RED VELVET MACARONS: Italian Meringue

by Ayesha Hassaan
Red velvet macarons

Red velvet macarons with cream cheese frosting are a true match made in heaven. I mean, who doesn’t love a good macaron? Especially when they are this gorgeous. Stunning red velvet macarons are made to impress!

Red Velvet Macarons

Boldly bright and filled with cream cheese frosting, these red velvet macarons are an excellent snack for any Valentine’s day festivities or perfect for Christmas. Don’t be fooled by their petite size, these vibrant red velvet macarons are full of flavor! The creamy bright white filling perfectly contrasts the bright red hue of the red velvet macarons. These little beauties are the perfect dessert for any Valentine’s festivity! Although I made these for Christmas.

Red velvet

HOW TO MAKE RED VELVET MACARONS WITH ITALIAN MERINGUE? WATCH WITH US!

Make sure to watch the video on this page, and also on Youtube, which shows you exactly how to make each step of this macaron recipe! These Red Velvet Macarons were certainly one of my favorites that I’ve made this year! Hope you enjoy them! They’re crisp, chewy, and filled with a tangy cream cheese frosting!

FRENCH MACARONS VS ITALIAN MACARONS

When it comes to macarons there are two common ways they’re made. While the French method is considered easier, the Italian method is considered more structurally sound and also yields sweeter macarons.

While French macarons are easier to make I prefer using the Italian method because it more reliably makes beautiful macarons. If you’re looking for the French macaron method you can check these recipes of macarons French Coffee Macarons, French Chocolate Macarons, and Detailed French Macarons without Almonds: Nut-Free Macarons.

Red Velvet Macarons

French macarons, which are made from a batter of ground almonds and powdered (confectioner’s) sugar folded into the meringue. The first is to use a French meringue (a basic meringue where sugar is gradually beaten into egg whites) and the second is to use an Italian meringue (where a hot sugar syrup is drizzled into whipping egg whites). I am a fan of the Italian meringue method, the reason is with the Italian meringue method I always get thicker, dense, smooth, chewier, and less airy macarons- the most professional macaron shells.

If you are new to macarons and want to master how to make Red Velvet Macarons be sure to stay on this page and go through it till the end of this blog, I’ll try to explain in details each and every step and cover all the relevant questions that you can face while making them.

Which Egg Whites to Use For Macarons?

The fresh egg whites are not the best option when making macarons. Why not?

Well, the egg whites contain a lot of water and some protein. When the egg whites are freshly separated from the egg yolks, their protein bonds are strong. You can see that – the egg white is firm and it holds itself, it is difficult to break it down. If the egg whites are aged it means sit in a bowl for 12-24 hours, you will notice that they became pretty liquid and not so firm as they were before. Those, liquefied egg whites are the best for making macarons!

Just separate the egg whites a day or two before making the macarons in a bowl and cover it with cling wrap and let it stay on the counter surface. You can store it in the refrigerator and before using it, bring these to room temperature.

Red Velvet Macarons

Egg whites and meringues can be temperamental – if there is even a trace of oil, fat, or egg yolk in the bowl or on the beater, it can prevent the egg whites from whipping to stiff peaks. For this reason, when separating your eggs, be very careful not to get any yolks in with the whites. One trick to ensure meringue success is to wipe the already-clean bowl and beater or whisk with a vinegar-moistened paper towel: this eliminates any grease, and the little bit of acid helps the egg whites turn into a meringue more readily.

What is the Substitute of Almond Meal?

The recipe is in weights, not volume, because macarons rely on specific ratios of almonds to powdered sugar to the meringue, and volume measurements are much less accurate. Regarding almonds – you can use ground almonds with or without the skins on, If you can’t buy ground almonds locally, you can grind them yourself. Just use almond flour which is very fine If you are using gritty almonds powder then you will grind them further with the powdered sugar. Almonds can be substituted for all-purpose flour if you are allergic to nuts, here you can find the recipe DETAILED FRENCH MACARONS WITHOUT ALMONDS NUT-FREE MACARONS

However, the oil content of almonds can change the way the batter behaves, so it’s probably best to not grind too much so the oil starts separating from almonds if there is even a trace of oil or fat, the macarons game is over!

Red Velvet Macarons

YOU WILL NEED A LOT OF FOOD COLORING!

You will need a lot of food coloring! A lot! You may have to add from 1 to 2 tbsp of food coloring.

If you are a beginner macaron baker, I always recommend going easy on the food coloring. It can be very tricky to bake macarons with so much food coloring in them.

First because sometimes, as we continue to add food coloring in order to achieve the color we desire, we keep mixing the batter, and sometimes even more than necessary, and end up with an overmixed batter. The second reason is that when you add food coloring is the same as adding liquid to the batter, even if using the gel food coloring which I recommend. And that will make the batter runnier, wetter, and you may encounter problems when trying to dry the macarons, and later on when baking them.

