Last year I some enacted some Lifetime Eggdramas with colorful chocolate eggs before heading to Berlin for Easter break. This year, I can’t not play with my food again!
If you notice in my pictures, I love color. I think colors represent life and the more of them, the better! Is it any wonder that I love decorating Easter eggs? I used to do it every year with my mother, and I would relish the smell of hot vinegar water as we dipped and colored our eggs. Since it’s now just the two of us, it’s hard for me to justify dyeing a dozen eggs just for us two.
So I had to find suitable substitutes.
This year, I am choosing the unwitting macaron as my playful subject. I am pretty new to macarons – I studied Laduree macarons looking for the perfect macaron recipe, and tried my hand at some rich chocolaty macarons.
But since I so admired the colors of the macarons in my Laduree box, I wanted to recreate some of that at home for some Easter fun.
I decided to make a cinnamon flavored macaron (one of my favorite flavors) and of course tinted it bright red to match. I also further tested my piping skills by making some macarons in the shape of Easter eggs! I took a simple buttercream frosting and made some whimsical decorations, but you could do it to a white ganache as well.
I think the ratio is pretty easy to remember: 1:1:2 for eggs:almonds/other nut flour:powdered sugar, plus some extra sugar for the egg whites. I have seen a lot of recipes for 110g of egg whites, a little extra won’t hurt!
I also think this temperature is the right one – my macarons were excellent! Crispy and fragile on the outside, and a bit chewy on the inside, with no cracks!
100g. egg whites (I suggest weighing above using a # of eggs), aged 2-3 days at room temperature
100g. almonds, finely ground
200g. powdered sugar
4-5 T. white sugar
2-3 T. cinnamon
- Grind the almonds as finely as possible. In a small container/bowl, whisk the powdered sugar together with the almonds to blend well and break up lumps. If you have a large food processor, you can pulse them together.
- In another, large mixing bowl, begin to (electronically) whisk the egg whites. After they start foaming, add the granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue whipping until it gets thick and “like magma” to quote Tartelette.
- Fold the dry mix carefully (and slowly) into the meringue – I used a spatula – and add the food coloring, if desired, until fully mixed.
- Fill your piping bag and pipe the macarons out onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or regular parchment paper. If you want to do an egg shape you can trace it out first or just improvise! Leave them to set for 30 – 60 minutes to form a skin.
- Preheat the oven to 160° C / 315F. Cook macarons 8-10 minutes, keeping a careful eye on them. After taking out of the oven, let cool completely before filling them.
My freestyling piping resulted in some interesting-looking eggs and rounds! I love them!
Different colored fillings really make them festive!
I also wanted to pair the cinnamon macaron with something simple but that would contrast and blend well with the pretty powerful cinnamon. I received a jar of Locanda Toscana (ack, site in all Flash! My professional tip of the tip: Never design a site in all flash. No one can link to your pages) Peperoncino in Miele di Toscana – Tuscan Honey with Hot Peppers. With a thin layer of this spread between two cinnamon macarons, there was a sweet and spicy kick to my crispy shells.
A spiky creation.
Will you be decorating Easter Eggs this year? What about macarons?