Friday, August 2, 2013

Osmanthus Macarons

Hello, friends! I hope you have wonderful long weekend plans ahead of you. It's almost frightening how fast this year has gone by. Sometimes I still feel like we've just all returned from the Christmas holidays. But it's now more than halfway through the year. Yikes! I don't think I've been blogging as much as I like to be. The other day I wistfully browsed through all my cookbooks to find inspiration and energy and excitement again. I think it worked and I feel like flexing my fingers this weekend.

I made some Osmanthus macarons back in the spring and realized that I didn't share these yet! So I did some quick photo editing and posted the recipe below. To some of my local readers, you might recognize the macaron box - saved from a bakery in Toronto! Any guesses?
Osmanthus Macarons
(Makes about 50-60 shells for 25-30 filled macarons)

1 cup of egg whites (from 7-8 eggs)
2 3/4 cups of almond flour
2 3/4 cups of powdered sugar
3 tablespoons of dried Osmanthus flower
A pinch of salt
3/4 cups of granulated sugar

Separate your eggs and leave the whites out in room temperature while you prepare the flour.
In a food processor, combine the blanched almond slivers, powdered sugar, and Osmanthus flowers together. Pulse until the almond and Osmanthus flowers has been grounded to a fine flour. Be careful and do not grind it to the point where it becomes a paste.
Here comes the tedious task of sifting. I take a large deep pan and gently tap a sieve over it to sift the mixture (try that while also holding a camera). Any bits and parts that don't pass through the sieve are placed back in the food processor for some more blade action.
After, when your arms are aching from sifting, place the egg whites in your stand mixer's bowl. Using the whisk attachment, give it a low whirl to loosen up the egg whites - about a minute. Add in a pinch of salt and up the speed to medium. Pour in the granulated sugar in three parts. When it's all combined, turn the speed up again and wait for stiff peaks to form. To test, remove the whisk attachment and flip it to see if the tip of the egg whites hold or if they droop over. The mixture should feel thick and heavy.

(An aside, the brackets make this an aside, right? I recently read The ACB with Honora Lee and it inspired me to have "O is for Osmanthus" in this post. See photo above.)
Once you've achieved stiff peaks, pour about a third of the almond flour mixture in and give it a good mix so that there isn't a pile of dry almond flour in the bowl. Then add the next third, fold the mixture, and add in the final flour mixture and fold it into the mixture. You want the batter to be firm enough to hold it's shape after piping and runny enough that any lumps and bumps smooth out by itself. Almost like the consistency of yogurt or honey.

Fit your pastry bag with a large-round tip and fill it with the macaron batter. Squeeze small amounts onto your parchment paper to form 2 1/2 inch circles. You can also make them slightly smaller or larger, it's up to you! Just be consistent so you have pairs with the same size. And leave at least 1 inch of space between the piped macarons. Give the tray a good strong tap to smooth out the batter.
Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C (325°F/162°C for non-convection oven, but we highly recommend using a convection oven). Let the macarons rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Then pop them into the oven and bake for 14 minutes. When ready, take them out to cool before lifting them off the parchment paper.
Osmanthus Pastry Cream
(Makes enough to fill the 25-30 macarons)

2 cups of milk
3 tablespoons of dried Osmanthus flower
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of cornstarch, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  1. In a small pot, bring the milk and Osmanthus to a boil, set it aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Fill a large bowl with cold water (or ice). In a medium sized pan or small pot, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Place the pan over high heat and bring it to a boil, whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes. Set the bowl in the ice bath or cold water and stir until the temperature reaches 140°F (60°C) on an instant-read thermometer. 
  3. Stir in the butter. Cool, cover, and refrigerate.
  4. Once the pastry cream has cooled and set, you can fill a pastry bag with it and pipe it to fill your macarons.

6 comments:

  1. They look beautiful! I've never tasted macarons, let alone made them, but I plan on changing that very soon!! :-D
    www.thisbakergirlblogs.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Nazia! Hope you plan on making macarons soon!

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  2. Coming out from lurking ..lol! It is such a great idea to use Osmanthus! I have a whole big packet sitting in my fridge. I saw your post and I got down to bake it last weekend and i really like the fragrance..and tasted yummy too! I will try your pastry cream too soon! :D The shells are sitting in the freezer at the moment. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yay! Thanks for un-lurking, is that a thing? :)

      Osmanthus is so good to bake with, my family puts it in everything! Bread, cookies, pretzels, buns, and now desserts! Hope you'll let me know how your osmanthus treats turn out!

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