I like to leave my macaron shells unflavored so their natural almond essence can be detected and enjoyed. Fillings, on the other hand, that’s where I like to play around. Sturdy ganaches and buttercreams are my favorites and I’m always looking for fun flavor variations. That’s where Momofuku Milk Bar comes in. Christina Tosi’s Birthday Cake Frosting is a light, bright and tart take on buttercream. It’s packed full of flavor and super smooth. An absolute dream to decorate with.
get the look
Use a drop (maybe two) of black gel food coloring to get a pale gray macaron batter.
Use a drop or two of pink gel food coloring for a girly pink Momofuku frosting.
Color a few tablespoons of clear piping gel with a drop (or two) of pink gel food color. I use Wilton’s clear piping gel. I’ve tried making my own and just haven’t found a recipe that does the trick.
Fill a small disposable piping bag with the colored piping gel. Snip the end just a bit so you’re able to drizzle the gel on half of your baked (and completely cooled) macaron shells. Immediately sprinkle with a pinch of silver sanding sugar. Set aside until dry to the touch. The gel will remain soft but shouldn’t smear when touched.
Using a closed star tip (see supply list for details) pipe a spiral of icing onto the inside of the undecorated shells. Leaving about 1/8” clearance for the frosting to spread when sandwiched.
Top with decorated shells, pushing down slightly to push frosting out to the edge.
Add some glimmer with a few pumps of silver sparkle dust.
Admire your work. :)
Wilton clear piping gel
Americolor Deep Pink
Americolor Super Black
Silver sanding sugar — found at most markets and craft stores
Roxy & Rich silver sparkle dust
Ateco #804 decorating tip
Ateco #843 decorating tip
Jes Best Macarons
Makes 60 macarons shells (enough for 30 macarons)
205 g icing sugar
190 g almond flour
144 g egg whites — split into two 72 gram batches, at room temperature (I don’t age mine)
Gel food coloring (optional)
190 g granulated sugar
60 ml water
Separate and weigh egg whites in two containers. Cover with cling film and set aside until room temperature.
Prepare 4 half sheet baking pans by lining them with parchment. I use parchment over macaron Silpat mats. The Silpat mats act as a template while keeping the bottoms of macarons from getting too brown.
Using a food processor pulse together the icing sugar and almond flour until combined and fine. About 16-20 times.
Sift sugar and almond mixture through a medium sieve into a medium/large bowl. Toss the bits that don’t go through the sieve.
Add 72g egg whites to the sugar and almond mixture. Using a sturdy spatula, fold to make a paste.
Add food coloring (optional) to the paste and continue to fold until evenly colored.
Cover with cling film and set aside.
Put 72g egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Set aside.
Combine granulated sugar and water in a small sauce pan fitted with a candy thermometer. To avoid crystallization, brush water droplets down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush. Place on medium-high heat. Do not stir.
When sugar mixture reaches 110ºC, start mixing egg whites on medium-high speed.
When sugar mixture reaches 118ºC, remove from heat, setting candy thermometer aside. Add to egg whites slowly by pouring down the side of the mixing bowl.
Whisk for about 5-6 minutes or until sides of the mixing bowl have cooled to about room temperature. You should have a glossy and floppy meringue. You’re not looking for stiff peaks.
Add about 1/3 of the meringue to the almond flour paste. Fold to incorporate, loosening the paste so it’s easier to work with.
Add the remaining meringue.
Fold and push the mixture until the ingredients are well combined. This technique is called Macaronage. Keep folding until the batter runs off your spatula in lava-like ribbons. If it falls off in a clump, the batter is still too thick. I use the figure 8 method. You should be able to draw a figure 8 with a batter ribbon before it breaks. Stop immediately when your batter is ready. Do not over mix.
Transfer batter to a large pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. I use Ateco #804. Don't forget to twist the bag near the nozzle so batter doesn't drip out before you're ready.
Holding the piping tip absolutely perpendicular to baking sheet, pipe rounds using the Silpat macaron mat as a guide, stopping about 1/8” short of the template (batter will spread). Reduce pressure and jerk nozzle away and to the side quickly to avoid a peak.
Drop each sheet on work surface a few times to release trapped air.
Let stand at room temperature for 40-50 minutes (depending on humidity). Macarons should "set" and form a dry shell before baking.
Preheat oven to 165ºC or 330ºF.
Bake one sheet at a time for 12 minutes. Watch closely and remove if edges start to brown.
Out of the oven, carefully slide the parchment and shells to a cooling rack to cool completely. Removing them from the hot pan stops them from overcooking.
Once completely cool, sandwich two same-size macarons with a dollop of desired filling.
Store macarons in the fridge for 24 hours before serving. Bring to room temperature (2+ hours) before serving.
Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake Frosting
Makes about 2 cups
200 g icing sugar (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 pinch baking powder
1 pinch citric acid
115 g butter, room temperature (1 stick)
50 g vegetable shortening (1/4 cup)
55 g cream cheese (2 ounces)
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 Tablespoon clear vanilla extract
Combine icing sugar, salt, baking powder and citric acid in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Add butter, shortening, and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Cream together on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically.
With the mixer on its lowest speed, add corn syrup and vanilla.
Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is silky smooth and a glossy white, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically.
Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed just to incorporate.
Beat at medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until you have a brilliant stark white, beautifully smooth frosting.
Use immediately, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Original recipe by Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar.