BABY BLUE VANILLA BEAN MACARONS MADE WITH PASTEURIZED EGG WHITES
I threw caution to the wind today.
Lately, I have been wondering if all the fussing with the whites is worth it: the separating, then the aging (I do my aging in the fridge) and the waiting until the whites are at room temp.
I purchased at Costco a 3-pack carton of “Simply Egg Whites”, intending to try them in a macaron recipe. The only ingredient on the carton: egg whites. There are no additives. However, the whites are pasteurized. Ordinarily, I make my macarons with aged egg whites from organic eggs. I have a handy-dandy tried-and-true macaron recipe I go to that satisfies me immensely. However, I wanted to try my hand at creating a new recipe using pasteurized whites. This requires a good kitchen scale and so I advise you to weigh carefully if you intend to make macarons with my recipe.
Initially, I had the intention of making Blue, Green and White macarons in honour of the Canucks’ drive for the Stanley Cup (these colours are in their jersey). I continue to turn that oven on every game and bake something just so that I don’t jinx it. The other night it was pizza. I’m getting tired of cookies. A colleague waxed on about my macarons the other day and put the seed in my mind that I ought to make macarons again. I haven’t made them since Christmas!
Unfortunately, mid-way through making these, I lost interest in decorating the macaron shells with the green macaron batter. I wanted to go for a run on the treadmill so I ditched my ambitious decorating plans. Going on the treadmill allowed me some caloric leeway I figured--to enable me to sample the macarons to my heart’s content.
I had intended to pipe green batter onto the blue shells. This didn’t work out and I ended up eating the partially decorated baked shells unfilled because they didn’t look anything like the team colours anyway. They were delicious, btw.
Fortunately, the blue macarons were quite pretty and though the green is missing, the major team colours are blue and white anyway. The green is just used as trim. I think this will have to do.
As you can see, using pasteurized egg whites worked. Because I didn’t want to risk failure I did a few things to ensure my macarons had feet. I added 1 teaspoon of meringue powder (dried egg white powder) and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar to stabilize the whites while I was whisking them. I whisked the whites a total of 10 minutes in my KitchenAid mixer. I did not use room temperature whites. I did not age the whites. I did microwave them for 10 seconds in the microwave oven. I touched the whites coming out of the microwave and they weren’t even room temperature. I figured I’d use them anyway. Guess what? It's all okay! The aging step was a bother, the separating of whole eggs was a waste of time and energy and now I know I don’t have to figure out what to do with all those egg yolks! I know I can make pastry cream, custards and all sorts of things with yolks, folks. However, I just want macarons! I don’t have the time or inclination to make other stuff with the yolks. This pasteurized egg whites idea is great for instant gratification!
So I dedicate my experimental recipe to the Canucks. It’s a winner! I hope they are too!
300 g confectioner’s sugar
225 g finely ground almonds
150 g pasteurized egg whites [I used “Simply Egg Whites”]
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp meringue powder [I used Wilton brand]
150 g granulated sugar
5 ml vanilla paste
Teal or baby blue food colouring [I used Wilton food colouring paste]
- Preheat oven to 310 F.
- Put the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground and combined well.
- Sift the icing sugar and almond mixture into a bowl. Discard large chunks of almond.
- Microwave pasteurized egg whites and meringue powder for 10 seconds in a microwave safe measuring cup.
- Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Gradually add sugar. Whites will become shiny.
- Continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. [It took me 10 minutes.]
- Manually fold almond and icing sugar mixture into egg whites. Add food colouring.
- The batter should flow “like magma”. It should not be spongy and it should not hold a peak. It should spread very slowly. Fill a piping bag that has a large round tip with batter.
- Pipe small rounds onto parchment-lined tray and let air dry for 10 minutes.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or before the macaron shells start to turn brown.
6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon clear almond extract
- Place the softened butter in bowl of mixer.
- Gradually add the sugar by sifting a small amount over the butter and stirring to incorporate. Continue until all the sugar is blended in.
- Beat in the milk until smooth.
- Beat in the electric mixer until the icing is pale and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.