Fresh Mint and Black Pepper Macarons

Good Morning everyone!

Today is a very special day.. It’s the Hubs BDay ❤  and for some reason every year at his bday I’m travelling, but this time I really wanted to be here with him so, I managed myself to move my trip to Venezuela ! yeah

So, I’ve been like crazy baking, everything he wants for his Bday week. I did 2 cakes, profiteroles, lasagnas and more. I’m so tired but very happy to do it.

One of his request was mint macarons, so having a new mint plant I said: Why not! I really needed to lower the quantities cause I’m still on a diet!! =(
Finally I did 15 macarons. He waited the 24 h of maturation and then ran to the fridge.

The taste was perfect. Minty, spicy and chewy.

For the macaron you will need:
Makes 15 macarons

  • 40 g almond flour
  • 77 g powdered sugar /sucre glace
  • 48 g egg whites
  • 25 g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of green Colorant
  • 1g tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 150°and have ready a large  pastry bag, 8mm tip.

Prepare your sheet pans lined with parchment paper. You have to bake one tray at a time.
In  your food processor, process the almonds, then sift it with the powdered sugar until well mixed.
Take out the mixture and pass through the sieve, if there is some big bits, pass them back to the food processor and run the machine again. set aside.

In a stand mixer, or like me in bowl with my hand mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff. After incorporate little by little the sugar. Mix in medium speed for 3 minutes or so.

Increase the speed to medium-high) and whip another for a few minutes, and then with the highest speed, beat 3 minutes more.

Turn the mixer off and add in any extracts/flavor/color and whip on the highest speed to evenly distribute the color/flavor).
I added the vanilla extract and some green colorant.

Now,you should have a  stiff, dry meringue. If the meringue has not become stiff enough to clump inside the whisk, continue beating for another minute, or until it does so.

Now incorporate dry ingredients little by little and fold them in with a rubber spatula. Use both a folding motion allows to deflate the meringue against the side of the bowl. The mixture will still have a quite lumpy and stiff texture, but with few strokes more you will see the right texture. Be careful to not Undermix or Overmix the batter.The right consistency is lava-like or when u lift the spatula the batter drops like a ribbon.

Pour the batter into a piping bag and start pipping your macarons on your parchment paper. The batter will continue to spread just a bit and then set.

After piping your macarons, hold the sheet pan and hit it hard 2 times against your counter. This will break any large air bubbles that might cause your macarons to crack.

Let the macarons dry for 30 minutes before baking, this will allow the macarons form its top crust.

Bake for 16 minutes, or until you can peel the parchment paper away from a macaron.

When macarons ready let them cool thoroughly on the pans, before peeling them off from the sheet.

For the fresh mint and black pepper ganache you will need:

  • 50g of heavy cream
  • 50g of white couverture or white chocolate
  • 4 gr of fresh mint leaves chopped (very thin)
  • 15g of almond flour
  • 3 g of black pepper

In a small saucepan bring the cream to a boil and then remove from the heat.

Add in the mint leaves and let infuse for 10 minutes. Add the black pepper and let set. Do not put a cover on the saucepan.

In the microwave, melt the white chocolate and incorporate in (3 times) to the mint pepper cream.

Stir well with a spatula. Add the almond flour and mix.

Place the cream in the fridge and let it chill until thick.

Fill a pastry bag with the fresh mint and black pepper ganache and pipe some into half of the shells, then sandwich them with their naked halves.

The Macarons will get better with age, so store them in the fridge for 24h! If you can resist of course.
Before consuming pull them out from the fridge a few hours before and enjoy!

This macarons are perfect for the tea time. They are refreshing and the same time the black pepper bring some spicy side. Love it ❤

Bon Appétit,

Love,

Sara

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Father’s Day Olive Oil Macarons

Tomorrow is Father’s Day, so having my daddy very far from me I wasn’t much in the mood of celebrating, but there’s nothing to do about it, just cross fingers to go an visit him very soon.

Since I moved across the Atlantic, to start a new life and create a family with my husband, parents celebration Days are kinda difficult for me, but I can’t complain! My father in law has been like another father to me, he is funny and odd or eccentric I might say.
He has very particular taste in pastry matters, hates cinnamon and peanut butter…. Can you believe it? Well, we are not all the same right?

I wanted to do something special for him, and he loves my macarons, so I did a little enquire and found out his favorite flavor was Olive Oil? Ohhh God that’s sooo him. But what the heck let’s surprise him so olive macarons is it!

