I have been playing around with this recipe for a while now and I absolutely love the bold, sharp flavour the freeze dried berries give these macarons.
These beautiful, bold, berry macarons are especially delicious when combined with the smooth, sweet and creamy vanilla buttercream.
You should be able to find some freeze dried berries at your local health food store, the berry mixture I use includes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and pineapple.
I grind my freeze dried berry mixture into a fine powder in the food processor but be careful not to grind the mixture too much as it will begin to turn to a paste.
Very Berry Macarons
Makes about 70 macarons
30g freeze dried mixed berries
275g ground almonds
300g icing sugar
110g egg whites
300g caster sugar
pink food colouring paste
110g egg whites
French Vanilla Buttercream
250g unsalted butter, very soft
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
To Make the Macarons:
Line 3 baking trays with parchment paper.
Using a food processor, blitz the freeze dried berries into a fine powder.
Sift together the icing sugar, dried berry powder and ground almonds into a large mixing bowl. Add the first batch of egg whites to the bowl but do not mix.
Place the sugar, water and food colouring into a small saucepan, stir to mix in the colour before placing over a medium heat. Boil until the syrup reaches 118C. Once the syrup reaches 110C, simultaneously, begin to whisk the second batch of white eggs on the high speed of an electric mixer.
Pour the 118C sugar syrup onto the whipped egg whites, in a thin stream, avoiding the whisk. Continue to whisk until the meringue cools to 50C. Fold the meringue into the almond mixture with a rubber spatula, turning the bowl a quarter turn on each fold.
When the macaron batter just begins to shine, it is ready, the batter should form a ribbon that falls from the spatula and holds its shape for around 20 seconds before sinking back into the mixture.
Pour the macaron batter into a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. Pipe the mixture into uniform rounds onto the prepared baking trays. Tap the baking sheets on a work surface to let any air bubbles rise out.
Let the macaron shells sit for around 30 min or until they form a skin, (no batter will stick to your finger if you touch one).
Preheat oven to 160C.
Bake the macarons for around 14 minutes depending on their size. Once they are baked the macaron shells will no longer wobble when touched.
To Make the French Vanilla Buttercream:
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until very soft, smooth and creamy, around 2 minutes.
Place both eggs in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a free standing mixer.
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and boil until the mixture reaches 118C. Once the sugar syrup reaches 110C start to beat the eggs on a medium speed.
Turn the mixer down to a low speed and pour the 118C syrup onto the beaten eggs in a thin stream, avoiding the whisk. Continue to beat the mixture until the bowl is no longer hot and the mixture has become white and heavy.
Gradually add the butter to the syrup mixture and beat on a medium speed until smooth and creamy.
While beating the butter and syrup, the mixture may appear to separate and begin to look curdled. Do not panic! Continue beating the mixture until it becomes smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and beat well.
Pair up your macaron shells, pipe around 1 tsp of buttercream onto the flat side of one macaron in each pair and top with the remaining macaron shell.