Pandan Macarons with Lychee Buttercream
It's always a little nerve wracking when you have to cook something for a food blogger get-together and since my past two attempts at macarons had technically failed, I was pleasantly surprised when both batches of these came out almost perfect.
Everyone enjoyed them, and that's really all I can ask for! Recipe after the cut.
Pandan Macarons (adapted from the book Macarons by Annie Rigg)
- Food processor
- Mixing bowl & mixer with whisk attachment (either handheld or stand)
- Piping bag and a 1 cm tip
- 2 solid baking sheets of the same sized, one lined with parchment paper or silpat.
- Large metal spoon or a spatula
- 100 g almond meal
- 200 g confectioner's sugar
- 40 g caster sugar
- 120 - 125 g egg whites (3 - 4 large eggs, room temp)
- Pandan Essence (for the green tint and a very slight hint of flavor)
Line your baking sheet and sit one on top of the other. In a food processor, combine almond meal and confectioner's sugar. Set aside.
Whisk egg whites in a pristine, super clean mixing bowl till stiff peaks form. Continue whisking adding caster sugar one teaspoon at a time till the meringue becomes firm and glossy white. Use a toothpick or skewer (or the end of a chopstick) dip the tip into the food coloring/pandan paste and add to meringue. Whisk quickly to incorporate color.
Using the large metal spoon or your spatula, fold in the almond meal/sugar mixture. Be firm but gentle all the same, incorporate every grain of sugar/meal. However you don't want to over mix (where the macaronage becomes too liquidy) or under mix (where the meringue hasn't deflated quite enough). It's just rich when you scoop the macaronage and let it fall back into the bowl and it falls in a flat ribbon that settles back into itself after a few seconds. This part comes with practice and a few tries to get it right so don't get discouraged.
Pipe the batter in 1 inch rounds on your parchment paper/silpat, careful not to pipe them too close together so they don't flow into each other. If you end up with little tips that won't settle back into the batter, wet your fingertip and gently press back in. Firmly rap the baking sheets on a hard surface to get all the air bubbles to rise to the surface. Sometimes, for good measure, I whack the bottom of the pan with an open palm.
Let the macarons sit for AT LEAST 15 minutes, up to one hour to form their shell. Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.
The macarons are ready when nothing sticks to your fingers when you very very very gently touch them.
Bake in the middle of your oven for 10 minutes, rotating halfway especially if your oven is as wonky as mine is and bakes hotter in one part. Remove and cool on a baking sheet. As tempting as it is, do not attempt to lift shells off the sheets till they're completely cool.
You have two options for this. One is to use the other buttercream recipe I've posted before and that I used for the blogger get-together which is a Swiss Meringue Buttercream where you'll incorporate the blended up lychees at the end. Today's recipe uses the three egg yolks from the macaron recipe so nothing goes to waste.
- Stand mixer (because the whisking part is going to take a while) with whisk and beater attachment
- Candy thermometer
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter at room temp
- 8 lychees from a can (or more if you so desire) strained of syrup
Puree the lychees and set aside to chill in refrigerator while you make the buttercream.
Bring the sugar and water to a boil to 238˚ F. While you're waiting for the syrup to boil start whisking the egg yolks till they're mixed well. Stop the mixer, tend to the syrup. Once it has reached the desired temperature, start the mixer up on medium and VERY CAREFULLY pour the syrup into the mixing bowl. When you've poured everything in to the yolks turn the mixer up to medium-high and whisk till it's cold.
Once the egg/syrup mixture has become creamy in color and has cooled down to room temp, switch to the beater attachment. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then start beating the butter into the mixture one tablespoon at a time. Once you've used about one stick of butter, add the lychee and whisk away, adding the rest of the butter.
Pipe or spread the buttercream into the macaroni shells, place in an airtight container and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.