Back here with another peach recipe! They really are so good at the moment that it would be a shame not to make the most of them. Also back here with another Macaron recipe - once again, on the last day of the month. Whoops. But also - Roasted Peach Streusel Macarons. These Peach cobbler inspired treats are the perfect wee summer treat!
Jase and I wanted to really jam a strong peach flavour into these wee babes, so we went with my fave - a vanilla bean german buttercream, which we then added a whole load of roasted peaches to. The key to adding fruit to a buttercream and avoiding the separation due to the liquid is removing as much of that liquid as you can first. You can do this by using freeze dried fruit, or cooking the fruit down into a puree or compote. We roasted the peaches with a little vanilla bean, sugar, and a pinch of salt, until they were delicious and soft, and then added that to the buttercream. I love roasted peaches as is, but added to a buttery, custardy german buttercream - the best.
We wanted to go for a bit of a peach cobbler vibe, so toped the shells of the macs with a brown butter streusel. The toasty streusel paired perfectly with the chewy shell and the fruity buttercream, to create the most delicious little bite! I do hope you give these a try - they are so, so good! I can't wait to add the streusel / roasted peach german buttercream to a whole lot of things this summer!
As we have been making these each month, we have ironed out more and more of the kinks associated with macaron making. Something that we had been struggling with was that our macarons were coming out oval shaped, and we couldn't seem to work out why. For some reason it was only an issue when we made them at Jase's, and it had seemed to be getting worse. Suddenly we realised that as the year had gone on and the weather had gotten hotter, Jase's air con had been on and on more and more! I don't tend to have it on when I am baking at mine - and had never struggled with oval macarons at my house before, so it suddenly all made sense! We switched off the aircon, made another batch (for science), and sure enough, they turned out nice and round! This makes total sense as it was only happening in one place! So, if you have an aircon / heater / some sort of breeze in your kitchen, try to minimise, just while the macs are resting!
A few wee tips:
- Everything I can think of that will make macaron making easier has been added to this post - I update it as I go!
- The ideal order for making these is: Make the pastry cream, roasted peaches and streusel the night before, then make the mac shells and mix up the buttercream the day of! Everything can definitely be done the day of, but it is a couple of different components so may take some time. If you do it day of, make pastry cream first, then prep the streusel while the peaches are roasting, and then get that on once the peaches are done. Then make your mac shells, and whip up the buttercream while they are baking!
- I was originally grinding the almond meal and powdered sugar together, but then realised it really only needed sifting, I just had the wrong sized sieve! You want one with a medium sized mesh (I ordered this one), and make sure you sift twice to remove any big lumps and aerate the mixture.
- We also discovered an amazing parchment - and haven't had a single mac stick since we started using it. It's a non-stick parchment paper - we used this one.
- The pastry cream for the buttercream ideally needs overnight so ensure you plan for this, otherwise you can cool it quicker in an ice bath, or by spreading it in a quarter baking sheet lined with plastic, covering the surface of the pastry cream with another piece of plastic wrap, and chilling it in the freezer until cool. The larger surface area and shallow baking sheet mean that it cools much faster.
- Adjust the sugar depending on the sweetness / juiciness of your peaches!
- Because you start with cool pastry cream (as opposed to slightly warm meringue as you would for a SMBC), make sure that your butter is very room temperature. If it isn't quite soft enough and you find your buttercream is seizing, you can remove about 1/3 cup of the buttercream, melt in the microwave, and then add back in and continue whipping. The heat from the melted buttercream is often enough to bring it all back together into the silky niceness you are after.
- You will have some streusel leftover - store in an airtight container. It's amazing on ice cream!
- If you need a template, print two of these and stick them together to use as a guide.
Roasted Peach Streusel Macarons
- Makes about 24 sandwiched macarons -
Roasted Peach German Buttercream
190g whole milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
12g (1 1/2 Tbsp) corn starch
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
340 (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g roasted peach puree (recipe follows)
Roasted Peach Puree
600g fresh, ripe peaches, cut into segments (I leave mine unpeeled and peel once cooked)
70g raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Brown Butter Streusel
80g unsalted butter, cubed
100g Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
115g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp allspice
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
about 10 drops of peach gel food colouring (we used peach by americolor)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- PROCESS -
ROASTED PEACH GERMAN BUTTERCREAM
In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, egg, egg yolk and salt. In a medium non-stick saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla to just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat.
Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.
Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow dish or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold - at least four hours, preferably overnight.
Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip the mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. It may look curdled at some point but just keep whipping - it will come together! Once the buttercream is homogenous, add the peach puree and mix well to combine. Store in an airtight container until ready to use, or if using immediately, transfer to a piping bag.
ROASTED PEACH PUREE
Preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the peach segments, sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt, and toss to combine. Spread evenly over the baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes, until the peaches are soft and beginning to caramelise. Allow to cool on the pan before removing the skins from the segments, and placing the segments in a bowl. Roughly mash with a fork. Set aside until you are making the buttercream - you will use 300g of the puree.
BROWN BUTTER STREUSEL
Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To make the streusel, place the butter in a small pan, and place on the stove over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Continue to cook, until the butter begins to foam, smells nutty, and goes a deep golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and place in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well to combine. Using your hands, break up any large lumps. Spread evenly over the baking sheet, and bake until lightly golden and toasty, 10-15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Preheat oven to 300˚f / 150˚c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle.
Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Sift the mixture twice, to ensure there are no large lumps and that the mixture is properly aerated. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Add peach gel food colour a few drops at a time, until the desired colour is reached. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks (there is a good example here).
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture.
Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Again, this video does a good job of explaining it. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.
Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little "flick" of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.
Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly. Sprinkle half of the macaron shells on the baking sheet with streusel.
Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth.
Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity.
About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time - place the sheet with the macarons on the preheated sheet, and place in the oven.
Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that!
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.
If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper.
Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use.
Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a round attachment (such as an ateco #805) Match the macaron shells up so that they are in pairs of equal size, with one streusel coated shell and one plain shell per pair.
Pipe a blob of buttercream on one half of the macaron, and place the second half on top, pressing lightly. Macarons are best after an overnight rest in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before eating.