 200g almond flour
- 200g powdered sugar
- 75ml (2 1/2 fl. oz.) water
- 200g sugar
- 160g egg whites, separated into 80g each
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup diced strawberries
- In a food processor, process the almond flour and powdered sugar. Sift into a bowl and set aside.
- In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Without stirring, make sure the temperature of the syrup doesn’t go above 240°F.
- Gently beat 80g of egg whites to soft peaks, then increase the speed of your mixer when the temperature of the syrup hits 220°F. When the syrup reaches 240°F remove from the heat and pour in a thin stream into the beaten egg whites. Continue to beat meringue for about 10 minutes so it cools.
- Combine the almond flour/powdered sugar and remaining 80g egg whites, making a smooth almond paste. Scrape the vanilla bean and incorporate the seeds into your almond paste.
- Using a flexible spatula, incorporate about 1/3 of the meringue into the almond paste to loosen the mixture, then add the rest of the meringue, carefully incorporating it into the batter.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Put the batter into a piping bag fitted with a large pastry tip. Pipe out rounds, about 1-1 1/2″ wide. Tap the bottom of trays against your countertop and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 300°F. Bake macarons, one sheet at a time, for 14 minutes.
- To make the buttercream, cream together the butter and vanilla extract. Add the powdered sugar and heavy cream and beat until combined.
- Pipe the buttercream onto one half of each macaron pair and top with a couple of strawberry pieces. Place other half on top and sandwich together slightly.