So my recommendations are:

  • Use GEL food coloring. Don’t use water-based food coloring. And also be careful with powder colorings as well, as they may contain ingredients that affect the macaron batter.
  • And don’t over mix the batter, be cautious, as the batter will naturally be “wetter”, and if you continue to add food coloring in order to achieve the desired intensity, you may end up over mixing.
Red Velvet Macarons

Make The Macaron Paste!

Grind together powdered sugar and ground almonds and sift these dry ingredients together. Stir together your sifted almond flour, powdered sugar, and aged egg whites. The mixture should be super thick and almost paste-like. I would recommend stirring these ingredients slowly so the oil from almonds doesn’t come out. Cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.

Prepare The Italian Meringue!

Start whipping the egg whites in a stand mixer bowl when it starts to become frothy and whipped until it looks like a cloud at the very same time starts preparing your sugar syrup. Heat your sugar and water to the softball stage (235 F)or 118 C then slowly pour it into your whipped egg whites (at the soft peak stage). Mix on high until you get relatively stiff, glossy peaks. If you want to make colored macarons, mix in gel food coloring during this stage. Do not use liquid food coloring!

Mix the Meringue Into The Macaron Paste: Prepare Macronage!

Mix the meringue into the almond/powdered sugar paste mixture in three additions. The batter might look a bit stiff but it’s better to be too thick than to overmix it! The batter should form a thick ribbon when it’s lifted.

Fill a large piping bag with the macaron batter and pipe 1-inch rounds onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Firmly bang or drop the pan on the counter firmly a few times to release air bubbles, then pop any remaining air bubbles that come to the surface with a toothpick.

Red velvet Macarons

Rest Your Piped Macarons:

Let the macarons rest for 30 minutes until they form a light skin. They should be dry to the touch once they’re ready to be baked! While the shells rest preheat your oven to 325 degrees F or 160 degrees C and bake these macarons for 15 minutes. I would recommend underbaking them for a more chewy texture. When once they are done let them cool down overnight.

Red Velvet macarons
Red Velvet Macarons

Prepare the Cream cheese Frosting:

While the macarons are baking, make the frosting. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and butter. If the mixture is too dry, add in 1 tablespoon cream. Let it comes to the shape and put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Scoop frosting into a piping bag fitted with a ½ inch tip, and set aside until macarons are cool and ready to be piped. Once you’re ready, pipe the frosting onto a macaron and sandwich with another macaron. Repeat with all macarons.

Red Velvet Macarons
Red Velvet macarons
Red Velvet Macarons

At the end, I decorated these macarons with the melted white chocolate and place the finished macarons in the fridge to chill overnight then enjoy!

Red Velvet Macarons

Italian Macaron Troubleshooting!

While I’d love to think everyone’s first batch of Italian macarons will turn out perfectly, my own experience has taught me that’s not how things usually go. Macarons are incredibly temperamental and it might take a few tries to get them just right. Below are some of the issues I’ve run into when baking macarons, along with ways to prevent them from happening again.

Why Do My Macarons Have Cracked Shells?

A few different things can cause cracked shells, including too short of a rest, trapped air bubbles, too hot of an oven, or undermixed batter.

Potential Fixes: Bang your pans firmly before resting your macarons, rest your macarons until they form a skin, check your oven for hot spots, or mix your batter slightly more.

Why Are My Macarons Hollow?

Hollow macarons have big air pockets between the top of the shell and the base. This can happen when the meringue or batter is overmixed or if air bubbles get trapped before being baking.

Potential Fixes: Make sure you’re not over mixing your meringue/batter, or bang your pans firmly against your counter before letting them rest.

Why Don’t My Macarons Have Feet?

If your macarons don’t develop feet it could be because your batter is too wet, your batter was overmixed or you didn’t let your macarons rest for long enough.

Potential Fixes: Try using aged egg whites, make sure you’re not using any liquid flavoring or food coloring, or let you shells rest until they form a touchable skin (20-40 minutes).

Why Are My Macarons Crispy/Hard?

Sometimes if your batter is overmixed it causes your shells to spread more and bake up crispy. They may also just be overbaked! Keep in mind that macaron shells softed once they’re filled and have time to mature in the fridge, so don’t be disheartened if they seem a bit firm once they’ve cooled.

Potential Fixes: Mix your batter less, bake your macarons for less time, or fill them and see if the maturation process softens them.

