Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Raspberry and Coconut Macarons

Raspberry Coconut Macarons (0096) by Meeta K. Wolff

Coconut lemon meringue pie, Indian carrot halwa, tiramisu or saffron kulfi – desserts were my mother’s specialty. She was a spectacular cook but it was her desserts that really made her popular amongst friends and family. Once a month she got the opportunity to display her skills when friends would get together for their regular games nights. Often potluck evenings, I have many fond memories of those nights.


They were boisterous gatherings, full of laughs, debates, arguments, accusations of cheating and of course plenty of eating. Guests usually brought a variety of delicious home cooked meals and being an international group, there was everything from pot pies, casseroles, stews to curries, bakes and stir-fries.

While men discussed the latest in sports or current affairs over tumblers of whiskey, the women spent a good deal of time complimenting each other and exchanging recipes. Once the small talk was over they gathered around the table set up for the game. Usually card games similar to poker were played and often high stakes were placed, but most important at that table, men and women became equal. Their roars of laughter and heated debates could be heard throughout the house.

With the adults busy playing their games, we kids were often left to our own devices, the eldest in charge to intervene if things got out of control. Our games were of make believe worlds, where we literally rearranged the bedroom furniture to suit our needs. Fortresses were made out of beds and pillows, sheets became our royal robes and we used whatever we found in closets to dress for the occasion.

Raspberry Coconut Macarons (0101) by Meeta K. Wolff

Dinnertime brought the required interlude to bring us all together again. Assembling at the buffet-style table, the aromas of the food whet our appetites coaxing us to overeat. My mother’s presentation of the desserts was always the highlight of the evening. Having spent most of the day in the kitchen, she would present a few different types of treats. These were usually special requests from the previous games night. Mum always liked to please everyone.

Those family game nights were always a success with friends and family for years and continued for many years, moving with us from country to country. There are so many fond memories that come to mind when thinking of those nights – the games, victories and losses. Although my parents have now stopped with those game nights, they still love to entertain and my mother still is in charge of dessert.

Raspberry Coconut Macarons (0098) by Meeta K. Wolff

The apple does not fall far from the tree as they say. In my own circle of friends I seem to have taken over my mother’s tradition and am usually the one who is put in charge of dessert. One little treat that cannot be missing from the dessert table are macarons. I always enjoy watching people play guessing games as to what flavor combination is tickling their taste buds. This combination really brings together an exquisite pairing together. Freeze dried raspberry powder provides a powerful and tangy flavor level for the shells, while rich white chocolate is combined with coconut for a smooth ganache.

Recipe: Raspberry Coconut Macarons

Printable version of recipe here

 Raspberry Coconut Macarons by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:
For the macaron shells

  • 110g icing sugar
  • 60g almonds, very finely ground
  • 60g egg whites, (about 2 eggs) aged for either 5 days in the fridge, then for 24 hours at room temperature or a little over 24 hours on the countertop
  • 40g granulated sugar
  • 15g freeze dried raspberry powder, sieved
For the filling
  • 280g white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 155ml heavy cream
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut flakes

Method:
For the macaron shells

  1. Prepare your baking tray and baking sheets with a stencil of circles. Draw circles on some baking paper using a (mathematical) compass about 2 cm in diameter. Then place some white parchment paper on the baking tray and flip the baking paper back around. Or use this macaron template.

  2. In a large mixing bowl mix the egg whites with an electric hand beater (alternatively you can use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) until it is thick and frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, whisking all the while, until the mixture turns into a thick glossy meringue. The consistency of the macaron batter should be similar to hair mousse or shaving foam. Make sure the meringue is not over-beaten or else it will be too dry.

  3. In a food processor pulse together icing sugar and almonds until everything is finely ground and powdery. Sift the mixture 2 or 3 times to make sure there are no lumps.

