First things first, the denomination 3D is not quite right, as every single cookie in the known cookie universe is tri-dimensional. But, I will stretch the definition of the term and use it, as “hemisphere” macarons is not a description I find very appealing. As to saga, all I can say is that this project is not for sissies. Quite likely it will not work on your first attempt. Or second. But it is worth persisting, because the light in the end of that tunnel comes in the form of some pretty cute little macarons. All credit goes to the Queen of Macarons, Phay Shing (check her amazing blog with a click here, and her IG page here).
The basic goal is to have a macaron shell shaped as a little hemisphere. It sits on top of a regular macaron for the base. I followed the tutorials from Phay available in her blog, and used both Swiss and French meringue as the basic recipe. It requires a very delicate macaronage balance because the batter cannot be too loose or it will slide off the silicone base, or too thick, because it won’t form a smooth surface. I had successes and failures with both the Swiss and the French, so it is more a question of how you handle the batter than the formula itself.
Ideally, once you pipe over the silicone, the batter should reach the bottom and not accumulate there, or you will have a lip extending off the base, and it may also compromise the circular shape you are hoping for. As to baking, they take maybe a couple of minutes longer than the regular shells, and I did not have any issues releasing them from the mold. I let them cool for about 10 minutes, then gently probed the base with a thin spatula.
Another consideration is the filling. I did not want to have a big amount of buttercream inside, so for the ladybugs, I included two mini chocolate-Easter eggs to occupy some of the space, and completed with buttercream to close the shells.
This was my first successful attempt at 3D macs, some of the shells were not uniform enough to make a nice lady bug, but I was happy with the outcome anyway…
One of my adventures resulted in shells that had a bit of a rough texture. That’s when a turtle comes in handy…. In fact, lots of different decorations will work with this type of macaron… These were all painted with Sugarprism.
My most recent adventure involved little bees. In this case, I added 10% pecan flour to my default French meringue recipe, and that gave a nice speckled look to the shells. After painting the bee pattern, I glued little wings made with wafer paper. The regular shells were painted with Sugarprism, which was also used for painting the bee’s body.
To fill the shells, I used tiny little M&Ms plus a honey-lemon buttercream.
I cannot sugar coat this pill, those are labor intensive, and at least for me, half of the shells piped in silicone won’t be good enough to use. I imagine this success rate will go up the more I practice. Phay makes amazing macaron productions, including cute teacups in which she serves the shell with the opening up, glues a handle also make from macaron batter, and a regular shell serves as the little plate underneath the cup. Totally adorable. I have a long ways to go, but every marathon starts with the first step…
ONE YEAR AGO: My First Cookie Platter