Red Velvet Macarons

Here are some macaron ideas you might enjoy:

French Chocolate Macarons

French Coffee Macarons

Detailed French Macarons without Almonds: Nut-Free Macarons

Red velvet macarons

Red Velvet Macarons: Italian Meringue

Red velvet macarons with cream cheese frosting are a true match made in heaven. I mean, who doesn’t love a good macaron?… Cookies Macarons, French Macarons, Italian Macarons, Red Velvet Macarons French Print This
Serves: 48 shells Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 2 voted )

Ingredients

Red Velvet macaron

For macaron shell:

  • 150 grams Ground Almonds
  • 150 grams Icing Sugar
  • 110 grams Egg White (55 grams x2) 
  • 150 grams Regular Sugar
  • 35 grams Water
  • Red Gel Colour
  • Vanilla 1 tablespoon Flavouring (optional)

For Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 113 grams powdered sugar 1 cup, 4 oz
  • 85 grams cream cheese softened 3 oz, 6 tbsp
  • 42.5 grams unsalted butter softened 1.5 oz, 3 tbsp
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Prepare 2 parchments (not wax paper) lined baking sheets or silicone mats. They need to be big enough to hold 30 x 4cm / 1 1/2” diameter shells each. (I have my piping guide under the baking paper here.)
  2. Mix the ground almonds and powdered sugar (and cocoa powder, if using) together in a bowl, then grind in a food processor until you have an extra fine texture. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
  3. Sift into a large bowl (I use a mesh strainer and push the mixture through with a spatula), putting any bigger pieces of almond back into the food processor to re-grind.
  4. Add 55 grams egg whites in sifted almond and sugar and mix thoroughly into the almond mixture. Set aside.
  5. In another bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, scrupulously clean and free of any oil or egg yolk, beat the other 55 grams egg whites until it starts becoming frothing and comes in cloud form.
  6. Meanwhile, put the granulated sugar and water into a small heavy-based saucepan and heat on medium-low to 118°C / 244°F, without stirring.
  7. While whisking constantly on low speed (to avoid splashing hot syrup), slowly add the cooked sugar mixture to the beaten egg whites, pouring it down the inside of the bowl. You’ll get a bit of it hardening on the side of the bowl, but that’s okay – just leave it there.
  8. Whisk at high speed until the mixture is cool, about 3 minutes.  Add vanilla extract. About 1 minute before the end, you can add food coloring. The mixture should increase in volume and become firm and shiny, and it should be thick and marshmallowy and you have a beak when you lift the whisk.
  9. Scrape the meringue onto the almond mixture and incorporate with a rubber or silicone spatula. 
  10. Mix until you have a homogenous batter that runs from the spatula in a thick ribbon.
  11. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a  round tip. Pipe 60 equally sized rounds, about 4cm / 1 1/2” in diameter, in staggered rows onto the prepared sheets.
  12. Hold the piping bag upright with the tip just above the sheet and pipe without pulling upwards or swirling in circles, so the batter comes out in a round blob around the tip, and give a little sideways flick at the end to break the stream.
  13. Tap the baking sheet firmly on the bench several times to release air bubbles and obtain a smooth surface. If you have any tips sticking up, press them gently down with a damp fingertip.
  14. Leave the tray to rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes until a slight skin forms. If you gently touch one, it should be only just tacky.
  15. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 160°C / 300°F  If you prefer to use convection (oven fan), preheat to 140°C / 285°F .
  16. Bake the macarons in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes, one sheet at a time, turning the sheet half-way.
  17. To test if they are done, give the top of a shell a gentle nudge – it shouldn’t move away from the foot. if it does move, pop the sheet back into the oven for another minute or two, then test again.
  18. Remove from oven and remove the parchment from the tray with the shells still on it and place on a cooling racks for at least 2 hours, until completely cool, then remove macaron shells carefully from the parchment.
  19. If not filling straight away, store in an airtight container at room temperature, separating layers with parchment. Otherwise, fill and store in an airtight container in the fridge to mature for at least 24 hours before eating.

Cream cheese Filling:

  1. Now, cream the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and butter together in the bowl of an electric mixer, for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
  3. Once you see no streaks of dry powdered sugar, cream mixture on medium-high for one minute.
  4. If the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar as needed. And if the frosting is too stiff, add a teaspoon of water or milk to thin it out.
  5. This frosting will store well in the fridge for up to 5 days, covered.
  6. Make sure to always leave the frosting covered. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, because otherwise, the surface will dry out and get hard.
  7. Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with the tip of choice. I used a round tip with 3/4” in diameter.

Assembling the Macarons:

  1. Melt the white chocolate and drizzle on top of the shells, or dip the shells in the melted chocolate. 
  2. Pipe the frosting on the macaron shell. Make sure the frosting is 1inch high or the top macaron shell won’t stick to the bottom one.
  3. Top each with a decorated shell.

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