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Ken Krone

Fruit filling for macaron (help with thickening agents)

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My wife and I have been playing with macaron and are happy with the cookie portions. We want to branch out from ganache, as we have a number of friends who either don't like, or have migraines caused by, chocolate.

So..... I know that one uses pectin of varying amounts to thicken berry jams, but I am not sure if that is the substance that one would use to thicken an already prepared jam. For example, if I decide to forgo making fig jam and can find one that I like, but, say, perhaps, it is a little too runny, how can I play with it to thicken it?

Thanks for any guidance that you can provide.

Ken K

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Having not actually made macarons, I just wonder if the moisture in the jam would have a softening effect on the cookie part?


"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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You can always heat the jam to reduce it. But, that's a delicate balancing act. Too dry, and the filling will be tough and chewy like some jam thumbprint cookies. Too moist and the macaron gets soggy.

Why not do a flavored white chocolate, add flavor oil to it and maybe a tiny amount of cream. (it can be difficult to make a hard white ganache) As far as I know, the cocoa butter alone doesn't cause the physical effects that the cocoa solids cause and should be caffiene free.

Or, you could make your own 'meltaways' to flavor, from coconut oil perhaps...I have never made these, so I don't really have a recipe. But, I'm thinking that you could probably make something as good as the Wilton product.

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Agree with reducing, but stir frequently and watch for scorching. Adding more pectin could be difficult because the jam would have to be boiling, and it can be tricky to bring something thick and sugary to a boil without scorching it.

Gelatin? Only need to warm the jam, then dissolve a little softened gelatin.

Along the lines of Lisa's white chocolate idea, I bet a somewhat runny jam or fruit spread could be mixed with melted white chocolate to make a thick ganache, but it would be very sweet unless it was a particularly tart jam. Or just melted cocoa butter, which is solid at room temp should help to thicken, I've used it for vegan lemon curd at the end instead of butter.

If I'm not using ganache I use italian meringue buttercream in my macarons. It can take generous additions of less-liquid flavors, like lemon curd or caramel sauce or jam/thick cooked down fruit or more modest additions of more liquid flavors like liquors or espresso.

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First, thanks to you three for responding.

WRT to the issue of making the macaron soggy, it is definitely a balancing act, but meringues need to "temper" for a day anyway, during which they are actually absorbing some liquid from the filling and softening. Macaron are always best a day or two after they are made, in mine (and most everyone else's) opinion.

Point understood about adding more pectin. Thanks. Sounds like gelatin would be the way to go in terms of thickeners.

I LIKE the idea of the white chocolate--that is a must try. Hadn't thought of it, and cocoa butter is a good thought.

pastrygirl, do you have an Italian buttercream recipe to share? I found this on a quick search.

http://www.food.com/recipe/mr-browns-italian-meringue-buttercream-217454 I would like to know what quantity of liquid could be incorporated as the flavoring before I would risk it becoming too runny.

Unfortunately (or fortunately!!) I am not familiar with Meltaways, so I will do some research on that.

Thanks

Ken K

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Ive used fruit purees in my buttercreams as well for macarons.

This is the recipe I used for a passion fruit buttercream:

450 g icing sugar

680 g butter

95 g pasteurized egg whites

pinch salt

lemon zest from 1/2 lemon

lemon juice from 1/2 lemon

30 g passion fruit puree

1. Using paddle attachment, cream butter, icing sugar and salt until pale and fluffy

2. gradually whip in egg whites and whip for 5 minutes until light and fluffy

3. add zest, juice and puree and mix until light and fluffy

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dhardy123,

Thanks for the post. Do I understand correctly that the egg whites are not whipped and the butter/sugar folded in, but, rather, that the whites are whipped after being added to the butter? I thought that fat interfered with the mounting of egg whites.

Thanks

KK

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First, thanks to you three for responding.

WRT to the issue of making the macaron soggy, it is definitely a balancing act, but meringues need to "temper" for a day anyway, during which they are actually absorbing some liquid from the filling and softening. Macaron are always best a day or two after they are made, in mine (and most everyone else's) opinion.

Point understood about adding more pectin. Thanks. Sounds like gelatin would be the way to go in terms of thickeners.

I LIKE the idea of the white chocolate--that is a must try. Hadn't thought of it, and cocoa butter is a good thought.

pastrygirl, do you have an Italian buttercream recipe to share? I found this on a quick search.

http://www.food.com/recipe/mr-browns-italian-meringue-buttercream-217454 I would like to know what quantity of liquid could be incorporated as the flavoring before I would risk it becoming too runny.

Unfortunately (or fortunately!!) I am not familiar with Meltaways, so I will do some research on that.

Thanks

Ken K

This butter cream recipe from the link looks like it would work fine. I usually add fruit purees, curds or jam to butter creams for macarons. Can't give you a ratio as I just wing it till it tastes like I want. I've never had a butter cream become too runny from adding them. It will harden up once refrigerated anyway. Never been a fan of just using jam for the filling.

I use a passion fruit ganache made with white chocolate as well.

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I like this white chocolate idea. We will have to look for a good source. The most immediate is World Market/Cost Plus, which carries Lindt. Any recos for other sources of good quality? (And thanks for your replies to this thread). I agree that just plain jam would not be ideal in texture...

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Yes I don't add the egg whites whipped.

Although I have also done white chocolate fillings, I find them too sweet.

I do have a Concord Grape white chocolate filling that I use if you want it...

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I've made a strawberry jam for my macarons twice and what i did was i hulled and roughly chopped in about a pound or so of fresh or frozen strawberries and cooked them in a can of beer with about 4 thbps of sugar. Cooked until it was relatively thick, tested the consistency by putting a small amount in the fridge until it was what i thought it should be. My criteria was was as long as the macs could stand vertically and the jam didint come out. Worked well. I also just tried the 1-2-3 swiss merignue butter cream, look it up on youtube, excellent ratio and recipie with easy access to flavoring.

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