  4. Place the dry ingredients, including the raspberry powder into a bowl. Add the meringue in three portions, giving it a quick fold using the macronnage technique described in my macaron tips section. Fold the mixture a few times to break the air. Continue until you get a smooth and supple mixture, thick in consistency so that when you lift the spatula it flows back in thick ribbons. Test a small amount on a plate – should the tops fall back and flatten by themselves then it is ready, if not give it a few more folds.

  5. Fill a piping bag with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (2 cm in diameter) on your prepared baking paper. Leave the macarons to rest and dry for about 15 to 30 minutes.

  6. In the meantime preheat the the oven to 150 degrees C. When the macarons are ready bake the shells for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Use a flat offset spatula to gently remove the shells from the baking paper and allow to cool further on a rack.
For the filling
  1. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

  2. Bring the heavy cream to a boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Working with a whisk or spatula, gently stir the chocolate and cream together. Add the coconut and when the ganache is smooth, stir in the butter.

  3. Cool the ganache by putting the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water. Stir almost constantly, so it doesn't harden; when the ganache is thick enough to pipe, spoon into the pastry bag.

Assembling the macarons

Pipe small portions of the coconut ganache filling on one of the shells and gently cover with another shell. Do not press. Continue to do this until you have used up all of the filling and shells. If the ganache is really thick, simply use two spoons and spoon portions on the shells.

Storing Macarons

If you are not going to be using them right away you can store the shells in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. They freeze well too but it is recommended to freeze them unfilled. To fill them take the shells out of the freezer 48 hours prior to serving and without defrosting fill them. This way the flavors will be allowed to blend as they thaw. Macarons taste best the next day. Prepare and fill them, then keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. This allows the flavors to intermingle with each other. Enjoy them at room temperature the next day.


Verdict

Raspberry Coconut Macarons (0107) by Meeta K. Wolff

Some will say macarons are outdated or overrated. For me I doubt they will ever go out of style. I love the fact that they are so wonderfully versatile and one can dress them up in a plethora of flavor combination. For me macarons are like my little playground where I can test, experiment and play around with flavor combinations that are whirling around in my head.

A bag of freeze dried raspberries was lying in my pantry since May, when Arthi of Soul Curry brought some for me to test. Tastewise, it’s powerful and intense on it’s own, but mixed into the macaron ingredients it subtly lends it’s raspberry tanginess throughout the shells. That’s what one tastes immediately when the first bite is taken. The next taste level takes you away to a tropical island far away. Coconut does that to me, transporting me to places where beaches and palm trees are plentiful. The coconut in the ganache is wonderfully sublime and pairs with the tartness of the raspberry incredibly.

So, if desserts is what you too are in charge of, make macarons, they are easier than what they are reputed to be and always add a touch of splendor.

If you have not already heard, there’s something new at Plate to Page. We’ve moved and have a new home. Come on over to www.platetopage.com and see what we’ve been up to. Not only are we shining with a new website but we also have a new logo to show-off. The girls and I have been busy behind the scenes with many tasks. Thanks to the men in our lives too who have also put in a few hours helping us on many levels. Plate to Page Tuscany is just a few weeks away and we are gearing up for that towards the end of October. Once again the workshop is sold out and we are looking forward to welcoming participants from around the globe. We’re also looking ahead to May 2012 when the third Plate to Page workshop will take place in London. We recently secured an amazing venue after much searching. More news to follow on that. So please make sure you subscribe to Plate to Page, follow us on Twitter and stay connected via our Facebook page for all the latest news!

Hope you all have a fantastic week and weekend. Catch you all next week! 

More macaron ideas from WFLH:

Raspberry Tea Macarons with Tahini Dark Chocolate Cream Matcha Macarons with Passionfruit Curd Rooibos Chocolate Chai and Sweet Spicy Chocolate Cinnamon Macarons


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2011 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

33 comments :

  1. What a fabulous flavor combination! Just heavenly. As usual, your macarons are splendid and so are your pictures.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. these look delicious and I enjoyed reading the story of your childhood foodie memories! Nazima

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  3. I'm in charge of dessert too! :)

    I love the pairing of raspberries and coconut! Your macroons are just gorgeous! And good luck to the tuscany #plate2page team!

