Hello friends, today we are making Strawberry Macaron Shells, with actual freeze dried strawberries in the shells, filled with Strawberry Buttercream.
The concentrated strawberry flavor and aroma in the freeze dried strawberries provides a burst of strawberry goodness to these macarons!
Please watch the video on this page or on YouTube, showing you exactly how to make these amazing Strawberry Macaron Shells.
This is a question I was getting a lot: can I add freeze dried strawberries to make strawberry macaron shells?
How to flavor macaron shells
Usually I like to keep my shells simple and plain for the most part, with the exception of adding matcha, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and the occasional vanilla bean.
But I decided to go ahead and experiment with it to see if the results would be worth it.
First thing to keep in mind when flavoring macaron shells is the type of ingredient you are adding.
Macaron shells are extremely sensitive. If you have been baking macarons for a while then you will know that everything and anything can throw them off.
So the number one thing to consider is the type of flavoring you will use, if it’s a powder, a liquid, an extract.
I recommend staying completely away from anything that is not in powder form, such as the things I mentioned above such as cocoa powder, matcha, espresso powder. And vanilla bean is not a powder per se, but it won’t add much moisture to the shells.
Also I recommend not adding too much of it, because different kinds of powders will affect the shells in different ways as well. For example, even the amount of fat in the cocoa powder you are using could affect your results.
I specially recommend to stay away from anything with high fat amount, or oil based ingredients.
And my last recommendation is: experiment to see if it’s even worth it adding the flavoring to the shells. Depending on the ingredient you are trying to add, you will have to add so little of it to make the shells turn out fine, that you won’t even be able to taste the flavor in the shells. And that just means that it’s not worth it adding it to your macarons.
In that case, focus on the filling instead. Make delicious and scrumptious fillings with outstanding flavor and quality ingredients, because that will make a whole world of difference.
When I did my experiment using freeze dried strawberry powder for the shells, I was pleased to find out that they came out wonderful and not only that, but it added a delicious strawberry flavor to them.
However, with my first experiment, the shells came out orange, since I didn’t add any food coloring.
For my second experiment, the macarons you see here today, I added 5 grams of freeze dried strawberries to the shells, and I also added fuchsia food coloring, to make the shells more pink. Though they still have orange tones.
Tips on how to make Strawberry Macaron Shells
- If you can’t find freeze dried strawberry powder, purchase the whole freeze dried strawberry slices, and process them in a small food processor or grinder.
- Weigh the powder after sifting it, not before. Any large chunks should be discarded, so you might have to process more than just 5 grams of freeze dried strawberries to obtain 5 grams of powder.
- Then sift the strawberry powder along with the almond flour and powdered sugar again to mix the ingredients together, this will prevent the strawberry powder from clumping up, and it’s again another chance of retaining large bits of strawberries.
- Add gel food coloring in pink tones to the batter, unless you want orange shells. For my first attempt I didn’t add any food coloring because I thought the color of the powder would be enough to color the shells, but it was not! The macarons turned out a salmon color.
To find freeze dried strawberries, or the powder, you can try your local grocery store, most of the stores around me carry freeze dried strawberries.
Or you can also purchase it on Amazon.
Another important thing I wanted to cover is the fact that I am not using egg white powder for my shells this time around.
If you follow my other recipes, you will notice that for some time I’ve been adding egg white powder to my macarons.
However, since the weather where I am is extremely dry and having the heat on all day makes the house super dry, I believe this was affecting my shells, making a large portion of them lopsided.
Here’s what I think is happening, if I use egg white powder nowadays, the shells will immediately dry after I pipe them, giving me almost no time to poke the holes with a toothpick on top of the shells.
Over drying your macarons can be a cause for lopsided and hollow macarons, which is what I think was happening with me this Winter, because of the unnecessary addition of egg white powder to the batter.
So I put my bag of egg white powder away for now, and thinking about pulling it back out once the weather isn’t so dry anymore.
Now let’s go to some recipe recommendations. If you like these Strawberry Macaron Shells, then you should check these recipes out:
- Passionfruit Macarons
- Coconut Macarons
- Balsamic Caramel Strawberry Macarons
- Raspberry White Chocolate Macarons
- Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons
- Dragonfruit Macarons
- Creme Brulee Macarons
- Chocolate Strawberry Macarons
- Fig Macarons
- Strawberry Lemonade Macarons
- Red Velvet Macarons
- Strawberry Rhubarb Macarons
- Raspberry Macarons
- Heart Macarons
- Strawberry Mint Macarons
If you are looking for more ways to improve your macaron skills, check out my Macaron School page, where I keep all of my best resources, knowledge and all the information that will help you tremendously in your macaron journey.
Click here to visit Macaron School.
Thank you so much for reading! Have a beautiful day!
Strawberry Macaron Shells
Strawberry Macaron Shells
white granulated sugar
freeze dried strawberry powder
- One drop of fuchsia food coloring
unsalted butter softened
- 1 1/2
confectioners’ sugar sifted
freeze dried strawberry powder
about 30 grams
- 2 to 4
milk or water as needed
powdered freeze dried strawberries
Strawberry Macaron Shells
Before you start, get all of the ingredients ready. Prepare a large piping bag, fitted with a large round tip, I use a 1/4” diameter tip. Set aside.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Measure out all of the ingredients.
- If you can’t find powdered freeze dried strawberries, simply process about 8 grams of freeze dried strawberries in a small blender or grinder. Then sift the freeze dried strawberries to eliminate any large chunks. You may need to process a bit more than 5 grams in order to obtain 5 grams of powder for the recipe, since the large chunks should be discarded.
