White Chocolate-Raspberry Valentine's Day Macaron Recipe
8 ounces white chocolate, divided
7 tablespoons whipping cream
4 ounces almond flour, sifted
7 ounces confectioner's sugar
4 ounces egg whites, room temperature
⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup finely granulated sugar
5 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
4 drops pink food gel coloring
2 tablespoons dried raspberries, for decorating
Start by making the white chocolate ganache. Break up 6 ounces of white chocolate and place it into a bowl. In a microwave-proof bowl or jug, heat up the whipping cream until it is hot but not boiling, then pour it over the white chocolate and stir until the white chocolate has fully melted. Add a drop or two of pink food coloring, if desired, to make the white chocolate ganache a light pink hue.
Add the almond flour and confectioner's sugar to a food processor and blast it 2 or 3 times to thoroughly blend the two ingredients. Then, sift the mixture into a bowl, discard any large lumps, and set to one side.
Using a stand mixer or a handheld electric whisk, add the egg whites to a bowl and beat them. Add the cream of tartar to the bowl when the eggs begin to get foamy.
Once the egg whites are stiff, gradually add the granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, while continuing to beat them. Once all of the sugar has been added to the bowl, add a few drops of pink food coloring along with the raspberry flavoring if you choose to use it, then continue to beat the egg whites on a medium-high setting for a further 5 minutes until they form stiff, glossy peaks.
Fold the sifted almond mixture into the egg mixture in three installments. Then, gently spread the mixture around the sides of the bowl to remove some of the air, before scraping down the bowl to bring it back together. Repeat this process 3 to 5 times, assessing the consistency after each turn, until the batter drops off the spatula in ribbons like lava.
Transfer the macaron batter into a piping bag with a ⅓-inch round nozzle, and then, using a macaron mat to help guide you, hold the piping bag at a 90-degree angle and pipe the batter according to the shape on the mat. You can either buy macaron mats, print out your own online, or create your own template. The key thing to remember when piping macaron hearts is to aim to pipe the letter "V" with the batter.
Once you have filled the tray with macaron batter, tap the tray a few times to release any large air bubbles from the macarons. This should also help to smooth out any tips left over from piping the batter.
Let the piped macarons sit for 30 minutes to an hour, to form a skin on top. The macarons are ready to be cooked when you can touch the top and it feels tacky, but does not leave batter residue on your finger.
To bake, preheat the oven to 300 F, then place one tray at a time into the oven and allow the macarons to cook for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the macarons; they will be ready to come out of the oven when the tops are shiny and the bases (also known as the macaron feet) look crusty and are no longer wet.
Let the macarons rest out of the oven for at least 15 minutes before removing them to cool completely on a wire rack.
Once the macarons are cool, use a piping bag and small, round piping nozzle, to pipe some of the cooled white chocolate ganache in a ring around the edge of each macaron, and then dollop a small amount of raspberry jam in the middle, before placing a second macaron shell on top to complete the sandwich.
Finally, melt the remaining 2 ounces of white chocolate and decorate the macarons with a drizzle of white chocolate and a sprinkling of dried raspberry, if desired.