Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Panda Bear Macarons with Cookie and Cream Buttercream




As if making macarons is not hard enough, I had a crazy idea of making panda bear macarons for a friend’s baby shower.

I’m so happy that these macarons came out beautifully. Aren’t they cute? And for double the cuteness, I packaged the panda bear macarons in equally cute mini Chinese take-away boxes.

With the success of these panda bear macarons, I don’t think I can ever go back to making “normal” macarons again. It would just be too boring.

If you want to attempt these macarons, don’t forget the three big rules- Always aged your egg whites, preferably for 1 week. Process and sift the ground almond (almond meal) and icing sugar. And fold the meringue into the almond paste mixture with care and gentle hand.

UPDATE: If you like these panda bear macarons, you might like these Miffy, Ted and Rilakkuma macarons.






Panda Bear Macarons with Cookie and Cream Buttercream
(Macaron shells recipe adapted from Secrets of Macarons)

For the macaron shells
200 gram ground almonds (almond meal)
200 gram icing sugar
75 ml water
200 gram caster sugar
2 x 80 gram egg whites

For the cookie and cream buttercream
3 egg yolks
60 grams caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
125 grams softened unsalted batter, chopped
60 grams oreo cookies
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

To make macaron shells:
Process then carefully sift the ground almonds and icing sugar. Set aside.

In a saucepan, bring the water and caster sugar to boil. Without stirring, make sure the temperature of the resulting syrup doesn't go above 115 degree Celsius.

Gently beat 80g egg whites to soft peaks, then increasing the speed of the beater when the temperature of the syrup passes 105 degree Celsius. When the syrup reaches 115 degree Celsius, remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the syrup in a thin stream into the beaten egg whites. Continue to beat the meringue for about 10 minutes, so that it cools.

Combine the ground almonds, icing sugar and the remaining 80 grams unbeaten egg whites, making a smooth almond paste.

Using a spatula, incorporate about a third of the meringue into the almond paste to loosen the mixture a little, then add the rest of the meringue, working the batter carefully.

When the batter starts to come together and just before it reaches the "magma-like" consistency, scoop out a quarter of the mixture to a small bowl and set aside. Continue folding the rest of the mixture carefully until glossy and ("magna-like") moves slowly when the bowl is tilted.

Fill a piping bag fitted with an 8mm nozzle with batter. Pipe rounds of batter about 3.5cm in diameter, spacing them 3cm apart on the baking trays lined with baking paper.

Return to the mixture that was set aside earlier. Add black colouring (about a tablespoon) and fold mixture until colour is uniform. The mixture may be runny and appear over-mix by the time the colour is completely incorporated. But that is okay because this part of the mixture is for the ears, eyes, nose and tail, and you don’t need pretty feet for these areas.

Fill a piping bag fitted with an 2mm nozzle with batter. Pipe small dots of batter for the ears, eyes, nose and tail.

Lightly tap the bottom of the trays and allow the macarons to form a crust at room temperature for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 150 degree celsius (or 140 degree celsius fan force).

Bake in the oven for 14 minutes. My macarons took about 20 minutes. The macarons are cook when they come off from the baking paper easily.

To make cookie and cream buttercream:
Scrap off creme filling from the Oreos. Crush the Oreos in a food processor until finely ground.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and vanilla seeds on high speed for 10 minutes, until pale and creamy.

Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Insert a sugar thermometer and simmer until the syrups reaches 121 degree celcius.

With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the creamed yolks. Beat on high speeds for 10 minutes, until cool. With the mixer on medium speed, add the softened butter a cube at a time, allowing each piece to mix in before adding the next. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Add the crush Oreos and beat for another 2 minutes.

To assemble:
Using a piping bag fitted with an 8mm nozzle, full half the macaron shells with ganache then assemble the macarons with the remaining shells. Store the macarons for 24 hours in the fridge.

17 comments:

  1. That's so cool! I love the idea of making animals from macarons :)

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  2. these are so cute! i make macarons all the time, but i've yet to attempt any animal ones. i must put this on my to-make-list!

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  3. I would never be able to make something this amazing, but well done and so cute!!

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  4. these are so so cute - fabulous idea!

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  5. These are adorable! good idea on using a small amount of batter to decorate the round macaron base!

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  6. Panda!! Those are adorable! I love macarons and animal ones are just more reason to love them!

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  7. thanks for sharing.

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  8. Soooo cute and thanks for sharing your creativity! Just for clarification, what do you mean by aged egg whites? Do you crack the eggs open, separate the yolks from the whites, then store just the whites in the fridge for a week before use?

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    1. Hi there. Yes, aged egg whites means separating the yolks from the whites and store the whites in a container covered (or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap) for a week. When ready to use, take the whites out from the fridge, uncovered (in case water from the condensation drips into the whites), and bring the whites to room temperature. Good luck. Let me know how it went.

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  9. hi there, how much water should I use for boiling the sugar in the making of the cookies and cream?

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    1. 2 tablespoons water. Thanks for picking that up.

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    2. no prob and thanks so much!! =) your macarons are amazing!

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  10. omg im in LOVE with your blog!!! i just followed you on instagram, my username is Jakkyroo

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