Having only heard Fluff-lore, I was intrigued, and upon opening the sophisticated glass jar, even more perplexed. What was this substance, which sparkled in the sun, held itself together like glue, and bore a resemblance to the fictional goop-character Flubber? What was this white gloop, solid while at the same time viscous? What was this stuff, which does not go bad and therefore has no preservatives, and does not need to be refrigerated after opening? (If something does not need to be refrigerated, that generally means there is not enough nutrients included for something like, say mold, to grow.)
So, not really knowing much of anything, I made Fluff filling for my macarons. Threw in some chocolate, some almond extract, some cream for good measure. And it tasted good. Really good, in fact. But, in all honesty, the Fluff didn’t really contribute. It made a filling with the texture of a Tootsie Roll, but with a chocolate-marzipan taste. And as much as I love coating my stomach with a veneer of non-degradable Flubber Fluff, I’m actually just fine with a nice, simple ganache.
But the name Flufferoon sticks.
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
For Macaron Shells
3 large egg whites, room temperature
¼ cup white sugar
A pinch of salt
1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
4 oz. almond flour
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon (approximately 20 drops) red food coloring optional
1. Prepare two baking platforms by stacking one baking sheet on top of another. This ensures that the macaroons do not bake too quickly. Line each baking platform with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Sift powdered sugar, then whisk together with almond flour. Set aside. Whip egg whips till foamy then add a pinch of salt and the sugar. Beat whites until glossy peaks form, just before the stiff peak stage. Sprinkle half of the almond-sugar mixture over the eggs, and fold in quickly with as little strokes as possible. Add the vanilla extract, the rest of the almond-sugar mixture, and food coloring if using. Fold in until just combined. This should take less than 40 strokes. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a clean tip, and pipe ¾ to 1 ½ inch macarons, depending on desired size. Let piped macarons rest at room temperature for 30 minutes so that a shell forms.
3. While the batter is resting, preheat oven to 300 degrees. After 30 minutes of resting, bake the macarons for 20-25 minutes, or until dry and the individual cookies can be lifted off the parchment. Remove from the over and let cool on the sheet for five minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
Milk Chocolate-Almond Ganache
8 oz. high quality milk chocolate, broken into small pieces
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
1. Melt milk chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Stir in cream and almond extract while still over heat. Whisk until fully combined. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature. Let cool until stiff and spreadable.
To assemble macarons:
1. Spread 1 ½ teaspoons of filling on half the macarons. Sandwich with another macaron then let firm up in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.