MACARON CHRISTMAS TREE_lc.jpg
food

Peppermint Macaron Christmas Tree

How many peppermint macarons does it take to make a Christmas tree?

Ingredients

  • Macarons
  • 200g egg whites (approx. 6 egg whites) room temperature
  • 280g (3 cups) almond meal
  • 180g (1cup) granulated sugar
  • 260g (2 cup) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 5 drops green food gel
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • Chocolate ganache
  • 600g dark chocolate
  • 300ml thickened whipping cream
  • Decorations
  • ¼ cup gold sugar sprinkles

Steps

  1. Ganache
  2. Add chocolate and cream into a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds at a time, mixing each time until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to set. Alternatively, you may melt it using a double boiler. Fill a medium sized pot with 1/3 of the way with water. Bring to a boil. Place bowl with chocolate and cream over the top and gently mix until mixture is completely melted and smooth. To soften the ganache to spreading or piping consistency microwave for 10 seconds at a time, mixing each time with a large spatula until it reaches the right consistency. Allow to set at room temp.
  3. Macarons
  4. Preheat oven to 300ºF.
  5. Sift powdered sugar and almond meal into a large bowl. Set aside.
  6. Add the vinegar to the bowl you’ll be mixing the eggs in and wipe down using a paper towel until dry.
  7. Add egg whites to a separate bowl and use a whisk attachment if using a stand mixer or the beaters if using an electric hand mixer and whip to soft peaks. Add the salt and cream of tartar.
  8. Continue whisking on high speed while very slowly adding the sugar while the mixer is on high. Once all the sugar is in there, add the vanilla extract, green food gel and peppermint extract and continue whisking until the meringue becomes thick and glossy. All up, you’ll whisk for about 5 minutes.
  9. The next part is the mixing stage. Otherwise known as ‘macaronage’, and is super important. It’s where most people go wrong with macarons. Add about ¼ of the almond mixture into the meringue. Use a spatula to fold in the almond meal. Repeat this until all the almond mixture is in the meringue. Continue folding until your batter with the spatula until you reach the ribbon stage. The ribbon stage is when the batter falls off your spatula in a ribbon, without breaking, and then disappears back into the rest of the batter after about 10 seconds. That’s when you know the batter is ready to pipe. I like to fold the batter by going around the bowl with the spatula and then through the middle. Make sure you don’t thin the mixture out too much otherwise it’s only good for the bin! When you think you’re almost at the ribbon stage, test the batter, and if it needs more mixing, give it another fold and test again.
  10. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper or silicone baking mats. Pipe macarons on each sheet, each one about 3cm in diameter.
  11. Gently tap the tray on your work bench. Allow the macarons to dry for 40 minutes before baking for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before taking off the sheets.
  12. To finish your macarons, fit the end of a piping bag with a Wilton #32 piping tip and frost half the macarons with ganache. Sandwich them with the remaining macaron cookies.
  13. Cover a 30cm high styrofoam cone with foil. Pipe little blobs of the remaining ganache on the foil covered cone and stick the macarons to it, starting at the bottom and working your way up.
  14. Spread a layer of ganache on top of the cone and sprinkle with gold sugar sprinkles.
  15. Coat one of the macarons in some ganache and dip in gold sugar sprinkles and stick on top of the ganache.
  16. Finish by tying some red ribbon around the macaron tree.