These passion fruit flavored macarons is something that I have been wanting to try for the longest time. What hindered the process was the lack of the main ingredient, the passion fruit itself. We planted a passion fruit tree last summer, there was one sole fruit on the tree when I got it. This summer, I was so excited to see many beautiful passion fruit flowers blooming under the sun. But that was all that happened, just the flowers, never came the fruits! The flowers kept on coming and blooming, but that was all I can see. I was so disappointed not being able to see those beautiful little brown things hanging on my tree.
Just when I thought I would never be able to accomplish my dream, then came the real things. Although these were not from my tree, but they are as real and as fresh as any passion fruits can be. Thanks to my mother-in-law who supplied me with these rare, precious fruits from her friend's garden. My impossible mission is finally accomplished.
I just love how the passion fruit flavor and fragrant play out in this little delightful dessert. The exquisite scent of passion fruits to me smells like a cross between guava and and strawberry. Passion fruit itself is tarty and tangy in flavor with a subtle taste of sweetness. They are mostly use in gourmet baking or cooking to enhance the aromatic flavor of the desserts or dishes. Once being added, it will bring out a very pleasant, distinctive flavor to the dish. Not only being well known for the aroma, it's also packed with tons of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. A very healthful fruit indeed!
Hopefully one day, my passion fruit tree will be able to bear some of these precious fruits for me. Until then I will have to depend on the generosity of others:).
(Original recipe adapted from Not so humble pie)
Ingredients: (make about 80 shells or 40 macarons)
120 g almond meal (Red Bob Mills brand)
200g powdered sugar
100g egg whites (aged for 24hrs on the kitchen counter)
35g vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar)
a small pinch cream of tartaryellow food coloring gel (3-4 drops)
5 tsp of passion fruit juice (no pulps)
1. Mix together almond meal and powdered sugar in a food processor. Pulse until all incorporate well, sift and set aside. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean bow of a stand mixer, start at low speed (number 2) until foamy then gradually add in vanilla sugar and increase speed to medium (number 6). Add in food color and continue to beat the meringue until a stiff peak formed (do not over mix).
2. Add the nut flour/sugar mixture and passion fruit juice into the meringue in three additions and start folding until all incorporated (about 50 strokes). This step (also called macaronage) is very crucial for macarons, make sure you don't over mixed the batter, otherwise it will become too runny, resulting in flat, footless macarons. However, under-mixed batter will yield cracked and also footless macarons. The mixture should flow down like a strand of ribbon (or lava-like consistency) as the spatula lifted from the batter.
3. Attach the round tip (Ateco #11) to the pastry bag and pipe them onto the prepared baking sheets that lined with silpat or parchment paper . The size of each cookie is about the size of a quarter (1 inch), and make sure to leave enough space between the cookies. Pick up the tray and tap down hard on the counter to bring up the bubbles inside the macarons. Use a toothpick to pop any bubbles that surfaced on the top of the shells.
4. Let the macarons rest at room temperature for about 30 to 60 min to dry up the surfaces (it's ready when it doesn't stick to your finger or feel wet when touched)
5. Preheat the oven to 305F, place an aluminum foil sheet on the top rack to prevent the macarons from browning too quickly (make sure you know your oven, they are not all the same in term of temperatures, and this is the temperature that works for my macarons). Then place the cookie sheet on the 2nd to the bottom rack and bake for about 15min.
6. Remove from the oven and let they cool down slightly before remove from the Silpat or parchment paper. Cool completely on the cookie rack before adding the filling.
7. Assemble the macaron with a small dollop of passion fruit buttercream filling in the middle of one shell and top with another shell and press down slightly. Refrigerate the macarons in an airtight container for 24-48hrs before devouring them. The macarons will need time to mature and absorb the moisture from the filling, so be patient and trust me it worth the wait ! They can also freeze very well in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Passion fruit Swiss meringue butter cream:
50 grams egg whites (about 2 small egg whites)100 grams sugar
150 grams butter, softened at room temperature (cut into 1 tbsp pieces)3-4 tbsp of passion fruit juice (no pulps)
Combine the egg whites with sugar and place them in the double boiler. Whisk them together until all the sugar dissolved and the egg whites start to turn opaque and fluffy. Continue whisking until the egg whites become hot to tough. Transfer the egg whites into a mixer bow and start whipping at high speed until light and fluffy (or until the bow is not hot anymore, it takes about 5 min).
Start adding softened butter, piece by piece, until all incorporated into the meringue. It might look like it is curdling at first, but continue whipping will make it comes together. Finally add the passion fruit juice and mix well to combine.
Leftover butter cream can be stored in the freezer for later use.