Part III of my Macaron Madness series.
I made these macarons for my cousins graduation party in August of 2015. I had made them once a long time back (pre-blog era, so no pictures on record) and my cousin loved them, so I brought them back for his special day~
The more I make macarons and bake in general, the more I realize that they key to baking is simply knowing your ingredients. I have cooked with my oven long enough to know to give it 20 minutes to preheat, no matter what the built-in thermometer reads. I know to jerk the oven door to the right and out at least 30 seconds before I want it open. I know the ovens hot spots and where to rotate the pan to ensure even browning. I know when to run back and forth between beating the egg whites and heating the sugar syrup so that the syrup is exactly at 240 F when the whites are at soft peaks. I keep saying that making macarons is easy, but really it’s only easy if you have a well used kitchen and know how to work around it. I have made successful macarons without a sieve, stand mixer, scale, or properly calibrated oven. As I bake more, I choose to invest in these items because they admittedly make the process much faster, but once you know your equipment and how to work around it, you will be in my boat questioning why everyone thinks making macarons is so hard.
Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons
Macaron shell recipe
note: Once the powdered sugar – almond mixture was weighed out mixed, I removed 5g and added 5g of ground Trader Joe’s Speculoos cookies. I find a 5g substitution does not affect the end result and adds nice depth of flavor to the macarons. I also sprinkled the remaining Speculoos dust onto the wet macaron shells.
Cream Cheese frosting
Basic frosting recipe with proportions.
Strawberry Jam (small batch)
In a small sauce pan, heat 1 cup diced strawberries, 3 Tbs sugar, and a pinch of salt until fruit is completely broken down and has reached a jam-like consistency, approximately 20 min.
note: Store-bought works well too. Alternatively, macerate 1 cup diced strawberry and 3 Tbs sugar and spoon a small dollop of fresh berries and frosting between the macaron shells.