I read that  the olive oil macaron of Pierre Hermé is delicious but to be sincere, I wasn’t very sure. Let’s call it a challenge!
Dear readers, believe me when I tell you that “le mariage” olive oil -white chocolate – vanilla is sublime!, so in my humble opinion I’ve chosen these macarons my favorite. Score!!

Please click HERE for my usual macarons recipe.

For the Olive Oil cream you will need:

  • 200 g White coverture or white chocolate
  • 50 g green olives
  • 60 g liquid double cream (fleurette)
  • 100 g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 gousse de vanille

In a small casserole, bring the cream and the scrappings (beans) of the vanilla to a boil.

Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler.

Remove the vanilla pod from the cream.

Slowly incorporate the cream to the melted white chocolate mixing with a spatula.

Next, add the olive oil (in a thin thread) until is all well incorporated.
Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight

Pass the olives through fresh cold water and cut them in 4 pieces.

To garnish the macarons, in a halve, pipe a dot of olive oil cream and 2 little pieces of olives and take the other halve and sandwich them.
Place your macarons in an airtight container and leave them in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours! If you resist of course.
Happy Father’s Day!
Enjoy,
Love,
Sara

The Raspberry Macaron Story and 3 Different Fillings

I know, I know! Macarons are like an addiction, once you have done them, you want to do them all the time. That’s my story, and heck yeah I’m guilty as charged, but you have to understand why before judging me; so here we go.

When I moved to Paris, I was impressed of how beautiful the pastries were, and how sublime was their taste. The only thing I was thinking about is HOW they do those cute little things and how much time they pass to decorate them.  Voilà I was captivated … french pastry: my new love!

When my husband and I got our apartment, we had to buy everything with a small budget, co hard choices were made. We put our priorities first and bought the strictly necessary, like the stove, washing machine, the fridge, the bed, couch a table and  4 chairs, that was it! not budget left. You might be wondering were is the oven? how can I pursue my baking passion without an oven?…. the answer: I couldn’t!

Being a couple and having a new home, was way more expensive than we thought, so a full year passed by and no money for and oven. In december 2011 we finally got married. A small celebration with family and few friends, nice and simple but with tons of LOVE.

My husband grandma’ wanted to surprise me with a thing I really wanted to have, and she offer me my little beloved OVEN! best gift ever, I was sooo thankful and touched by her kind gesture, that I cried and hugged her for an hour. =D She told me that the only way to make my pastry dream come true, was  to start practicing. So she thought the better way was having an oven ❤ She was so right. I’ve been my oven slave for 6 month now and I enjoy every second of it.

Last week I did my first macarons and felted so good when they turned out pretty awesome, so this weekend, by my hubs request I did them again but with 3 different fillings: Pistachio, Raspberry and Lemon curd.

Here is my macaron recipe

Now the fillings.

Raspberry macaron filling ( I did the half)

  • 500g raspberry 
  • 300g caster Sugar
  •  7.5g pectin
  •  25g fresh lemon juice

Preparation : You can prepare the raspberry gélée few days before cooking your maracons.
Mix the raspberries for at least 10 minutes. Combine the sugar with the pectin and then put them with the mixed raspberries in a sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and mix again.
Pour the jam in a container, let it cool and then put it in the refrigerator.

Lemon curd macaron filling

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40 gr of Maizena
  • 25 gr butter
  • 2 lemons
  • 40 gr sugar

Preparation: Remove the zestes from both lemons.
Disolve the maizena in 20 cl of water. Add the butter and bring the mixture to boil. Remove from stove and add the lemon zestes and juice, the egg yolks and the sugar. Whisk until well incorporated. Whisk constantly in medium-low fire, when the mixture start to thicken remove from fire. Let it cool, cover with plastic paper film  and refrigerate.

Pistachio cream macaron filling ( I did the half)

  • 300 gr of  liquid sour cream (crème fraîche in french)
  • 300 gr white chocolate
  • 45 gr pistachio paste
  • 1 or 2 drops of almond extract.

Preparation: Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Pour the cream and the pistachio paste in a sauce pan and bring it to boil. Whisk until gel mix and add it in 3 parts to the white chocolate. Mix for 10 minutes. let it cool and refrigerate.

I hope you enjoy this macarons as we did.

Bon appétit,

Sara