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  4. When you asked on Facebook which combo you should make, I was SO hoping you would make this one. :-) I've been on a coconut kick lately and these sound divine. :-)

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  5. Wow great pics Meeta and I am glad you finally got to use the bag ;-)..I have never tried this combo and you have inspired me to try a cake this very flavor!Cant wait to meet you guyz in London 2012..

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  6. This flavor combination sounds amazing, Meeta!!

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  7. These macarons look lovely! The flavors sound really delicious, and the photos are so gorgeous! :)

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  8. Your macarons are gorgeous! It's also an interesting combination of flavors, it is one I have yet to discover.

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  9. Seriously cant take my eyes from those elegant macarons..

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  10. Your macarons look so delicious and elegant. I love the raspberry and coconut combination.

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  11. Lovely memories from childhood. My mom's cake is very famous among family members and friends :) Such gorgeous pink color and with white chocolate filling .. my husband will go crazy over those :)

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  12. Those look just too pretty. I want to try them!

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  13. My 13 year old daughter has just started to try her hand at macarons and her first attempts have been pretty good. I'm sending this over to her for inspiration.

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  14. Lovely post. Food always seems to bring back fond childhood memories. Your macaroons are so pretty. I love the pastel pink and snowy white color combination.

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  15. I aways love it when you make macarons Meeta! You make them look effortless! Lovely that you are keeping up with your own traditions of being the dessert maker...and deservedly so!

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  16. Thank you all for all your comments. Although my mother was an ace at desserts I have to say she yet needs to make macarons. I hope we can bake them together next time I visit. Glad you all are liking the flavor combination and for those who are still hesitating to make macarons - go for it, what do you have to loose? ;o)

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  17. every one of your macarons comes as a surprise..and this time it is not so exotic as the rose buds, but simple and homey, nevertheless beautiful! LOVE the mood in these pictures.

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  18. I've been wanting to try using freeze-dried fruit powder and macarons are my very favorites! It gives them a really lovely delicate color.

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  19. You took me back to the days when my parents hosted parties. They used to be so much fun, what I remember most was all the kids (including me) creating a hell of a racket.

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  20. Absolutely gorgeous macarons. LOVE the flavor combination.

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  21. yummy. Thanks for the post. I will make some of this..

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  22. Gorgeous macarons and a beautiful flavor combination. I love the story of your family's game night. I can picture the entire scene. Wonderful.

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  23. I love macarons, but I just realize it's been forever since I last made them. Time to change that I guess! I wish I could be at plate 2 page in Tuscany too.. and London too..lol..

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  24. I'm excited to make macarons again as I've recently discovered where I can get the freeze dried fruit powders, until now they were only in my sweet dreams, and a far off candyland where I saw *everyone else* able to use them. Your macarons always look beautiful Meeta.

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  25. Thanks everyone for all your comments! Freeze dried fruit powder is great for the macarons. Hope you all have fun testing some out!

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  26. These are so pretty with their delicate, feminine color. Lovely! And I absolutely love the flavor combination! Beautiful from beginning to end!

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  27. Ha - I know those napkins :)) And it certainly sounds as if you are channelling your mom in the dessert department! I LOVE this flavour combination - the colour of that freeze-dried raspberry powder is awesome and I can only imagine how good the tangy taste must be. Gorgeous pics!

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  28. looking very delicious and yummy. very nice recipe :) i'll try this.

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  29. I really do need to get going on making macarons. Every time I see them, I'm so amazed by all the wonderful kinds one can create. Yes, I need to get on this.

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  30. Meeta, I'm so in love with all of your macaron creations! Reading your blog really helped me learn a lot about macarons, to the point where I was mastering them! I've been quite a bit out of practice lately, and have taken to your blog again to relearn it all! I get inspiration every time I look on here!

    Keep up the awesomeness!

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta