May 23, 2014

Chai Spiced Macarons




At my house we have a fondness for tea. So much so, that we have a cupboard or two filled with just tea. Bagged, flowered, loose leaves, you name it, we've got it.

Although tea has never been my favorite. I always preferred soda for a beverage, I never really got into tea. Meanwhile, my mother and sister have some five cups a day. That's some serious tea addiction. I wanted to figure out a way so that they could enjoy the tea flavour, only a different way, a way that I too would enjoy. I decided to make Chai Spiced Macarons.
Macarons are certainly not the easiest of confections, but they are one of my personal favorites. I do face some struggles (I had to try at these twice) from time to time while making them, but when I get a good batch, I feel a sense of accomplishment! For the shells I added ground chai tea, and for the filling, I used many interesting ingredients that you would not normally find in a buttercream. My secret ingredient? Cayenne pepper!


Chai Spiced Macarons

Shells

100g                         ground almonds
200g                         icing sugar
100g                         egg whites
4 tbsp                        sugar
3 tsp                          ground chai tea
1 tsp                          brown food coloring (optional)

Grind the almonds in a food processor, sift the almonds and dispose of any large lumps. Using a food processor or a mortal and pestle, grind the chai tea. Sift into the almond mixture along with the icing sugar. Set aside. Ina  large bowl whip the egg whites until they form bubbles. Add the sugar a little at a time until the egg whites hold stiff peaks, about 5-8 minutes. Make sure not to over whip or your shells will be hollow. Add the dry ingredients into the egg whites, three parts at a time, folding them into one another until fully incorporated. Be careful not to overmix! The mixture should form ribbons but when dropped from a spoon won't spread out really far. Fit a piping bag with a round tip (smaller is easier to control) and fill with mixture. Pipe 1" rounds onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Let your cookies sit out,  anywhere from 30 minutes to a hour, or until it forms a dry skin. Bake cookies on the middle rack of your oven for about 8-10 minutes at 325 degrees. Let the shells cool completely before removing from the sheet. Using a clean brush, take your food coloring and paint on half of your cooled shells.


Spiced Buttercream

1/2 cup                     butter
3/4 cup                     icing sugar
1/2 cup                     ground almonds
1/4 cup                     corn starch
2 tbsp                       ground chai tea
1/2 tsp                      vanilla
2 tsp                         cinnamon
1/4 tsp                      nutmeg
1 pinch                     cayenne pepper

Beat the butter until fluffy. Add the icing sugar, beat until incorporated. One ingredient at a time, add the ground almonds, corn starch and ground chai. After each addition, scrape down the sides and mix thoroughly. Lastly, add the spices and vanilla. Mix. Transfer into a small pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe a dollop onto half of the macaron shells. Sandwich two of the shells together and slightly squeeze. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!


Macarons can be really hard to make correctly, even these have a few flaws. The only way to get better is if you practice! If you make them more often you can learn what is the best method for yourself, what worked, and what didn't. When you know these things, it's easier to make better batches in the end.
Good luck!

Elanne Boake

5 comments:

  1. I like the burnt-like painting on them. Coming in through the atmosphere in a UFO-Macaron!

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  2. ...what temperature is our oven supposed to be at for bsking?

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  3. I don't think you specified a temperature to bake these at, but I did them at 300F (about 140C) for your recommended 8-10min. It actually took mine about 12-14 minutes but maybe it was just my oven.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, for the late reply! Sometimes I'm writing the recipe fast and i don't remember these things.
      I normally bake them for 8-10 minutes at 325 degrees :)

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  4. I feel a strong connection with your mum and sister based on their appreciation for and love of tea

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