I know. Looks delicious, right? Im happy to report these are one of my favorite creations to date. Obviously inspired by my absolute favorite drink right now at Starbucks, the delicious Flat White. Well, specifically my new favorite, which is the Blonde Flat White with Almond Milk.
So what IS a flat white, and how do the flavors translate to the macaron? Well the steamed almond milk is folded onto itself to create a velvety micro foam with a unique texture. In the macaron, almond flour is folded into egg whites to create a foam-like batter in a process called macaronage. You can learn everything you need to know about making macarons by following this link here.
The espresso filling I created by layering an American buttercream with cocoa powder, espresso powder along with powdered sugar and butter, and several tablespoons of espresso or flat white itself. So you still get that punch of caffeine in the filling, rounding out the sweetness of the cookie itself.
This is, essentially, the french version of this American Starbucks drink. A distant french cousin, perhaps? Wearing a beret and dunking his macarons into his flat white.
Delicious, and fancy at the same time. Definitely a french way of life, non?
Enjoy these my friends! And don’t forget to read my Macaron 101 post after reading this to fill in some of the blanks- it’s worth it to have the background knowledge! Now go forth and conquer these Macarons!
Flat White Espresso Macarons
Makes Approx 30 macarons, depending on size
200g Confectioners Sugar, sifted
100g Almond Flour, finely milled
120 g. (approx 4 large egg whites), at room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ C. Superfine Sugar (or granulated sugar pulverized in food processor)
½ tsp almond extract
Chocolate Espresso Filling:
½ C. Unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 C. Cocoa powder
1 Tbsp espresso powder
½ tsp salt
4 C. Powdered sugar
2 Tbsp espresso, at room temperature
For Brushed Decoration on top (optional)
1 tbsp espresso, or flat white
1-2 drops brown soft gel color
Mixer, either handheld or stand mixer
4 half-sheet pans, two stacked on top
Silicone baking mats, or parchment paper
Sieve or sifter for powdered sugar and almond flour
Piping Bag with a round tip
Small brush for decoration, optional
Trace equal sized circles with sharpie or pencil on the back of two pieces of parchment paper, then flip them right side up and place onto two half-sheet pans, both fitted with another pan underneath them. Snip 3-4mm off the end of a piping bag, or insert a round tip and set aside.
In a large, wide bowl place your pre-measured almond flour, and sift in your powdered sugar on top of that. Gently whisk to combine well, set aside.
In mixer with whisk attachment (or hand mixer) beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until foamy, about 1-2 minutes. Then add in the cream of tartar, mixing again on medium for an additional 20 seconds. With the mixer on medium/high speed slowly add in the superfine sugar, extract and soft gel food color, if using, continue mixing for an additional 3–4 minutes until egg whites form a thick and shiny meringue that has stiff peaks (but be careful not to overwhip the meringue!)
Transfer egg whites into bowl with flour/almond mixture and with a spatula, macaronage by folding in the egg whites, careful to not deflate the mixture too much. Once incorporated add in the extracts and gel food color drops, if using.
Keep folding and turning the batter, occasionally until it falls down from the spatula in a thin even ribbon when lifted up. Avoid overmixing and undermixing! You should be able to hold up the spatula and be able to form a figure 8 shape with the batter, falling down in a thick ribbon but after 20 seconds the batter should sink into itself and become smooth on top. If the ribbons of batter fall on top and then don’t sink in, keep folding a few more times until they do. Then put batter in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
Pipe equal-sized circles onto the baking sheets, holding the piping bag up at a 45 degree angle, keeping the tip in the center of your circle and gently squeezing and gently pulling up. Then firmly tap the baking sheet on the counter several times to release air bubbles.
Place tray on the oven rack moved to the lower third of the oven, typically the slot above the bottom one. Preheat the oven to 275°. Then let the cookies sit out at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour until a “skin” forms on top and they are dry to the gentle touch. If you carefully touch the tops and you get batter on your finger or it sticks at all, wait another 15 minutes and try again!
Bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 8 minutes. They should rise slightly and the sides of the cookies should puff up, giving them their tell-tale feet. To test if they’re done, gently grab one of the macarons by the top part above the feet, and gently move it side-to-side a bit. If it slides around, give the macarons 2 additional minutes to cook, and test again. When they no longer slide, they are ready to come out of the oven to cool!
Allow to cool completely before trying to remove from baking tray, I find they stick too easily if they’re still warm. Then sandwich two cookies between the filling (recipe below).
For the brush design, in a small bowl, mix the espresso/flat white with the brown soft gel food color, and with a small, clean brush dip just the end in the mixture and lightly swipe across the tops of the macarons, then allow them to dry. Although they’re ready to be enjoyed then, traditionally they’re even better when refrigerated overnight to allow the filling and macaron shell to meld together.
Espresso Filling Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy, 2-3 minutes.
Add in the cocoa powder, salt, and espresso powder and mix on low until fully integrated.
Slowly add a third of the powdered sugar, mixing on low until combined.
Then alternate the espresso with the remaining powdered sugar until the filling whips up well and is fluffy. Then put into a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe in between your macarons!