mango, cashew & toasted coconut macarons
If you haven’t jumped into macarons yet, I’ll forewarn you that it’s easy to become fixated on flavor combinations. For a tropical-inspired twist, mango with toasted coconut was a must. My experimentation began when I decided to swap the almond flour for cashew “meal.” I adore rich and buttery cashews, so I processed a handful into a fine powder and proceeded as usual, peeking through the oven door expectantly as the shells baked.
As you can see, my cashew meal plus freeze dried mangoes led to smooth shells with the coveted “feet.” Filled with fresh mango buttercream and toasted coconut flakes, these macarons are a tropical delight. Now it’s your turn: what flavor should I make next?
Mango, Cashew & Toasted Coconut Macarons
58g cashew meal (approximately 1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews, ground)
10g freeze dried mangoes
115g powdered sugar
72g egg whites (close to 3 large egg whites), at room temperature
1.5g salt (1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp)
6 Tbsp fresh mango puree
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
Preheat oven to 280°F and fit a large disposable pastry bag with a round tip. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a third sheet of parchment paper, trace out 24 1.5-inch circles (use a round cookie cutter or stencil as a guide), spaced 1 inch apart. Set aside as a master guide.
Process cashew meal and freeze dried mangoes in a food processor until finely ground. Use a fine mesh sieve or sifter to sift cashew-mango mixture and powdered sugar together twice; use a firm spatula to push any large particles through. Set aside.
Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in a large mixer bowl fitted with wire whip attachment. Whip for 3 minutes on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid), until egg whites begin to foam. Increase speed to medium-high (7 on a KitchenAid) and whip for 3 minutes, until meringue forms soft peaks. Increase speed to 8 and whip for a final 3 minutes, until meringue is stiff and dry. The meringue should clump in the center of the wire whip attachment; knock against mixer bowl to release.
Add dry ingredients to meringue all at once. Use a rubber spatula to fold dry mixture into meringue, smearing the mixture against the side of the bowl to knock the air out (you want to deflate the whites, so don’t worry about folding them gently). After 20 folds, your mixture may still look lumpy. Continue to fold about 5 to 7 more times, checking texture after each fold. The batter is ready when it holds its shape when spooned onto itself and slowly flattens out after 15 to 20 seconds. If the batter is stiff and doesn’t flatten out, it’s undermixed. If the batter is runny and fluid, it’s overmixed and won’t hold a shape.
Transfer half the batter to pastry bag. Slide master guide of circles between baking sheet and parchment paper. Hold piping bag vertically and pipe batter to within 1/8″ from the edge of the circle. Carefully remove master guide from underneath piped circles and transfer to second baking sheet, repeating with remaining batter. Remove guide and save for future use. Tap pans sharply on counter; rotate 90 degrees and tap two more times (to deflate air bubbles and prevent cracked shells).
Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until you can cleanly peel the parchment paper away from the macaron. Place pans on wire racks and cool completely before removing shells. For the mango buttercream, place mango puree in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stirring constantly, reduce heat to low and continue to cook until puree is thickened and reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 10 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly.
Beat butter, cooled mango puree, and salt in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; gradually add powdered sugar 1/3 cup at a time. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and airy. When ready to assemble, fit a large disposable pastry bag with a round tip and fill with buttercream. Pipe buttercream onto the bottom of half the shells, sprinkle with toasted coconut, then sandwich with remaining shells. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to three days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Yield – 40 shells, 20 macarons
Calories – 115 (per macaron)
Carbs – 18