This month's challenge from MacTweets is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness -PINKTOBER with Pinkarons instead of macarons. I am dedicating my Pinkarons to my friend Kelli-while I haven't been in her life as much as I would like (yes I'm a very bad friend) I hold her in my heart. She is a gorgeous blue eyed bundle of energy. She makes a mean Lemon Drop and an even meaner margarita ! She's a rockin dispatcher; a vision in black leather on her Indianhead motorcycle; a friend who was always there for me . And while we aren't in each other's lives much I know I could pick up the phone at any time and she would be there . She is an incredible mom and someone I've always admired-so Kelli-this one is for you ...miss you and big smooches to you !
Adapted from Hisako Ogita I ♥ Macarons
2/3 cup (3 oz/85 g) ground almonds
1-1/2 cups (5 1/4 oz/150 g) powdered sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tbsp (65 g) granulated sugar
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
In a food processor, grind almonds and powdered sugar to a fine powder. Sift the mixture through a medium-mesh sieve twice. Set aside.
In a stainless steel mixing bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until they are foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar to the egg whites and beat on high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 1 minute. Add vanilla bean seeds and stir lightly. Beat until the meringue is stiff, firm and has a glossy texture.
Add half of the sifted flour mixture from step .Stir it with a spatula, scooping it up from the bottom of the bowl and gently folding it in to itself.
Add the rest of the flour and mix it lightly in a circular motion-again gently-don't over mix-count your circular motions-15 to 18 should be about right.
Macaronnage (the term for mixing flour and meringue to make macarons): When you run out of flour, press and spread out the batter against the bowl’s sides. Scoop the batter from the bottom and turn it upside down. Repeat this process about 15 times. Pointer: If the macaronnage step is repeated less than 10 times, the baked macarons will lack luster. However, when it is repeated more than 20 times, oil stains may remain on the pastry’s surface after baking.
When the batter becomes firm and drips slowly as you scoop it with a spatula, the mixture is done.
Attach a 1/4-inch (1 cm) tip to a pastry bag.
Place the pastry bag, tip first, inside a deep measuring cup and pour in the batter. Clip the bag top to prevent the paste from coming out.
Pipe small circles on your parchment paper that is on your baking sheet. About 1 1/2 inches in diameter and about 1 inch apart.
Rap the baking sheet firmly against the counter or other flat surface. This helps the macarons hold their rounded shape and helps the pied, or little “foot,” to form.
Let dry at room temperature, uncovered, for 15 minutes. A slight crust should form on top. If the batter circles do not stick to your finger when you touch them, the drying process is complete. Depending on humidity this could take 30 minutes or an hour.
Baking the macarons
Place oven racks in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Stack the baking sheet holding the batter circles onto an empty baking sheet and slide both into the oven. Using two trays, one inside the other, prevents the bottom of the macarons from over baking, and from puffing up too much or cracking.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the trays once and switching them from top to bottom racks and vice versa, until slightly crisp and crackled on top. If the insides of the macarons are still soft after 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 300ºF/150ºC, cover the tray with foil and bake for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Place baking sheets on wire racks to cool. When the macarons are completely cooled, remove them from the baking sheet. Pointer: Macarons can be stored for about one week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Raspberry Eau de Vie Simple Buttercream
1 stick of butter-softened
3 cups of sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped dried raspberries ( I use Just Raspberries from Whole Foods, Amazon also carries them)
1/4-1/2 cup of Raspberry Eau de Vie
Mix all ingredients except Raspberry Eau de Vie at low speed until incorporated. Begin adding Raspberry Eau de Vie until the desired spreading consistency is reached. Use 6cm tip and fill a pastry bag with the buttercream. Pipe onto macaron base and cover that with another macaron gently pressing them together.
I finished these with pink luster dust and I used my handy dandy Kopykake food coloring pens to draw the pink ribbon onto the dried shell. You can find them at Amazon.com
Why a Pink Ribbon for breast cancer awareness? According to the folks over at Think Before You Pink :
“Pink is the quintessential female color,” says Margaret Welch, director of the Color Association of the United States. “The profile on pink is playful, life-affirming. We have studies as to its calming effect, its quieting effect, its lessening of stress. [Pastel pink] is a shade known to be health-giving; that’s why we have expressions like ‘in the pink.’ You can’t say a bad thing about it.” Pink is, in other words, everything cancer notably is not.
One in ten women is diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States of America. It is the second largest killer after lung cancer and can affect both male and female. However, woman are one hundred time more likely to suffer from the disease than men.
And if you are wondering about any company supporting Breast Cancer Research check out this link and the good job they do on educating all of us : http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/