I made macaron once before, it failed, and I've never tried making it again until recently. It's not that I don't like it because once in a while I still buy from a store and enjoy it immensely. Then, I found my interest in making it once more. This time armed with a good recipe, a very dry day, and a bag of ground hazelnut, I promised myself that it'd work out.
Red Velvet Macarons
Makes about 40 (1-inch) macarons
1 packed cup (145 grams) hazelnut flour
⅔ packed cup (145 grams) confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoons (17.5 grams) cocoa powder
Pinch fine sea salt
1 tablespoon (5 grams) powdered egg white
¾ cup (150 grams granulated sugar
½ cup (115 grams) aged egg whites (from 4 eggs)
½ teaspoon (3 grams) cream of tartar
5 drops red liquid food coloring
Place hazelnut flour, confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 4 times to combine them. Sift with a fine-mesh strainer onto a sheet of waxed paper.
With a hand whisk, whisk together the powdered egg whites and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk in the egg whites and cream of tartar until the mixture is homogenous.
Set the bowl and whisk attachment on the mixer and whisk on medium speed until the meringue is glossy and forms a stiff peak, about 11 minutes.
Once the meringue reaches stiff peaks and resembles marshmallow fluff, stop the mixer. With a spatula, quickly fold the sifted dry ingredients into the meringue. When the batter appears to be 90 percent incorporated, scraped the sides of the bowl, and fold in the food coloring.
Cover the batter with plastic wrap placed directly over it, to prevent a skin from forming, and let the batter sit 1 hour at room temperature. It will be thick, but loosen somewhat in the hour.
Preheat the oven to 200F.
Spoon the batter in a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip. Fill the bag halfway, leaving the rest of the meringue in the bowl while piping; cover it with plastic wrap while a batch is in the oven. Twist the top of the bag to close. Pipe the meringue on the silicone mat or parchment-lined baking sheet into quarter-sized mounds, 1 ½ inches apart from one another. Firmly slam the baking sheets down to remove excess air.
Bake meringue shells at 200F for 15 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350F and bake for an additional 11 minutes, until the foot and edge of the shells feel firm. Remove the shells from the oven. Slide the silicone mat or parchment onto a cooling rack and let the shells cool completely, for 1 hour.
Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
½ stick unsalted butter, softened
½ packed cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch fine sea salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter on low speed until the mixture is fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat until smooth, about 5 minute, scraping regularly with a spatula to ensure that everything is well combined. The fluff can be kept covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week. Spoon into a piping bag when ready to fill.
Pipe a small amount of the cream cheese filling in a circular shape about ½-inch thick, not going all the way to the edge, on the flat sides of 40 of the shells. Top with another shell, twisting slightly to secure the fillings.
Source: Les Petits Macarons byt Kathryn Gordon and Anne E. McBride