April 9, 2022 - Happy National Unicorn Day!
Yes, this is a day! How fun is this!
Supposedly, Scotland is the homeland of the unicorn. It was said to represent strength, grace, and freedom. The unicorn has been a symbol on the Scottish coat of arms since the 12th century. So, even hundreds of years ago, they were as fascinated by unicorns as we are!
To celebrate National Unicorn Day, I make Unicorn Macarons!
Unicorn French Macaron Recipe
130g superfine almond flour
130g powdered sugar
90-100g egg whites, room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar - optional
1/8 tsp salt
90g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Sift almond flour and powdered sugar onto parchment paper and set aside.
Pour room temperature egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk and mix on a low/medium speed until the surface of the egg whites is covered in small bubbles. Add in cream of tartar and salt, continue to mix until it reaches the soft peak stage.
Slowly add granulated sugar into the eggs and mix on a medium speed for 30 seconds. If desired, add in gel food coloring and extract at this point, then increase the mixing speed to a medium-high speed. Keep mixing until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue in two additions using a circular motion until a thick ribbon of batter runs off the spatula when it is lifted. Be careful not to over-mix the batter! It will take time and experience to get this just right.
Pour the batter into a large piping bag fitted with 1/2-inch piping tip onto the prepared baking sheets. I use silicon mats, placed on upside down baking sheets. Space them about 1-inch apart.
Pipe like regular macarons but add a little dollop to the top of the circle. Every 4-5 macarons, put your bag down and use a toothpick to pull up the little dollop to resemble horn. Pull a bit of the batter out on either side to resemble ears. This will take time and practice and you might even use a different technique to do this than I did. Do what works for you.
After you have 1/2 unicorn macs, 1/2 circle macs (for the bottom half). Bang the pans firmly on the counter a few times to release air bubbles. Pop any remaining air bubbles that come to the surface with a toothpick.
Let the macarons rest for 20-60 minutes to develop a skin. The macarons should look matte once the skin has formed.
As the macarons rest, preheat your oven to 300 F. Every oven is different, and you may need to set your temp higher or lower.
Bake one tray of macarons at a time on the middle rack of your oven for 16-18 minutes, until the macarons do not wiggle when you test them.
Remove from the oven and let the macarons cool on the pan for about 15 minutes. Gently peel them off of the silicon mat and set aside.
I paint the horn and inner ear parts with edible gold paint, and draw the eyes with an edible food color pen.
Cake Batter Buttercream
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 tbsp cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup dry cake batter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp milk, if needed
food coloring, if desired
Cream cream cheese and butter for 2 minutes, until smooth, creamy and combined.
Add powdered sugar, dry cake batter, vanilla and salt. Cream until combined.
Add food coloring, combine.
If needed, add milk to make desired consistency of buttercream.