Remember back in March when we talked about those delightfully nerdy fandom teas? Well I found a way to incorporate Cara McGee's TARDIS blend tea into a Doctor Who inspired macaron. Although I couldn't get the shells to be that recognizable TARDIS blue I did manage to infuse the TARDIS tea into some cream to create a delicious white chocolate ganache. Think your favorite cuppa in frosting form. British style of course, with cream and sugar because the Doctor wouldn't have it any other way. These delicate macarons may not save you from the Weeping Angels but they might make you feel timey-wimey. Okay, maybe not but trust me, they were one of the most delicious things I've had in all of time and space.
Macarons with TARDIS White Chocolate Ganache
Makes 36 large shells or 18 sandwiched cookies
Blue Macaron Ingredients
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. Make sure to double up on cookie sheets so your macarons don't cook too quickly during the baking process. If you have a macaron piping template put it under the parchment paper so you can see where to pipe otherwise you'll have to take the route I took and trace circles all over the parchment paper as a guide. The size is up to you, I made mine fairly large for a macaron which is why this recipe yielded a small amount for me.
2. Weigh out your almond meal, powdered sugar, egg whites and granulated sugar separately using a kitchen scale.
3. Add your almond meal and powdered sugar into a food processor and pulse until both ingredients are well combined.
4. Sift the almond sugar mixture through a sieve or sifter over a large bowl. We're using a large bowl because you'll need the room for the meringue later. After your entire mixture has been sifted it's time to move to the meringue.
5. Place your egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a bowl or in your stand mixer bowl. Using Bravetart's guide to making macarons set your stand mixer to 4 or "medium" for 3 minutes. The egg whites won't look super foamy at this point but that's okay because we're no where near done with them. Increase the speed to 7 or "medium-high" for an additional 3 minutes. Then turn up the mixer to 8 for another 3 minutes. At this time it's best to add your coloring so it's incorporated evenly into the meringue. At this point you should have a stiff meringue, this means that the meringue should stand up on itself so check your whisk and turn it upside down. Is the meringue clinging tight? Can you turn your bowl over your head and not have a head full of meringue? Good, then that's the perfect consistency! Be careful not to overmix as you'll end up with a gritty meringue and won't be able to complete the macaronage stage.
6. Now here's where things get scary. The macaronage stage is where you mix the meringue in with the dry ingredients. You can't beat or stir this you have to gently fold the two together. Pour your meringue into your almond sugar mixture. Using a rubber spatula circle the entirety of the bowl then come straight down the middle with your strokes. You want to get the air out of the meringue without over beating it while still incorporating the almond sugar mixture. The consistency you want should be what people describe as "lava-like". Basically it should flow onto itself and melt back into the mixture after about 20 seconds. This consistency is usually achieved after 60 strokes. Do a consistency check to see if your mixture is flowing like ribbons of lava.
7. Take an piping bag and fit it with a large round tip. Twist the bag near the tip end so your batter doesn't flow until you're ready to pipe. Carefully add your batter to the piping back but be careful not to over fill the bag. Make sure all the air is out of the bag by twisting the open end. Take your full piping bag to your cookie sheets and pipe your shells. Don't pipe in a circle just center the tip in the middle of your circle and squeeze just before the batter reaches the edges of the circle. Release your pressure on the bag to stop the flow of batter and move onto the remaining shells.
8. After all your shells are piped carefully grab your cookie sheets (while also holding the parchment paper in place) and tap the cookie sheets on a table. It's okay to be a little rough during this part, we want all the remaining air to rise to the top so we can get the smoothest shells possible. After about 4-5 raps on the table your cookies are ready to dry. Leave them out for about 30-60 minutes until the shells are no longer sticky to the touch.
Preheat your oven to 280 degrees. Put a large cookie tray on the top rack of your oven to shield the shells from over browning. Once your oven reaches 280 degrees place your macarons on the lower third rack. Bake for 15-18 minutes pulling the shells out before they get browned. Some recipes say to keep the oven door propped open a crack to release the steam from the cookies but if you doubled up on the cookie sheets you should be fine. After your cookies are done baking let them cool on the cookie sheet until cool. Do not try removing the cookies from the parchment paper until they are completely cool otherwise you risk losing the bottom of your cookie.
TARDIS Tea White Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:
1. Add heavy cream and tea leaves to a medium sauce pan. Let the cream slowly heat on low. The tea leaves will steep in the cream and turn the cream to a golden brown color.
2. Add your white chocolate to a small bowl. Once your cream begins to bubble it's time to add it to the white chocolate but you have to remove the loose leaves first. You can use a sieve or tea press for this.
3. Add the warm cream to the white chocolate and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Once the desired consistency has been reached cover and let set in the fridge for 2 hours. When the ganache is chilled it will be easier to spread when you assemble the macarons.
4. Match up your macaron shells up by size in pairs. Grab your chilled ganache and add about a tbsp to one shell and sandwich the cookies together being careful not to crack the fragile shells.
5. Once all the cookies are assembled they need to be chilled for 24 hours to achieve optimal deliciousness. I know, it's hard especially after all these steps and you can't even eat one. Trust me, you want that ganache to have time to get all cozy with your macaron shells, it'll be worth it. After 24 hours, dig in!