It’s been a while since I rolled out my almond flour, but today I was jonesing to make some macs. I’m always looking for inspiration when it comes to making french macarons and as long as the shell makes friends with the filling, then everything usually works out. Making the meringue shells is the tedious part for me, I liken it to having to prime a wall before painting, not too exciting and you just want to get to the main color you chose to paint!
The filling is a different story. Maybe it’s because creams and sauces are involved and the error factor is narrowed considerably or maybe it’s because you know the flavor is going to mainly shine from the sweet and gooey inside…who the heck would buy a dry meringue shell, seriously?
My inspiration for these macarons came from some mangoes I brought home form Camp Blogaway last weekend. Yup, I attended my first ever blog affair sharing a tiny spot of wilderness in the middle of the Angeles Forest with ninety five other food freaks. We ate, drank and shared a wealth of information with each other and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tiny bit nervous driving up the dusty road. These nerves soon melted as I began to meet people who became very good friends in a short space of time. I wish I could have spoken to everyone and I did touch base with about three quarters of the attendees but time was short and someone kept ringing a bell…This might be a good time to mention the brains behind the camp. Patti Londre, PR and marketing sensei makes it all happen and makes it look super easy!
We had amazing speakers from seasoned bloggers like LA Fuji Mama, Cooking With Amy and Cookin’ Canuck. Ben Rhau, Kalyn Denny and Kelly Jaggers all gave fantastic speeches which filled my note book! Local blogger Erika Kerekes let us know what it’s like to be writing posts from her hotel room while travelling and gave a great bunch of tips to avoid blogger burnout.
Staff writer and editor, Rene Lynch from the Los Angeles Times talked about pitching to the media. Denise Vivaldo, professional food stylist among many other culinary crowns she has worn was amazingly down to earth. I loved listening to her talk about her years of experience and I could only wish to be as business driven as she is. Award winning journalist, Barbara Gibbs Ostmann unfortunately wasn’t able to make it but her session was cleverly picked up by Nancie McDermott and Sandra Hu. I would also like to mention Christina Peters who gave a great breakout session on photography.
Sponsors were invited and they came. The National Honey Board were there with samples of honey from all sorts of different flowers. Molly O’ Loughlin from Kerrygold was pushing cheese and butter samples like nobodys business, next year Molly we want to milk a cow! Kathleen Donovan was representing Cutco American made knives, yes we did get to take some home, score!! Maragret Laport from Gourmet Garden came with her amazing concept of fresh herbs in a tube. The National Mango Board were on hand to tell us where the butt and cheeks of a mango were…seriously and we all touched them! McKinzey and Melanie prepared some mango desserts for us to try and that leads me back to my macarons, I dedicate them to you, Mango Board…
Mango Cumin Macarons
- 1 Cup of confectioners sugar
- 3/4 Cup of almond flour
- 1 tsp of ground cumin
- 2 Large egg whites at room temp
- A pinch of cream of tartar
- 1/4 Cup of superfine sugar I used granulated
- 1 1/2 Cups of heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp of Sugar
- 2 Ripe mangoes
- Sift the confectioners sugar, cumin and the almond flour together. Whisk the whites on medium until they get foamy, add the cream of tartar and mix for 1 more minute.
- Add the sugar gradually and when all added crank up the mixer to high and whisk until you get stiff peaks.
- Take your bowl from the mixer and sift the flour/sugar mixture again into the egg whites. Start folding the mixture with a large flat spatula gently turning about fifty times.
- Transfer the mix to a piping bag with a half inch plain tip and start piping onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. I piped to about the size of a quarter and then drag the tip to the edge quickly to avoid leaving a peak on the macaron.
- Once they are all piped, leave them sitting at room temp for at least 45 minutes until you see them become dull on top and are dry to the touch. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and when theyre ready put them in. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes when they come out of the oven and then gently lift the whole paper sheet form the tray to your counter.
- Have your filling ready and fill once they are cool.
- Peel the mangoes and blend them in a blender until smooth. Push the pulp through a sieve until you have 1 cup of pure pulp. Discard the leftover fibrous stuff.
- Whip the cream and the sugar until firm peaks appear. Gently fold in the cup of pulp to the cream.
- Using a small piping bag, pipe the cream onto the shells and top with another shell.