- Sift the powdered sugar, almond flour, and freeze dried strawberries together. Set it aside.
Place a bowl over a pan with barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water. Add the sugar and egg whites to the bowl.
- Whisk the sugar and the egg whites until frothy and the sugar is completely melted. It will take a couple of minutes. You can test by touching the mixture between your fingers, and if you feel any sugar granules just keep whisking the mixture over the water bath.
Don’t overheat the sugar syrup, this may cause issues down the line, such as wrinkly macarons.
- Transfer the syrup to the bowl of a stand mixer.
- With the whisk attachment, start whisking mixture on low for about 30 seconds, then gradually start increasing speed to medium. Whisk on medium for one to two minutes, until the mixture is white and starting to become fluffy. Raise the speed to high, or medium-high and whisk for a few minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Best way to check this is to keep your eye on the whites. Once they get glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, it might be time to stop.
- Whisk until stiff peaks have formed. When you pull your whip up, the peak should be stiff and shooting straight up, with possibly a slight bend at the top, but not bending down to the side.
- Pour the sifted powdered sugar, almond flour, and freeze dried strawberry powder into the stiff meringue.
- Add the food coloring at this point, if using. I added a drop of fuschia gel food coloring.
- Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
- How to know when to stop folding the batter: It’s time to stop folding when the batter is glossy and has a thick and flowing consistency. There are several ways to test this.
- First, pick up some batter with the spatula and try to draw a figure 8 with the batter that is dripping off the spatula. If you can form several 8 figures without the batter breaking up, that’s one indication that it might be ready.
- There’s another test you can do. I call it the Teaspoon test.
- Grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto the parchment paper or silicon mat. Wait a minute to see how it behaves.
- If the batter stays stiff, forming a point and doesn’t spread out, fold a little bit more, about 3 folds. Test again.
- Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy and smooth on top, on the parchment paper or silicone mat, it’s ready.
- You don’t want your batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to overmix. It’s always best to undermix and test several times until the proper consistency has been achieved.
- When you hold the spatula with batter on top of the bowl and the batter falls off the spatula slowly but effortlessly the batter is ready. The batter will keep flowing off the spatula non-stop, but not too quickly.
- Transfer the batter to the piping bag.
- Place the piping bag directly 90 degrees over the center of each macaron template. Apply gentle pressure and carefully pipe for about 3 seconds, and then quickly pull the bag up twisting slightly.
- Once you’ve piped as many circles as you could, bang the trays against the counter a few times each. This will release air bubbles that are in the batter and prevent your macaron shells from cracking.
- Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles in the surface of the shells.
- Let the trays sit for a while so the shells will dry out a little bit. I usually leave about 20-40 minutes, depending on how humid the day is. You’ll know they’re ready when you gently touch the surface of a macaron and it seems dry.
- Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF.
- Bake one tray at a time.
- Bake for 5 minutes, rotate tray.
- Bake for 5 more minutes. Rotate again.
- I bake each tray for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet. If you try to move a macaron, it shouldn’t feel jiggly. If the macaron is still jiggly, keep baking.
- Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
- Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.
- Cream the butter at medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer for about 1 minute. With the mixer off, add all of the powdered sugar, the strawberry powder.
- On low speed, beat the ingredients together. Once they are incorporated, turn speed to medium and cream for 1-2 minutes until very fluffy.
- Add 2 tbsp of liquid (water or milk) only if necessary, if the buttercream seems dry or stiff.
Sometimes you may find that the consistency of the buttercream is already perfect and doesn’t need any more liquid. If the buttercream seems too runny, add more sifted powdered sugar until you obtain a firm, but smooth and creamy consistency.
- Place the buttercream in a piping bag.
- Melt white chocolate in a microwave bowl. Place it in a piping bag and snip the end with scissors.
- Drizzle the white chocolate over half of the macaron shells. Top with freeze dried strawberry powder to decorate.
- Pipe a small amount of filling on each bottom shell, then top with a decorated shell.
- Let the macarons mature in the fridge for 1 to 2 days before serving. Best way to store them is in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 to 2 months.
Egg White Powder: Notice that I am not using any egg white powder in today’s recipe, and if you watch my videos you will see that recently I have been using it every time I make macarons. However, the weather has been quite dry where I am, and since I am also adding strawberry powder to the shells I decided to skip the egg white powder in today’s recipe.
Freeze dried strawberry powder: Weigh the powder after sifting it, not before. Any large chunks should be discarded, so you might have to process more than just 5 grams of freeze dried strawberries to obtain 5 grams of powder.
Food coloring: Make sure to use gel food coloring, not liquid, as it will affect the batter, and it will destroy the protein bonds in the meringue that form the structure of the macarons.
Vinegar: Before starting make sure to wipe down the bowls, whisks, silicone mats and everything you are going to use with vinegar, to avoid any grease particles of coming into contact with the meringue and batter.
Scale: Please use a scale when measuring the ingredients for accuracy.
Macaron amount: It will vary greatly depending on how big you pipe the shells, and on how runny or thick the batter is.
Baking time/temperature: Baking time and temperature will vary according to your own oven. I recommend experimenting with your oven to find out the best time, temperature, position of the baking tray. Read more about how to figure out your oven here.
Oven thermometer: Make sure to have an oven thermometer to bake macarons. It’s one of the most important things about making macarons. Home ovens aren’t accurate at all at telling the temperature, and even a slight 5 degree difference can make or break your whole batch.
Tray rotation: Lots of bakers don’t have to rotate the trays 180 degrees in the oven every 5 minutes, but I do have to with my oven, or I will get lopsided macarons. Please adjust this according to your oven.
Troubleshooting: Please visit this article for troubleshooting tips.