This post has been a long time coming. While I made the macarons quite a few days ago, I haven't had the time to photograph them in natural daylight as I'm always rushing to work in the morning and there's hardly been any sun. Finally I manage to sneak a few minutes yesterday morning, despite it being a really really gloomy and grey day.
The Mactweets Macattack Challenge 3 hosted by Jamie and Deeba was to make macarons with a new element that you've never attempted before. And frankly, I have been reaching some sort of plateau in my macaron making in terms of flavours and base recipes. I always use my usual recipe adapted from Cannelle et Vanille's basic recipe (but as I mentioned in the previous post, I've been having a bit of problems with the texture) and usually I make a ganache filling. So in line with the challenge, I decided to do two things new - first, the colour of the macarons. I've never made aqua (turquoise, tiffany blue, duck egg blue?) macarons before despite it being my favourite colour :) so I decided to colour my shells a pretty aqua (but it turned out a little stronger than I would have liked). Second new thing was the mousse filling. I knew I wanted something pastel and light to go with the aqua shells and I had some mango and lychees lying around so I decided to make mango-flavoured and lychee-flavoured mousse as fillings. Yes, two different types, one light yellow and one light pink.
I did some research online and flipped through some cookbooks and came up with a basic recipe as below:
(one portion makes enough to fill 20-24 macarons)
140g lychee or mango puree
20g castor sugar (you can add more if your puree is sour like my mango was, so I used 30g)
100ml double cream
1 sheet of gelatine (2.5-3g)
Soak the gelatine sheet in ice cold water.
Whip the double cream to stiff peaks.
Add the sugar to the fruit puree in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to ensure there's no burning. Once it boils, turn the heat off.
Squeeze the water out of the gelatine and add it to the warm puree mixture and let it dissolve. If you're colouring your puree, add it at this point (I added a tiny drop of pink colouring to my lychee one). Let it cool to room temperature.
Add the cooled puree to the whipped cream and gently fold to incorporate together.
Put in the fridge to set a little before filling piping bag to fill the macarons (or put into little cups for mousse treat!)
As you can see from my pictures, I had a lot of mousse leftover and so I made a layered lychee and mango mousse verrine, topped with ground pistachio. I should have piped a lot more filling into my macarons but it was a little runny when I was piping them so I didn't want to risk it overflowing. It did set once I put it into the fridge so I think next time I'll put more. The mousse filling was very light and actually didn't make for a very strong tasting filling (unlike a ganache). My macaron shells were also softer than usual, as I have mentioned in great lengths in my previous post, so I will be embarking on some sort of macaron texture experiment in the near future (once I find time!) so look out for it!