Wowsers it's been one of those weeks! So happy to have just finished the last of my exams! With this in mind, it's actually a bittersweet feeling. Bonds will be broken so new ones can form.
So, how did these come about? I guess you'd call it a craving for cute macarons. Something to bring a smile to little faces. Flavours to bring smiles to big faces when they taste a little childhood indulgence. Although 'raspberry + lemonade' may sound clashy, loud and fake, trust me, i'm a big believer in using natural ingredients and flavours.
The lemonade flavour is incorporated in the delicious macaron shells. Just a teeny tiny hint to add a little acidy to the sweetness of the center. The raspberry flavour is used in the filling of the macarons which gives off a punch of raspberry in the delicate swiss meringue. Some recipes call for buttercream being used as the filling of macarons however, the flavour, texture and richness does not even compare when using Swiss meringue in macarons. Swiss meringue varies from French and Italian meringues due to its variance in density and texture. ...
Italian meringue: Italian meringue is more stable than Swiss however it requires the sugar syrup to be heated to precisely 115 degrees celsius where it meets the soft ball stage. The syrup is then added to the beaten egg whites. Although this meringue provides a great base for buttercreams, it is not essential for a macaron filling
French meringue: French meringue is the most commonly used meringue when sugar is beaten into lightly beaten egg whites. the end result, an unstable meringue, best used for cooking or adding to souffles.
Swiss meringue: My favourite for a macaron buttercream as the sugar and eggs whites are heated together to dissolve the sugar and then beaten to form stiff peaks. This results in a firm, smooth meringue as the early inclusion of sugar prevents to egg whites from aerating as much as other meringues.
I believe the flavour of a macaron lies in the filling. My mother taught me that flavour should be instantly distinguished as soon as filling touches tongue. The collision should be eclectic, instantaneous and memorable. Simple, refined and uncomplicated. So, if you prefer a less flavoursome filling, feel free to add less raspberry powder and taste to your preference as you go.
Anyway, please give these a go! MACARONS ARE NOT HARD. Their level of difficulty is so overrated. Just make sure you follow the recipe and don't cut the resting time short. Even if they don't turn out perfect on the first go, you'll become a master of this french classic in no time! Of course, please send me a picture when you give them a go. How could smiling shakes not brighten an inbox? let alone a day?!
Bring on the weekend! Work hard, focus and stay positive...