Suze was telling me about the strawberry milk macarons from Cafe Cre Asion that sounded amazing and I really wanted to try. With the combination of my strawberry flavoured milk weakness and Suze's encouraging "Dooooo it"'s, I had to test it out for myself. I decided to combine it with another idea that I had for a cookie dough buttercream. It seemed kind of appropriate, I've mentioned on this blog before that I have a serious weakness for choc chip cookies. They are the one thing besides scones that I will whip up randomly just so I can be a total pig, and I can never stop at one. So this macaron flavour was full of all the things I was addicted to.
What The Fruitcake?!). I also found a cookie dough buttercream from Annie Eats which looked amazing and I had to try. Oh my god. THIS BUTTERCREAM IS ON ANOTHER LEVEL. It is so good. I insist that you try it immediately, put it on a cupcake or just sit there are eat it straight out of the mixing bowl with a wooden spoon like I did. And it has the added bonus of not having any raw egg in it. It really tastes just like cookie dough, I also used slightly salted butter to give it a little extra kick and mixed in small dark chocolate chip bits in the hope that it would help offset the super sweetness from the strawberry nesquik in the macaron shells.
Strawberry Milk Macarons with Cookie Dough Buttercream
(buttercream recipe adapted from Annie Eats)
100g aged egg whites (you can use fresh eggs too, just make sure they are room temperature. I always use fresh these days, and zap it in the microwave on defrost for 10 seconds)
110g almond meal, at room temperature and well sifted
150g icing sugar
50g Strawberry Nesquik
50g caster sugar
Optional: 1 tsp powdered egg whites (available from The Essential Ingredient), helps to stabilise egg whites but is not necessary
For the buttercream:
115g (1 stick) butter, at room temperature (I used slightly salted butter)
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp milk
1/2 pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips (or very finely chopped dark chocolate, I pulsed mine through the food processor to break it up)
Prepare the macarons; Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Place icing sugar and strawberry nesquik in food processor and pulse for a minute to remove any lumps. Stir in almond meal and pulse for about 30 seconds to combine. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and egg white powder in a medium mixing bowl until the egg white powder dissolves and it reaches soft peaks. With the mixer on high speed, gradually add sugar (and then add food colouring) and beat until it reaches stiff peaks.
Add meringue and to your dry mixture and mix, quickly at first to break down the bubbles in the egg white (you really want to beat all the large bubbles out of the mixture, be rough!), then mix carefully as the dry mixture becomes incorporated and it starts to become shiny again. Take care not to overmix, the mixture should flow like lava and a streak of mixture spread over the surface of the rest of the mixture should disappear after about 30 seconds. Place in a piping bag and pipe rounds of about 3.5cm diameter on baking sheets. Tap baking sheets carefully and firmly on the benchtop a couple times to remove any large bubbles.
Leave to dry for about half an hour to an hour, so that when you press the surface of one gently it does not break. This will help prevent any cracking and help the feet to form on the macs. Preheat your oven to 140-150°C (285-300°F), depending on your oven. Place on top of an overturned roasting tray or another baking sheet if your sheets are not professional grade, for better heat distribution. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your shells. Carefully test if the base of the shell is ready by gently lifting one and if it's still soft and sticking to the baking paper, then it needs to bake for a few minutes longer. Remove from the oven and cool on the tray for a few minutes, then gently remove from the sheet and place on a wire rack to cool completely.