Red velvet macarons + cream cheese frosting is a true match made in heaven. I mean, who doesn’t love a good macaron? Especially when they are this gorgeous. Â
I’m currently in San Fransisco, spending the week with The Healthy Maven before heading up to Napa to host my food photography workshop with ful-filled.
I just love being in San Fransisco. It feels so homey to me, even though I’ve only been here twice. The weather, the narrow streets, the mountains in the distance… it’s just lovely.
Lately I’m finding myself craving more and more to be outside. Under my domestic facade, I’ve always been an outdoorsy person.
I love to take long walks in the woods. Walden Pond is my second favorite place in the world, next to my family’s summer house in Nova Scotia.
I like hiking. And biking. And climbing and swimming. One of my favorite feelings is being completely submerged in the ocean and letting the pulse of the water rock me ever so slowly back and forth.
But my love for the outdoors shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. When I was little, I camped often with my dad. In high school I backpacked the northern Himalayas.Â I went to Adventure Camp every summer for 7 years.
Yet it’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve felt an increased yearning to be in nature, and be in it more often.
I daydream about having 3 chickens in a small hen house in my backyard. About sitting on a large porch and letting the sun radiate over my body. About running every morning through the woods with my future dog.
This morning, I woke up at 7 and took The Healthy Maven’s dog, Bodhi, for a run through Golden Gate Park. I ran longer than I could’ve on my own with him at my side, and I loved every second of it. Breezing through the eucalyptus groves and dodging fallen pinecones, I felt completely alive.
That is really all I have to say about that. I’m just noticing, reflecting on what my soul has been craving lately.
I’m really hoping that in this next year I can take a long trip that’s based in nature. Where should I go? What should I do?
Preheat oven to 300Â°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Heat a small pot of water over medium heat until it steams. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites and granulated sugar. Place bowl over steaming pot, creating a double boiler.
Whisk egg whites and sugar until sugar melts completely and egg whites become white and frothy, 1 to 1.5 minutes. Remove from heat and place bowl back onto standing mixer.
Fit standing mixer with whisk attachment and whisk on high speed for 2-3 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Congratulations, you just made a Swiss meringue!
Sift together almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder, then gently shake into meringue bowl. Add in red food coloring and salt.
Place bowl onto stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Turn mixer to medium-low speed and whisk for 10 seconds. Stop mixer and use a spatula to scoop up some of the batter. If you can make a figure-eight with the dripping batter without the batter breaking, you can stop. But most likely you will need another 5-10 seconds. So repeat process, and try the figure-eight again. The best way to describe the perfect consistency is like slow moving lava. It should give, but only slightly, like in slow-motion.
Once your batter is the correct consistency, scoop it into a large pastry bag fitted with a 1 inch tip. Pipe silver dollar-sized circles onto prepared baking sheets, keeping about 1.5 inches between each meringue. Bang baking sheet on counter 3 times to remove any air bubbles.
Here’s the fun part: you don’t need to let them air dry. Just pop them into the prepared oven for 13 minutes, turning around halfway through, then allow to cool completely before removing from baking sheets.
While the macarons are baking, make the frosting. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and butter. If mixture is too dry, add in 1 tablespoon milk.
Scoop frosting into a piping bag fitted with a Â½ 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.