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Cassis (Black Currant) Macarons

25 macarons

Tanya Emerick, Owner, Scarlet Nantes Macaron, Seattle, WA

For the Cassis Buttercream Filling (makes 1 1/2 cups or enough to fill 25 macarons):
3-4 tbsp. The Perfect Purée Black Currant Puree, thawed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
Method for the Cassis Buttercream Filling:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on low until well combined.
2. Add 1 tbsp. at a time of The Perfect Purée Black Currant Puree and mix on medium until fluffy. If the mixture seems loose, add a little more powdered sugar (1 tbsp. at a time).
For the Macaron Shell:
3/4 cup (75 grams) almond flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. (125 grams) powdered/confectioners’ sugar
2 egg whites (60 to 70 grams)
1/4 cup (55 grams) superfine (caster) sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 drop purple and 1 drop red AmeriColor Gel Food Color (add more until desired color is achieved using no more than 8 drops of food color total as this will increase the moisture in the macaron batter)
Method for the Macaron Shell:
1. Position the oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 315°F.
2. Clean and dry your mixer and whisk attachment by wiping the mixing bowl and whisk with vinegar or lemon juice to alleviate traces of residual fats from prior use as liquids and fats can deflate the egg whites.
3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar and process for about one minute until as fine as possible without over processing as the almonds will release oils and start to clump. Pass this mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or onto a piece of parchment paper. Discard any large pieces.
4. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and superfine sugar. Beat slowly at first, then increase speed to medium for 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 more minutes. Then beat on high 2 minutes more or until the mixture holds stiff, glossy peaks when you lift the whisk from the bowl.
5. Add your desired food coloring one drop at a time and beat on the medium speed 30 seconds, being careful not to overmix. Remove the bowl and wire whisk. Gently add the dry ingredients to the whipped egg mixture. Fold in the dry ingredients just until the batter flows like lava, approximately 35 to 45 strokes.
6. Rest a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch round (Ateco #804 or Ateco #806 French star tip) and tip and top folded over by a few inches inside a glass or pitcher, tip-side down. Using a silicone spatula, transfer the batter to bag. Line two heavy baking sheet pans with a silpat. If you do not have a silpat you can line the pans with parchment paper. To keep the parchment paper from lifting when piping the macaron circles, dab a little bit of the batter remaining in the bowl onto the corners of the baking sheets, then line them with parchment paper.
7. With the piping tip 1/2 inch above one of the lined baking sheets, pipe some batter into a 1-inch round, then swirl tip off to one side. Repeat, spacing the rounds 1 inch apart. Tap sheets firmly against the counter 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles in the batter.
8. Bake one sheet of macarons at a time, rotating halfway through, until risen and just set, about 13 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let cool completely.
9. Once the macaron shells are cool, pipe or spread approximately 1 tbsp. cassis buttercream on the flat sides of half the cookies then top each filled sheet with one of the remaining macaron shells. Place all the macaron on a sheet tray, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. The macaron will be best the next day after being refrigerated. Macaron are best eaten within two days.