quinta-feira, 27 de agosto de 2009

Strawberry and amburana macarons

Recently I have been thinking a lot about amburana as I see the recipes the girls have made after they received their packages of amburana seeds. I love these seeds so much not only for their amazing flavor and perfume but for their amazing healing powers. Amburana can really help troubled stomachs and I have been using them on my milk every night and it feels so good. I used to boil some vanilla seeds in my milk but have totally substituted vanilla for amburana seeds for their fantastic medicinal effects, amazing flavor and cost much cheaper.

The strawberry macaron is the result of a strawberry confectioners sugar I found on the other day. The first time I saw the box in the supermarket I was suspicious but after that I just could not ignore their boxes anymore and just had to buy it even if I don't like artificially colored macarons.

There is a complication in using the strawberry confectioners sugar because it is not pure sugar and it contains some parts of potato starch. However, since the regular confectioners sugar is not pure either and also contains potato starch in it, I didn't find it a real threat to the macarons as I have been using non pure sugar all this time since I neither have proper equipment to produce extra fine sugar nor the intention to produce it.

The kids loved the strawberry flavored macarons and were really interested to tell me that they had enjoyed them very much. I filled the shell with a thick amburana pastry cream, (Crème Pâtissière) worked just perfect for the filling. I was a little concerned about the results but it was very pretty satisfying. The hard part is to form the pairs. I normally form the pairs but I don't fill them all immediately, I usually fill half a dozen or eight of them ( one or two for each of us) and I fill the others as we wish some more. I don't like filled macarons to stand more than 24 hours outside the refrigerator, they don't taste the same in my opinion...

Strawberry and amburana macarons

Inspired by all those recipes available at Pure Gourmandise which offers around 79 different flavors of macarons to tempt my life...

100 grams of egg whites (around 3 egg whites)
30 grams sugar
125 grams almond flour (grounded almonds)
200 grams confectioners sugar ( I used 100 grams of strawberry confectioners sugar and 100 grams of regular confectioners sugar)


There are many blogs and sites which explain how to make the right macaron but I will describe here the simple way I use to make them which is pretty much inspired by this post as I don't make with Italian meringue, I prefer the simple light French meringue. You can also check this this post and these ones.

First separate the egg whites and leave them covered (well there are mosquitos even here, in Norway) on the counter at room temperature for one, two or even three days).

On the day you plan to make the macarons process the almonds and confectioners sugar in a food processor until well grounded, sift the mixture one, sift it again to remove all the big pieces of almond from the flour and set aside. Line two large cookie pans with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of a electric mixer beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the granulated sugar, one table spoon at a time and let the mixer continue beating until you have a glossy meringue.

Add the flour mixture to the meringue in three or four parts folding until the dry ingredients were completely incorporated and you have no more white parts of meringue apparents. Make a test to check the batter. Put a teaspoon of batter on the pan and if the batter flattens immediately you are ready if it form peaks you still have to fold the batter couple of times more.

Put the batter in a pastry bag and pipe the batter to a diameter of two centimeters on the prepared pans. Let the piped macarons stand in room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes, while your oven is heating.

Bake for about 10 at 140-160 C oven in preheated oven. It is important to turn the pans halfway through for a more equal baking.

Makes 60 shells (30 filled macarons)

Amburana pastry cream

500 ml milk
6 amburana seeds
4 egg yolks
6 tablespoons of sugar
4 tablespoons of corn starch


In a heavy bottom saucepan over low heat cook milk and amburana seeds until the infusion boils. Set aside and let it stand for 15 minutes. In another heavy bottomed saucepan whisk yolks with sugar until you have a double size mixture very light color. Add corn starch and whisk some more to incorporate. Remove and discard the amburana seeds from milk infusion. Warm the infused milk again and before it starts to boils add one part of milk to yolk mixture whisking vigorously to incorporate. Add the rest of the milk to the yolk mixture whisky vigorously. Transfer pan to stove and cook the mixture for a couple of minutes over medium heat or until it starts to thicken. Once it boils remove it from heat, transfer to a glass bowl, cover with plastic film and let it cool completely before using. It can be kept refrigerated for up 5 days.

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