Naw .... it's just plain ol' red velvet macs, with my furry Rudolph macaron lookalike and my Rudolph dish (in case you couldn't make that out). I collect reindeer curios ... at least one for each Christmas. There, fact #8 about me.
Macarons (not to be mistaken for macaroons, which is quite a different thingy altogether) or French macarons, to be exact, are finicky little things, aren't they? Overfolding, underfolding, overbaked, underbaked, too little, too much ... annoying little buggers. But still, I had to prove to myself that I can do this and since everyone seems to have a macaron post on their food blog ... I want one too! ... before the craze goes away. And I refused to let my clunky old oven with the rickety door prevent me from doing so. The first attempt resulted in some very crispy macs and no chew factor, very much like meringues, (I probably overbaked them since the temperature in my oven is so wonky ... I gotta get a new oven!) ... rejected and dejected. So I made sure to read as many macaron recipes as I could to find out the dos and don'ts and guess what? I got totally confused! So, I sort of averaged out all the proportions and decided to just try out a small recipe and not waste too much of the ingredients in case I screwed up again and made sure the temperature stayed put at 150˚C by sitting in front of the oven for the whole production. And happiness! ... this worked out quite good! Not the best feet, but so cute and chubby ... a little like yours truly. Harhar.
I am so addicted to these right now .....
50 g egg whites (aged overnight at room temperature)
40 g caster sugar
2 - 3 drops lemon juice OR a pinch of salt OR cream of tartar
65 g almond meal
80 g powdered sugar
15 g cocoa powder
1/8 tsp red colored gel
Combine powdered sugar, almond meal and cocoa powder in a food processor and give it a few quick buzzes to mix evenly. Sift.
Whisk egg white with lemon juice (or salt or cream of tartar) until soft peaks form. Add in caster sugar in 3 lots, beating well after each addition. Beat on high until stiff peaks form.
Fold in sifted mixture and color gel. Do not overmix. (It's been recommended to have no more than 40 folds).
Line trays with parchment paper or baking mat.
Fill piping bags. (I didn't use a piping nozzle. I simply snipped off about 2cm from the tip).
Pipe even rounds of about 1 1/2 cm - 2 cm in diameter; it will spread a little.
Leave for about an hour to form a crust. You'll know when it's ready when the tops are dry to the touch.
Bake in a preheated oven at 150˚C for about 12 mins.
Remove from oven and let sit for a minute or two before gently lifting the macarons from the parchment with a flat spatula. Cool on racks.
When cool, put a dollop of your favorite filling on the flat side of one shell and gently sandwich another together. For this recipe, I used a chocolate ganache filling. You can find the recipe here. (Oh, the white filling is a creamcheese frosting. I thought the ganache paired better here).
Can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 days, but allow about 15 mins at room temperature before consuming.