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Speckled Easter Bunny Macarons

Posted February 26, 2021 by Viktorija Siskova

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These bunny macarons are a delicious dessert idea for your Easter basket or brunch! Not only are they incredibly cute, but they are also absolutely delicious.
Edibles:

Macaron Shells - Almond Paste

  • Fine, dry almond flour: 195g (63/4oz)
  • Silver Spoon Royal Icing Sugar: 150g (51/4oz)
  • Fresh egg whites: 62g (21/5oz), at room temperature
  • Rainbow Dust Professional Food Colour: Turquoise

Italian Meringue

  • Fresh egg whites: 62g (21/5oz), at room temperature
  • SK Essentials Pure Albumen: 2g (<1/4oz)
  • Silver Spoon Caster Sugar: 170g (53/4oz)
  • Still water: 42g (11/2oz)

Milk Chocolate Ganache With Marshmallow Centre

  • Double cream: 115g (4oz)
  • Callebaut Belgian Milk Chocolate Callets, 823NV (33.6% cocoa solids):172g (6oz)
  • Unsalted butter (82.5% fat): 30g (1oz)
  • Marshmallow fluff: 150g (51/4oz)

Decoration

Equipment:

  • Silicone macaron baking mats: 3
  • Aluminium, heavy-duty baking trays: 3
  • Piping bags: 2 large, 1 small
  • Wilton Round Decorating Tips: nos. 10 and 12
  • Fine sieve
  • Stainless steel or glass bowls: 3
  • Digital kitchen scales
  • Silicone spatulas: 2
  • Saucepans: 2 small
  • Stand mixer
  • CND Digital Candy Thermometer
  • Eventek Non-Contact Digital LCD Infrared Thermometer
  • CND Multi-Mount Oven Thermometer
  • Stand mixer
  • Non-stick rolling pin
  • Craft knife
  • Dense, stiff paintbrush
  • Rubber glove
  • Heatproof bowl
  • Hand blender
  • SK High-Quality Paintbrushes: nos. 1 and 4
  • PME Modelling Tool: Blade

The macaron shells recipe makes a batch of approximately 60 shells, equating to 30 sandwiched macarons.

Preparing the trays and piping bag

  1. Place the silicone macaron mats on individual baking trays. If your mat does not have circle guides for piping, then you can use the circle template provided. Trace the circles from the template onto individual pieces of parchment and then place one underneath each mat.
  2. Cut off the tip of a large piping bag and drop in a no. 12 piping nozzle. Twist the end of the bag with the nozzle and push it down into the tip itself – this will form a dead end and keep the batter from oozing out when you fill the bag (A). Place the twisted piping bag into a cup (nozzle first), then fold the wide end of the bag over the cup and set aside. This will make it easy to fill the bag later!

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Making the Macaron Shells

Almond Paste

  1. Sift the almond flour and icing sugar into a bowl and discard any large pieces of almond remaining in the sieve. Make sure you have the exact amount of each ingredient.
  2. Add the fresh egg whites and one drop of Turquoise food colouring into your sugar and almond mixture.
  3. Take a silicone spatula and start mixing all the ingredients together – it may seem dry at first but keep mixing and eventually everything will come together (B). Cover the almond paste with some cling film and set the bowl aside for later.

Italian Meringue

  1. Add the water and caster sugar into a small saucepan and carefully mix the ingredients together with a teaspoon. Attach a digital candy thermometer to the pot (it should be touching the bottom of the pot) and then place the pot on the hob. Do not turn the heat on just yet!
  2. Add the fresh egg whites into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Add the albumen (egg white) powder and gently mix with a fork or a small whisk. There will be some clumps, but they will dissolve later on (C).
  3. Turn the hob on a medium heat and let the water and sugar mixture start to simmer. By the time it reaches 110˚C (230˚F), turn your stand mixer on to a medium speed.
  4. Watch your egg whites and your sugar syrup closely. You only want the egg whites to get foamy; there should not be any liquid left. And do not take them to soft peaks. Your sugar syrup is only going to get to 118˚C (244.4˚F). If your egg whites are ready before your sugar syrup, just turn the mixer down to low or turn it off completely.
  5. Once your sugar syrup reaches 118˚C (244.4˚F), remove the thermometer, start your stand mixer if you stopped it, and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the foamy egg whites. As soon as all of the sugar syrup is added, set your timer to five minutes and keep the same speed. Make sure it is cool in your kitchen. The meringue should cool down to 30˚C (86˚F) within this set time – use your non-contact thermometer to check the temperature. Your meringue should be stiff but elastic; the tip should be slightly falling down (D).
  6. Remove the cling film from your almond paste and add half of your Italian meringue into the bowl. Fold it in until both parts are well combined and you do not see any white streaks.
  7. Add the rest of your meringue and start gently folding in circular motions without lifting the spatula. Scrape the batter from the bottom up from time to time, making sure all the batter gets folded well. Do not deflate the batter. It should end up being fluffy, voluminous and should slowly fall down the spatula (E).

