Banana Coconut Macarons Recipe & Video Tutorial

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2018

Shopping for a fruity tropical taste of sweetness? This is a great combination for those who adore such a compatible flavor duo. It’s also a marvelous summer treat! 🙂

bananacoconutmacarons

Banana Coconut Macarons Recipe

Ingredients:

160 g powdered sugar, sift with almond flour
160 g almond flour, sift with powdered sugar
150 g egg whites
180 g confectioners’ sugar, sieved
½ teaspoon [3 grams] cream of tartar
1 Tablespoon [8 grams] arrowroot powder
Yellow food gel
Colorful sprinkles [optional]

OVEN TEMPERATURE: 300 degrees Fahrenheit/150 Celsius

Sift the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar together into a bowl. Stir in the arrowroot powder and set aside.
Put a template on a baking sheet and place a silicone mat or parchment paper over it. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg whites and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk until well combined.
Place bowl over pot with just enough water, as you don’t want the water touching the bowl. Heat on medium until meringue is hot. Test to make sure it’s hot enough by sticking your clean finger in the meringue near the center of the bowl. If using a candy thermometer the temperature should be about 130 F [54 C].
Remove from heat and place bowl onto stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar.
Whisk on medium to high speed until firm peaks form. Egg whites should be glossy and if you flip the bowl upside down, nothing will come out.
Add food coloring and whisk until the color is incorporated.
Remove the whisk and add the paddle attachment [if using one].
Add the presifted almond flour and confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Turn mixer on low or medium speed and mix for up to 10 seconds. If that doesn’t mix the batter thoroughly, mix for another 10 seconds. Turn off mixer and with your spatula, run it around the sides and bottom of bowl to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Test for the ribbon stage. When you lift your spatula above the bowl, the batter should fall back to the bowl as one continuous stream and create a ribbon pattern.
Pour batter into a pastry bag [14″ or 16″] fitted with a large round tip.
Pipe onto the silicone or parchment covered baking sheets.
When finished with each sheet, bang baking sheet on counter to remove air bubbles. If you see any air bubbles, pop them with a toothpick.
Add the sprinkles on top of the macaron shells.
Let shells rest on a flat surface in a cool, dry area for about 30 minutes. The surface will change from glossy to matte. To make sure they’re done, gently touch the edge of one with your finger. There should be no trace of batter on your finger.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. Carefully monitor the baking process and check your oven thermometer. After 8 or so minutes, rotate the tray to ensure even baking.
Macarons are done when you peel back the mat or the parchment paper and the shells don’t stick.
Remove from oven and gently slide the parchment or silicone mat onto a cooling rack. The shells should be cool enough to remove after 10 minutes.
Place macaron shells on a wax paper covered baking sheet or tray for filling. Match similar sized shells together. Pipe the filling on the flat side of one shell and gently place the second shell on top.

Banana Coconut Filling

Ingredients:

2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
½ cup cream cheese, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons banana extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
5 drops yellow food gel

Instructions:

Beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the vanilla while continuing to beat. Sift in the powdered sugar through a sifter. Mix for about 5-7 minutes. Add extracts. Spoon into a piping bag.

Amazon link: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
All other bookstores: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method

Table top with background

VIDEO TUTORIAL

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Maliga is an American author of contemporary fiction and cozy mysteries. Her nonfiction titles consist of how to make bath and body products with an emphasis on melt and pour soap crafting. When researching her cozy mystery, she discovered the art of baking French macarons. She has written three dessert cookbooks, including two on macarons. When not writing, Lisa reads an assortment of books, takes photos, and is working on a series of baking and soaping video tutorials. Visit her website at: https://www.LisaMaliga.com

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Cinnamon Roll Macarons Recipe & Video

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2018

This recipe is from the book Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method

cinnamonrollmacs

CINNAMON ROLL MACARONS RECIPE

For cinnamon lovers. Whether you adore cinnamon during the Christmas season or any time of the year, these sweet and spicy macarons are sure to please.

