Tuesday, October 27, 2009
This months Daring Bakers challenge was macarons. I've always wanted to try my hand at making either pistachio or raspberry macarons - so I went with the raspberry for my first attempt.
Raspberry macarons call for something called raspberry powder, which adds flavor and a slight bit of color. It is not readily available but can be purchased online and can be found in larger specialty food stores. I needed it immediately - but wasn't willing to give up.
After scouring the internet, I decided that making fruit leather was close to what I needed. You'll need raspberries, a bit of granulated sugar, a food processor or hand blender and a fine meshed sieve.
Purée the raspberries with the sugar until smooth, then force through a fine meshed sieve to remove seeds. Spread the purée quite thinly on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at the lowest temperature your oven can be set to. This will take quite some time - I believe my raspberry purée was ready after about 2 hours.
You'll need to peel the dehydrated raspberry purée from the parchment, and a mortar and pestle came in very handy when crushing the flakes to as fine a powder as possible. You could also add it to any dry ingredients that your recipe calls for; in my case, I crushed the raspberry flakes with the mortar and pestle and then added them to my food processor with the powdered sugar and almond flour.
Making my own raspberry purée gave me a true sense of accomplishment, not to mention kept me from opening my wallet. Be sure to use your raspberry powder immediately after you've made it - if left for too long it will absorb any moisture in the air and result in a sticky, useless clump.