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Piping The Shells

  1. Pour all the filling batter gently into the piping bag you prepared earlier.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150˚C (300˚F/Gas Mark 2). Place the oven thermometer on the middle rack closer to the back of the oven and leave it in there for 15–25 minutes. Keep an eye on the thermometer; the temperature inside your oven should be 150˚C (300˚F/Gas Mark 2).
  3. One tray at a time, pipe circles onto the guides on your prepared silicone mat (F), bang the tray down a few times to get rid of any air bubbles, and then set aside to rest for at least 12–15 minutes. Gently touch the top of the shells and, if they do not stick to your finger, they are ready to be baked.
  4. Once rested, cook in the oven on the middle rack at 150˚C (300˚F/Gas Mark 2) for 18 minutes. If you touch the side of a cooked shell and it does not wriggle, the macarons have baked well and are ready. Remove the tray from the oven and let the shells cool completely before attempting to remove them from the mat. The shells should come off easily, but you can gently bend the mat away from the shell to help them come off easier.
  5. Match up all the respective shells and place them in an airtight container until your filling is ready (G).

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Matching the colour

  1. You need to colour the modelling paste the same as the pastel green macaron shells. To do this, knead 130g (41/2oz) of White modelling paste for a few minutes. Dab a tiny amount of Turquoise gel food colouring to the paste and continue kneading until the colour is well combined. If the paste looks too light, add a tiny bit of Turquoise food colouring again and knead until well combined. The food colouring is very pigmented, so add little at a time.
  2. Dab a tiny amount of Bright Green gel food colour on the paste and knead together until well combined (H). At this point, you will see that your paste is getting a green undertone. If it still looks too blue, add a tiny bit more Bright Green food colour and knead the paste.
  3. Make sure the paste colour is as light as your macaron shells. The paste will look slightly brighter, but this is just because the base of your paste is white (I). The base of your macarons shells is almond flour, which has a yellow undertone. To match the paste colour to your macaron shells, it is necessary to neutralise the colour. To do this, dab a tiny amount of Brown gel food colour and knead until completely mixed through. At this point, you will see that the colour of your paste is getting a softer shade. Dab on a tiny bit more Brown gel food colour to neutralise the colour further and match to the colour of your shells (J).

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Top Top: If you are making pastel yellow bunny macarons, use a lemon yellow and orange gel food colour to make the yellow modelling paste. And if you are making pastel pink bunny macarons, use burgundy and lemon yellow gel colours to make the pink paste. Use a lemon yellow gel colour to neutralise the colours and always start with adding a tiny amount – less is more!

Making the bunny ears

  1. Divide the pastel green modelling paste into quarters. Take one quarter and place the rest of your paste in a bag to prevent it from drying out. Roll out the quarter of paste to a 2mm (1/16") thickness and, using the template, cut out some bunny ears using a craft knife (K). Carefully trim and tidy up any edges that are jagged.
  2. Working a quarter at a time, roll out some more paste and repeat the process from step 1 to cut out 30 bunny ears in total. One pair of ears should weigh approximately 4g (<1/4oz).
  3. Ideally, leave the bunny ears to dry for a day or two at room temperature. You want the paste to harden so the ears will stay upright once the macaron shells are sandwiched together.
Making the speckled effect

  1. Combine 1tsp of chocolate powder with 4tsp of vodka and mix well until you get a thicker paste consistency. If the paste looks too thick, add another 1tsp of vodka. If the paste is too runny, add a tiny amount of chocolate powder and mix well.
  2. Lay your macaron shells on a piece of paper or a silicone mat. Dip half of a stiff paintbrush into the paste and remove any excess by pressing it on the side of your dish.
  3. Wearing a rubber glove, gently pull back on the bristles and splatter the paste over your shells (L). Leave the shells to dry for a few minutes.
  4. Lay the dried bunny ears down on a piece of paper or a silicone mat and repeat step 3. Once the bunny ears have dried, repeat step 3 again to add speckles to the other side of the ears. Leave the ears to dry for a few minutes.