INGREDIENTS:

160 grams powdered sugar, sift with almond flour
160 grams almond flour, sift with powdered sugar
150 grams egg whites
180 grams confectioners’ sugar, sieved
1 Tablespoon [8 grams] arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon [3 grams] cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon [3 grams] ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Brown edible food color pen

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300.
Sift almond flour and confectioners’ sugar together into a bowl. Stir in the arrowroot powder and cinnamon, and set aside.
Put a template on a baking sheet and place a silicone mat or parchment paper over it. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg whites and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk until well combined.
Place bowl over steaming pot with just enough water, as you don’t want the water touching the bowl. Heat on medium heat until it steams. Test to make sure it’s hot enough by sticking your clean finger in the meringue near the center of the bowl. If using a candy thermometer the temperature should be about 130 F.
Remove from heat and place bowl back onto stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar.
Whisk on medium to high speed until firm peaks form. Egg whites should be glossy and if you flip the bowl upside down, nothing will come out.
Add vanilla bean paste and whisk for a few seconds.
Remove the whisk and add the paddle attachment [if using one].
Add the presifted almond flour and confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Turn mixer to low or medium speed and mix for up to 10 seconds. If that doesn’t mix the batter thoroughly, mix for another 10 seconds. Turn off mixer and with your spatula, run it around the sides and bottom of bowl to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Test for the ribbon stage. The batter should fall back to the bowl as one continuous stream and create a ribbon pattern.
Pour batter into a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.
Pipe onto the silicone or parchment covered baking sheets.
When finished with each sheet, bang baking sheet on counter to remove air bubbles.
Let shells rest in a cool, dry area for about 30 minutes. To make sure they’re done, gently touch the edge of one with your finger. There should be no trace of batter on your finger.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. Carefully monitor the baking process and check your oven thermometer. After 8 minutes, rotate the tray to ensure even baking.
Macarons are done when you peel back the mat or parchment paper and the shells don’t stick.
Remove from oven and slide the parchment or silicone mat onto a cooling rack. 
Place macaron shells on a wax paper covered baking sheet or tray for filling.
Using an edible brown food color gel pen, carefully draw spirals on each shell.
When the shells are dry, match similar sized shells together. Pipe the filling on the flat side of one shell and gently place the second shell on top.

CINNAMON ROLL FILLING

INGREDIENTS:

125 grams [4 ounces] unsalted butter, room temperature
125 grams [4 ounces] cream cheese, room temperature
220 grams [2 cups] confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
30 ml [2 Tablespoons] heavy [double] cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

In the bowl of a mixer/stand mixer, mix butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add the vanilla, heavy cream, and cinnamon. Continue to blend until well incorporated. Add the sugar and mix on high speed for a few minutes. Spoon into a piping bag and fill your macarons.

cinnamonrollmacarons2

Want to learn more about baking macarons? 

Amazon link: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
PAPERBACK LINK:Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
Amazon UK:Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
PAPERBACK LINK:Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
B&N/Nook:Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
iTunes:Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
Kobo: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
Smashwords: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method

(14)swiss (1)

Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method ~ Excerpt

(12)swiss (1)By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2018

From the INTRODUCTION

Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method covers the simple techniques you’ll need along with the best type of equipment you should have to bake lovely macarons. You’ll also learn how the weather makes a difference, why you should invest in a digital kitchen scale and oven thermometer. I’ve spent lots of time, money, and hard work to get these recipes right. They are all unique and some are more suited to those who like their macarons sweet and others who enjoy their macarons with a little less sugar and are more classically flavored.

The Swiss method is for any level of baker providing you carefully read each recipe thoroughly along with the helpful suggestions.

When you have the ingredients weighed and sifted, the egg whites separated, and the baking trays lined, it’s time to bake macarons, Swiss style.

Official Description:

Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method

3DBakingSwisscover2This unique cookbook is designed for bakers of all levels. Follow each carefully detailed recipe and bake stunning macarons that will impress any dessert lover.

Helpful information includes the best ingredients and equipment to stock your kitchen, resources, tips and troubleshooting, plus the easy macaronage technique that will save you time and energy.

With a photo of each recipe, Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method, offers everything you need to bake beautiful and delicious macarons. It features 20+ new tried-and-tested macaron recipes.

