Neapolitan French Macarons
For the strawberry shells:
For the strawberry shells:
- Prepare your baking pans with parchment paper or silpat mats.
- Weigh your egg whites into the bowl of your stand mixer and set aside.
- Weigh your granulated sugar into a small bowl and set aside.
- In your food processor, weigh your almond flour, powdered sugar, and ground freeze dried strawberries. Process for 10 seconds and set aside.
- With your whisk attachment, turn your mixer on medium-high and whip your egg whites until they become frothy.
- While your mixer is still on, slowly add your granulated sugar.
- Once you've added all your granulated sugar, turn off your mixer and scrape down the sides of your bowl. We want to make sure we bring all the sugar down into the whites.
- Turn your mixer on high. You're looking for medium peaks. The whites will be glossy and the peak will slightly flop over. This usually takes between 2- 3 1/2 minutes. I always stop the mixer at the 2 minute mark and check.
- When you've reached medium peaks, remove the bowl from the stand and add your almond flour mixture to the egg whites.
- Start gently folding the ingredients together. It will seem very dry at first. Just keep folding.
- Every few folds, run your spatula through the middle of your batter, slightly smashing the air out of it.
- You want to check the consistency of it often. You can go from just right to too runny very quickly.
- You just want to take the batter to the point of slightly flowing off of your spatula. It will ribbon on top of itself in the bowl.
- Fit your piping bag with a #10 piping tip, twist the end where the tip is (this will keep any batter from running out while you're filling the bag), and place into a large cup.
- Pour your batter into your prepared piping bag.
- Pipe out circles onto your prepared baking sheet.
- Bang your baking pan against your counter 3-4 times to get rid of any air bubbles. If any remain, pop with a toothpick.
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. It's very important to have an oven thermometer. If your oven gets too hot, it can cause the macarons to rise too quickly and it will crack the top of the shells. If you're oven is too low, your macarons will not develop feet and will be underbaked in the middle.
- You need to let these rest for AT LEAST 30 minutes. This step is super important. You want to be able to touch the middle of the macarons without any sticking to your finger. They need to have that skin formed or they will crack while baking. If you're in a very hot and humid area, this can take up to an hour.
- Bake for 16-20 minutes. I check mine at 16 minutes. If when you lightly touch the side of the shell it wiggles, give it another 2 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before attempting to remove the shells from the parchment paper or silpat mat. They will pop right off and have a smooth shiny bottom. But again, let them completely cool before removing.
For the chocolate shells:
- Repeat the process again, subbing out the ground freeze dried strawberries for the dark chocolate cocoa powder.
- Once all the shells are done, fill with my All Butter American Buttercream and enjoy!!