I used the reduced sugar recipe for the macaron shells here. Both regular and reduced sugar recipes can be found here. You may refer to my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic presentation of the basics and complex shaped macarons. You may refer to my video tutorials for macaron basics and piping of complex shapes on the blog too.
Just to share some pictures of the process..
You may watch my video tutorial on how to pipe the perfect hearts shapes
Checkout the freshly baked shells and their feet!
The Merlion doesn't need any more decorative work but the hearts sure did. I used royal icing to make the flag patterns. It's was quite a challenge to get the stars painted on uniformly as I didn't have star fondant cutters that were any smaller. I used fondant or cookie cutters to stamp out the outline of where the royal icing was supposed to go before filling it up.
I filled the shells with Earl Grey lavender white chocolate ganache. I tweaked my usual recipe a little by using less white chocolate so that it is even less sweet.
Recipe for Earl Grey lavender white chocolate ganache (fills about 20-25 macarons)
60g vanilla bean white chocolate, chopped
9g vegetable shortening
9g unsalted butter
16g heavy cream
2 tsp Earl Grey powder
1/2 tsp dried Lavender powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
1. Place white chocolate, shortening and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on medium power for 20 seconds and stir. Repeat until mixture is melted. Be careful not to overheat.
2. Heat cream in a small saucepan until bubbles appear. Pour into white chocolate mixture. Stir until well combined.
3. Add salt and tea powders and mix well.
4. You may let mixture stand at room temperature to firm up before piping onto shells. I prefer to whip it so that the texture is lighter. To so so, freeze the bowl of ganache for 2 minutes and beat with a spatula. Repeat freezing for 1 min and beating until the ganache lightens in colour and texture resembles whipped cream.
5. Transfer to piping bag and pipe onto shells. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating. This ganache can be stored at 25℃ for a few days so it is perfect as gifts.
Filling the shells!
Individual wrapping was requested so I packed them like this...
Happy birthday Singapore!