Some of the flavors include Minty Chocolate, Speculoos [Cookie Butter], Raspberry Cheesecake, and Apple Spice macarons.

Available at these fine bookstores.

Amazon link: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
PAPERBACK LINK: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
Amazon UK:
 Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
PAPERBACK LINK: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
B&N/Nook:
 Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
iTunes: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
Kobo: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
Smashwords: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method

baking macarons the swiss meringue method cookie butter speculoos macarons
Speculoos [Cookie Butter} Swiss Macarons
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Book Trailer

“Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide” Now Available in Paperback

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2016

acaimacaronsmed

I’ve owned and read many cookbooks over the years. Some have been leather-bound tomes dating back almost two centuries. Others have been spiral bound and contained gorgeous color photos. As a teenager, I used to look at the cake decorating books, admiring the artistry behind each unique design.

Until this year, I never thought I’d write a cookbook. Sure, I’ve shared recipes before, as soap is made in a kitchen. But soap is easier to make than macarons and even a small bar lasts a lot longer than these delicate desserts.

Before the November 1, 2016, release of Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide, I was trying to get the paperback edition properly formatted. Being on a tight budget, I went to Fiverr and found a formatter who would do a 155-page cookbook with 54 color photographs for $6, including the $1 processing fee. What a bargain! I was skeptical that the newly listed formatter could do the work in less than one day as he promised. A day after the promised delivery time, I received a message. “Hi Lisa, I am high sorry for the delay. I had delay of my new PC yesterday and I cannot continue using the old one. I was highly disappointed the time the agent came in. So, I am greatly sorry for this late delivery of your work.”

A few hours after sending the email, he sent me the .DOC and PDF files. He even changed the name of the file to end with the word GOOD.

The title now read Baking French Macaron: A Beginner’s Guide.

Continuing the singular theme, there was a Table of Content.

The headings were out of bounds and didn’t pass CreateSpace’s interior reviewer. Some of them began on the chapter page. Photos were less than the required 300 dpi. The “good” ones were stretched like in the following example.

cspaceexample
An example of bad formatting

I politely thanked him for his trouble and contacted someone else.

Jackie [not her real name] gave me a rate of $30. That still seemed reasonable. A few hours later, she had finished the project. I was very surprised in the amount of time it took and was naturally suspicious. It was formatted without headings but everything else looked nice; certainly no stretched photos. Before thanking her for a job well done, I uploaded it to the interior reviewer. All the images were less than 300 dpi. I contacted her and she said she’d fix it. A few hours later, I was sent another version. The same thing happened.

For the next four days, it went on. Some of the photos eventually were 300 dpi, others were under that ‘magic’ number. Finally, when all but 7 of the photos were considered good enough, I thanked her and decided to forego a paperback edition. Even if I had a less costly version with black and white photos, it wasn’t worth all the time and aggravation I’d gone through. I couldn’t compromise and publish a photo-less book. I’d spent way too much time and money into making my book the best it could look.

I’d noticed another scam cookbook that was doing well, even though it had no photos and the back cover was completely blank. Some of the recipes had ingredients only—no measurements. That book was selling several copies a day. I was motivated to figure out my photo problems, and eventually I did.

The eBook cover I’d designed was nice, but I knew a professional could do a much better job. Print covers needed strong typography so titles would show up well.

Using my own photos for the cover, I didn’t have to be concerned about copyright issues. I’d been checking out numerous cover designers and I went through their portfolios. I found a very talented artist. The book cover was far better than the one I made on Canva.

Here it is!

Baking French Macarons A Beginner’s Guide

Amazon paperback link: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

Amazon UK paperback link: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

Barnes & Noble paperback link: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

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 baking_french_macarons_a_beginners_guide_3d

Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide – Yes YOU Can Bake French Macarons!!!

By Lisa Maliga, Copyright 2016-2018

Baking French Macarons A Beginner’s GuideWhat started my love of macarons was a quirky romance novella I wrote called Sweet Dreams. The main character is a romance author/baker. Although the macarons aren’t mentioned at the beginning of the story, those tempting petite cookies have a costarring role. During the writing of the ebook, I got obsessed with macarons. I read several cookbooks on how to make them, visited numerous websites, and sampled quite a few tasty macarons. I bought some online and tried some from various bakeries. They ranged from mediocre to heavenly.