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Making the ganache filling

  1. Cut the butter into cubes and put it back in the fridge. In a heatproof bowl, microwave the milk chocolate for 30 seconds, then take the bowl out and give it a stir. Place the bowl back in the microwave and repeat the process again for another 30 seconds until the chocolate has melted.
  2. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan on a medium heat until it reaches 80˚C (176˚F). Pour the cream into the melted milk chocolate and stir with a spatula to combine both parts.
  3. Add the cubes of butter to the cream and chocolate mixture and blend with a hand blender until well combined.
  4. Pour the ganache into a separate bowl, cover with cling film and leave for a couple of hours to set in the fridge.
Piping the filling

  1. Gather together your decorated macaron shells and place them on a silicone mat. Fit a second large piping bag with a no. 12 nozzle and fill with the ganache. Fill a small piping bag fitted with a no. 10 nozzle with the marshmallow fluff.
  2. Pick up one shell and pipe the ganache in a circle on the flat side. Next, pipe a little marshmallow fluff into the hole of the circle – the ganache should act as a border around the fluff (M).
  3. Position the bunny ears centrally on top of the filling and press gently to adhere. Pipe a little marshmallow fluff on top of the ears (N), place a second macaron shell on top and sandwich together gently.
  4. Repeat steps 2–3 to fill and sandwich all the shells together, then leave the macarons overnight in the fridge to soak up the filling. These filled macarons can be stored up to five days in a fridge.

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How to make a rose

  1. Roll out a 3cm (1 3⁄16'') diameter ball of Pink modelling paste to a 2mm (1⁄16'') thickness. Using the wider end of the no. 12 piping nozzle, press down on the paste and cut out six circles.(O)
  2. Take a no. 1 paintbrush and dab a little edible glue on one corner of one circle and stick a second circle on top. Repeat this step until all the circles are glued together in a line.(P)
  3. Using a craft knife, cut the whole piece in half length-ways so you end you end up with two strips of semicircles.
  4. Dab a little edible glue in the centre of the first semicircle piece of paste (Q) and start rolling the whole piece around itself until you make a rose flower. Dab a little edible glue to the end piece and then stick it in place to secure the rose shape in place. (R) Repeat this step to make the second rose flower.
  5. Repeat steps 1–4 to make enough roses for all your macarons, one per bunny. Then set them all aside to dry for 24 hours, ideally.

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Decorating the girl bunny macarons

  1. To make the eyes, roll a tiny amount of Black modelling paste into a very skinny sausage. Cut out two pieces of the paste that are 1cm (3⁄8'') in length.
  2. Using the no. 1 paintbrush, take one macaron and dab a little glue on the shell a little higher than the middle, where you want to position the eyes. Then stick on the first skinny sausage, making sure it is horizontal. Quickly use the brush tip and begin to bend the short sausage shape to make a pretty, curved eye outline (S). Repeat the same process to stick on the other short sausage shape opposite the first one.
  3. To make lashes, roll a tiny amount of Black modelling paste into another skinny sausage that is 1cm (3⁄8'') in length and cut out four pieces of equal lengths. Dab a little glue above the eye outline and stick on all four lashes – two on each eye. Using the tip of your brush, bend them slightly to create a curve and follow the eye outline (T).
  4. To make the nose, roll a tiny pink ball of Pink modelling paste and stick it centrally just below the eyes. Next, flatten the nose slightly using the side of a blade tool and use the edges to form an upside down triangle shape (U).
  5. To make the mouth, roll a tiny amount of Black modelling paste into a very skinny sausage that is 5mm (1⁄4'') in length. Dab a little edible glue directly underneath the nose vertically, then stick on the sausage shape. Using the blade tool, straighten the line out if you need to (V).
  6. Using a no. 4 paintbrush, apply some Pastel Pink QFC dust to either side of the mouth to create blushed cheeks (W).
  7. To make whiskers, roll a tiny amount of Black modelling paste into another skinny sausage that is 1.5cm (1⁄2'') in length and cut out six pieces of equal lengths. Dab a little glue on each cheek and stick all six whiskers, three on each side (X).
  8. Repeat steps 1–7 to decorate all your macarons.

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Finishing touches

  1. Dab some edible glue on the right side of a macaron shell, just above the right eye, and stick on a rose flower. Do this for each macaron!
  2. Apply a little edible glue centrally at the back of each of your macarons and attach a mini white marshmallow in place to create a bunny tail.

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You can find the full project in issue 162 of Cakes & Sugarcraft Magazine - project by Viktorija Siskova!