Strawberries & Champagne Macarons

Do you have a Valentine this year? If you do, have you got something fun planned, a sweet gift all figured out? If not, don’t sweat it. I’ve got you covered!

Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or Galentines Day (sorry, boys), these sweet treats will please everyone. What combination could be better than strawberries and champagne for a fun holiday filled with love?! I actually used cava instead of champagne because I prefer it, but the point remains. Strawberries and bubbles!

Cava is the Spanish equivalent of the French champagne (champagne because it’s from the Champagne region of France, get it ;)). I like cava because it isn’t as sweet as traditional champagne. It’s crisp and dry, but you still get the fun bubbles and sense of enjoyment that you get from champagne. It’s my thing, I’ll accept any bottles you want to send my way!

These macarons are just fun. They’re coloured pink and have fun messages on them, somewhat reminiscent of the ‘sweethearts’ candies that pop up in stores this time of year.

But they taste better because they have a strawberry champagne (cava) jam and a champagne (cava) buttercream, and if you make them for your special someone, there’s a whole lotta love in them too!

The alcoholic bubbles mixed with the strawberries for the jam complement each other so well. It’s jam on a whole new level; you might want to just eat it with a spoon instead of filling the macarons. Try and resist, there will be jam leftover! The buttercream is nice and simple with some reduced champagne (cava) and a little straight from the bottle. You’ll probably also want to dip your finger in that a few times 😉

Head to the kitchen and make these for your loved ones. Or your best friends. Or both. Or even yourself. Self love is important too!

Strawberries & Champagne Macarons

Yield: about 40 macarons

Ingredients

    For the shells:
  • 200g almond flour
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 200g sugar
  • 2 1/2 fl. oz. water
  • 160g egg whites, separated into 80g each
  • Pink food colouring
    For the Strawberry Champagne Jam:
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1/2 cup champagne (or cava)
  • 5 tbsp. sugar
    For the Champagne Buttercream:
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp. champagne or cava
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

    For the shells:
  1. Put almond flour and powdered sugar in food processor and process until fine. Sift into a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil (do not stir). Make sure mixture doesn’t go above 240°F.
  3. In a mixer, gently beat 80g egg whites to soft peaks. When sugar mixture reaches 220°F, increase beater speed. When syrup reaches 240°F remove from heat and pour in a thin stream into beaten egg whites. Beat for a further 10 minutes to cool down the meringue.
  4. While the meringue is beating, combine the sifted ingredients and the remaining 80g egg whites to form an almond paste. If adding colour, add it to the paste before adding meringue.
  5. With a flexible spatula, incorporate 1/3 of the meringue into the almond paste to loosen it up. Then add remaining meringue, carefully working the batter.
  6. Fit a piping bag with a large, round tip and fill with batter. Pipe onto silicone or parchment-lined baking sheets. Lightly tap the bottoms on your countertop and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 14 minutes.
    To make the Strawberry Champagne Jam:
  1. Place ingredients in a pot and cook on low heat until thick and pasty, stirring to prevent burning.
  2. Once cooked, transfer to a jar to cool.
    To make the Champagne Buttercream:
  1. Place 1 cup of champagne/cava in a small saucepan. Simmer until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until light, thick and fluffy. Pour in the reduced 2 tbsp. of champagne/cava and add one tbsp. directly from the bottle. Mix well to combine.
    Assembly:
  1. Pair up shells. If you want to write messages on your shells use food-safe markers to do so now. On one half of each pair, pipe a ring of buttercream along the outer edge of the shell. Fill buttercream ring with a dollop of the strawberry champagne jam and sandwich together. Refrigerate in an airtight container overnight to let the flavours develop.
http://www.bryonycooks.com/strawberries-champagne-macarons/

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