It was a tough job, but I gutted [pun intended!] my way through it.

When macarons appeared in another story, they played a starring role in Macarons of Love [The Yolanda’s Yummery Series, book 4]. I watched more how to make macaron baking videos. And I finally began baking on a quest to bake the perfect batch of macarons.

My first batch looked like this: mymacs3

One of my more recent attempts is on the cover.

My theory is this – if someone who’s never held a pastry bag in their hands or made buttercream frosting/filling can bake macarons, don’t you think you can, too?

frenchmacaronsad1

FREE with your Kindle Unlimited subscription!
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M8QIIWI
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M8QIIWI

NOW IN PAPERBACK!
Amazon US: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

Amazon UK: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

Barnes & Noble: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

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eBook Cover Design Tips

By Lisa Maliga

Copyright 2013

I don’t usually write about creating an eBook cover because it’s a different process for each title. It’s not just the initial canvas–what color is the background? Will I use a photo? Another important consideration is the font. And what color will that font be, what size, etc. Creating my first romance novella’s cover was simple: I wanted something to reflect the title and that was a cupcake with sprinkles. I thought it emphasized the title along with the fact that bakeries and baked goods are featured in the storyline. I bought a six-pack of cupcakes from the supermarket and took a few photos. They looked good. They looked better after I enhanced the cupcakes with extra multicolored sugar sprinkles. Cupcake photo ready to go, I thought I’d try Amazon’s Cover Creator. Here’s the result after ten minutes of fiddling about with it: [NOTE: click to enlarge image]

sweetdreamsmockup

I wasn’t too crazy about the vertical lettering but I like the Cinzel Decorative font.

There were two issues. The Cover Creator is designed for eBooks sold on Amazon, not those sold at other online stores like B&N Nook, Smashwords, Kobo, or elsewhere. Also, while cupcakes played a part in the story, so did a fancier French pastry: the macaron. That idea for a book cover popped into my head – a stack of macarons. Not just a single stack of strawberry or chocolate macrons, I envisioned pastel colors of pink, yellow, green, and orange.

Why not try a stock photo? I discovered these: http://www.istockphoto.com/search/text/french%20macarons/filetype/photos/source/basic#17bcc90

So many macarons! So beautiful, bright, luscious looking! I was hungry after clicking through the assortment. I found just the right photo for my cover. Until I tried to buy it. I couldn’t get just one, I had to buy several. So, I decided to do it my way—take my own photos of the lovely photogenic macarons. I bought the fancy French cookies knowing I’d have to eat the results of my sweet photo shoot! 🙂

I opted for yellow and green – lovely colors. A little subdued, though. This was taken indoors in natural light but it wasn’t bright enough to show the white background.

ebooksd1

I clicked on the auto enhance button and the background turned a nice shade of sky blue.

ebookSD2

It looked good at 25% but at 100%, I saw a lot of background noise.

Scratch that cover idea.

I got creative and decided to do two stacks utilizing all the colors—totaling seven macarons. Seven almost perfect macarons. I later noticed the little crack in the left Key Lime macaron but thought it looked even more realistic. After all, these are very delicate cookies. They’re made with egg whites, never any yolks, granulated sugar and powdered sugar and finely ground almond flour.

There were three different backgrounds: white, pink and a soft blue. I thought white was too stark, pink too common, and the blue was enough of a contrast to make the bright colors pop.

Keep in mind I’m working with .PNG files at a 300 dpi capacity and the dimensions are 1600 x 2400—standard eBook cover size. So I take the double stack of macarons and remove the background thanks to the handy Magic Wand tool that Fireworks provides for people who are too lazy to actually cut out the background. With the white background, I can stay with that look or add color. As you can see, I added color. I also fiddled around with the settings so that I got brighter shades for more visual impact, although they’re actually quite close to the original colors. As I photographed them indoors I used as much lighting as possible. 

macaronstack1MED

After taking 200+ digital photos, here’s the final result: 

sweet dreams a novella by lisa maliga ebook kindle smashwords