2010 has been a stellar year so far for Spanish athletes. One of my favorite tennis players, Rafa Nadal, won the French Open and Wimbledon. And the Spanish soccer team defeated the Netherlands today to win the World Cup for the first time in the country's history. They'll be partying for days from Madrid to Malaga, and all points in between.
In celebration of Spain's thrills of victory I made a red and yellow macaron in homage to their flag. I actually had a ton of leftover egg whites in my freezer so I thought I'd make macarons this weekend, in five different flavors. As providence would have it once I filled the macarons I was left with one lemon shell and one raspberry one. Octopus Paul himself couldn't have predicted that one.
Makes between 30 to 40 macarons
For the macarons shells (adapted from Tartelette):
90 gr egg whites (about 3), aged at least 2 days in the fridge
30 gr granulated sugar
3 gr egg white powder
200 gr powdered sugar
110 gr almonds
1/2 tsp each red and yellow gel food coloring
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and egg white powder to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry.
In a separate bowl sift the confectioner's sugar and almond flour. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like lava or a thick ribbon. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Divide the batter in two bowls, add the red food color to one bowl and yellow to the other. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets.
Preheat the oven to 300F. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don't let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer. To fill: pipe or spoon about 1 big tablespoon of butterceam in the center of one shell and top with another one.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut in to 16 pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Add the eggs, sugar and salt to the metal bowl of a standing mixer and whisk constantly over a pan of simmering water. When the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch remove from the heat, about 3-4 minutes.
Beat mixture in the stand mixer using the wire whisk attachment until it's a meringue. It should look like marshmallow fluff and the bottom of the bowl should be cool.
With the mixer still running add the butter, one piece at a time. Once all the butter has been added continue beating until the buttercream is light and fluffy. If at any time the buttercream looks curdled continue beating and it will come together.