Pink macarons, ok...but what is "tagada" you may ask. "Fraises Tagada" is one of my childhood favorite candies, and it is pink, and it is good and it makes me giddy like a kid again. I just like saying the name over and over! Since I introduced B. to the line of Haribo candies, the licorice rolls and "fraises tagada" have become his favorites, so it was no surprise that when we came back from Christmas with my parents in France that we had several bags tucked away in our suitcase. I thought we had gone through all the stash when I found a bag that had fallen behind my pastry box. The candy is like little pink pieces of strawberry flavored marshmallows.
I know I said May was the month of things pretty and delicate but when you read the reason why I made these, you will understand.
I started thinking about these ever since I saw Requia' post about a pink event to support the fight against breast cancer. I wanted to make them very pink and very giddy...Well, yeah I am weird: just looking at them makes me happy, feels me with hope and the color even calms me down. I put it in the back of my mind until Bea's savory pink "verrines" reminded me it was high time I cranked up the mixer.
Cancer makes no distinction of gender, reace, age and social status. We live with cancer, know somebody with it and hold the hands of too many friends going through the same thing. Cancer is global, cancer is universal...so is hope, so is the fight against it. A few weeks ago I participated in Barbara's yellow event for LiveStrong Day, and today I want to pay tribute to all the women and men devasted by breast cancer.
I also wish to pay tribute to my grandma who found out in her early 8os (yes, you read right) that she had breast cancer. When her doctor suggested biopsies, exams, breast removal and what not, she looked at him straight in the eyes and said "you're crazy...let me live". AH!!! And there you have it, my grandmother in a nutshell...and the essence of the way I lead my life. She passed away at 93 from a cancer that had invaded her tiny frame but never her spirits or her will to live.
Now, and before you all start to yawn...These are just plain macarons shells colored with neon pink powder dye, with different pink sparkles and filled with a "fraises tagada" and white chocolate ganache. For the macaron shells I followed a different recipe than my favored Italian meringue one, and with good results. The first tray looked like the meringue was not folded enough so I gave it a couple of extra turns and the remaining tray turned out beautiful...I think I could get addicted to this lazier method!!
Shells: (original recipe here)
3 egg whites at room temp
100 g almond powder
160 g powdered sugar
40 g granulated sugar
a few drop of neon pink coloring
pink sprinkles of your choice
In a food preocessor, grind the almonds and powdered sugar togther to make sure they are really fine. Pass through a sieve and set aside.
Note: when I process them very fine, I usually skip the sieving step and just break any lumps with my fingers.
Start whipping the whites on low speed to break them up, and slowly increase as to obtain a soft foam. Slowly add the granulated suage, one TB at a time until the meringue is tight and glossy.
Stop the machine and fold in the coloring and the almond/powdered sugar. The batter should flow like magma. Try a spoonful on a plate. The little peak created by the meringue should flatten when tapped on the counter top.
Line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 300 F.
Fill a pastry bag with the batter and drop rounds on the baking sheet. Add the sprinkles. Let dry for 30 minutes and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Once they are cooled. Fill each with about 1 Tb. of the ganache.
Fraises Tagada White Chocolate Ganache:
2 cups fraise tagada candy
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
Heat the cream until hot. Drop the chips and candy into the cream and stir until all are melted and come together. Let cool.
If you read French, here are some more "Fraises Tagada" recipes:
- Emmanuele's mousse
- Samania's yogurt
- Paris Breakfast's fun post about the candy