ChocoParis missed the last two MacTweets Mac Attack Challenges, the themed monthly macaron making challenges organised by Deeba and Jamie of MacTweets.
Anyone can participate, and it’s a great way to learn while having fun.
The deadline for this month’s challenge is December 25th.
Ironically, despite not being able to make the deadlines recently, I’ve never been so busy making macarons – four different flavours for a special event last month!
These are chocolate, coffee, mint and raspberry macarons I made for a Christmas sale, an annual event organised by a group of friends who get together to sell their artistic and culinary creations ahead of the holidays.
Everyone presents their speciality, whether jewellery, cards, pottery, knitwear or baked goods.
This was my first year participating, so naturally I decided to make macarons!
Making four different batches of macarons all in the same day was another first for me.
It proved to be a bit of a challenge — from problems with oven temperature to finding sufficient storage space in the refrigerator to coming up with the right type of packaging.
Fortunately all turned out well. For the shells, I used my trusty basic macaron recipe, adjusting it slightly for each flavour variation.
For the coffee macarons, I replaced the cocoa powder with some coffee extract. For the mint and raspberry macarons, I simply omitted the cocoa powder and added a tiny amount of Wilton’s Mint Green and “Rose Petal” food colouring.
The fillings for the four different flavours were: dark chocolate-orange, mocha, white chocolate-mint, and raspberry buttercream (recipes below).
Macarons deserve elegant wrapping. And they deserve to be seen!
I needed individual packages that would display the macarons nicely while protecting them and preventing them from moving around.
After trying various styles of cello bags with and without bottoms and gussets, I used some beautiful Crystal Clear Bags actually made for greeting cards.
They’re super thin and as clear as glass, unlike the “cello” treat bags, which were closer to plastic bags than cellophane.
These bags don’t have bottoms, but the 10 x 15 cm (4 x 6 in) size was a perfect fit for four macarons. Just the right dimensions to securely position two stacks of two macarons in each bag.
A small card with a list of ingredients also helped keep the macarons in place.
To close off the bags I simply cut off the “peel and stick” strip and tied them with a piece of ribbon.
How do you package macarons for special events? I would love to hear your ideas!
Dark chocolate-orange ganache
Place 125 grams (4.5 ounces) dark chocolate, finely chopped in a heat-proof bowl. Bring 100 ml (3.5 fluid ounces) heavy cream to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate, stirring until melted. Stir in 25 grams (1 ounce) butter and a few drops of pure orange extract. Cool until thickened.
To make the mocha filling, bring 50 grams (2 ounces) of heavy cream to a boil, then pour over 125 grams (4.5 ounces) of finely chopped dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Add three tablespoons of strong coffee (or a few drops of coffee extract) and stir until melted, then set aside to thicken.
White-chocolate mint filling
Place 125 grams (4.5 ounces) white chocolate, finely chopped, in a heat-proof bowl. Heat 75 ml (2.5 fluid ounces) of heavy cream over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate, stirring until melted. Add a few drops of peppermint extract. Allow to cool. Add icing sugar one tablespoon at a time while beating with an electric mixer until desired consistency is obtained.
Raspberry buttercream filling
Using a mixer, cream 115 grams (4 ounces) of butter until soft. Gradually incorporate 250 grams (9 ounces) icing sugar in three or four additions, adding a tablespoon of milk in between additions. Add 3/4 cup fresh raspberries and beat well.