Bananas Foster Macaron are a party in your mouth! With banana shells and salted caramel with rum in the buttercream, these macaron taste just like Mardi Gras.
I have never been to New Orleans. And, obviously, I’ve never been to Mardi Gras or any Mardi Gras parties. No, I’m not kidding. I’ve never been to a Mardi Gras anything.
My parents, on the other hand, have been to New Orleans plenty of times. Way before all the Mardi Gras and Cajun spice nonsense hit the shelves. Our blackened spice recipe goes all the way back to the 80s. I kid you not. Dad was schmoozing with the best of them and came up with a recipe kin to Paul Prudhomme’s.
Then there’s the countless bowls of jambalaya and etouffee eaten while growing up. Yes, filet powder gets added to the etouffee, thank you very much! He even made homemade dirty rice that was out of this world. Even though it had livers in it. Did you know that? Dirty rice, authentic dirty rice, has liver in it. I’m sure he used chicken livers. I didn’t hate that near as much as beef liver.
And don’t get me started on Dad’s gumbo. It is so rich and delicious. He uses true andouille sausage which makes it taste even better! He adds crawfish, but I just pick those buggers out. Not a fan of those things at all.
I think we tried bananas Foster at some point. Don’t quote me on that one, though. Now, I’m going to preface this next sentence with a reminder that my memory sucks. I only remember eating bananas Foster once. And that was at an Asian restaurant.
But it was memorable enough to inspire me to create Bananas Foster-ita Macaron. They are the first macaron I ever made. The fuel that started the fire per se. Not too shabby for my first attempt. But don’t go down the timeline until about 2014. Just one lumpy shell after another.
It’s the whole macaronage part that eludes most. I watched YouTube video after video. Just cross eyed trying to figure it all out. Mom was nice enough to give me a birthday gift of a Sur La Table class where it all clicked. And while she was here for my birthday a few years ago we took it together and I learned something new that time which helps, too.
Ever since then, they’ve been pretty spot on and picture perfect with a few exceptions. These Bananas Foster Macaron are an exception, too. I blame it all on the freeze dried bananas in the shells. Sometimes freeze dried fruits aren’t as dried as you think they should be. Bananas, blueberries, cranberries; these are all fruits that aren’t as dried as they should be for macaron.
Unlike most cookies, macaron are very sensitive to moisture. Your chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies don’t REALLY care how much the flour weighs. At least not here in my part of the world. They bake up almost the same in winter as they do in summer.
But macaron are a different story.
People ask me why I give weight measurements and not cups or spoons. It’s because the powdered sugar and almond meal measured today would measure different in summer. It’s really humid here. That extra humidity affects the weight of the ingredients. Bread bakers will tell you the same thing. Humidity can mess with a recipe.
But, if I make these Bananas Foster Macaron again, I wouldn’t really change a thing. Maybe freeze the bananas before processing them. That helps to solidified any moisture in the bananas making them easier to process. You can do the same thing with nuts you want to add to the shells. In fact, I added about an ounce of pecans to the almond meal.
Since they don’t make peanut meal, walnut meal, or pistachio meal I had to figure out how to make my own meals to add to the almond meal. That makes all the difference in the world and why most find my macaron taste better than those in stores. I put flavor in the shells!
And I get why they do it, but it’s not difficult to divide out the batter. I did it for these Bananas Foster Macaron! Divide out the batter, add some extract at the least, a few turns, and then pipe. It would make a world of difference in their macaron. But, they don’t. And that’s why everyone loves mine!
And I know you’re going to love these Bananas Foster Macaron, too! They smelled like banana bread when they were baking. And the buttercream really brings the brown sugar butter flavor with the rum in traditional bananas Foster. I had a hard time not eating the whole batch before I photographed them. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
For the shells:
- 4 ounces almond meal
- 1 ounces pecans (or pecan meal)
- 7 ounces powdered sugar
- 1 ounce freeze dried bananas
- 4 ounces egg white, room temperature
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 50 grams sugar
- Green and purple gel food dye
For the buttercream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup salted caramel coffee syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon rum extract
- 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
- Gold edible glitter
For the shells:
- Pulse the powdered sugar, the almond flour, pecans, and the freeze-dried bananas together in a food processor to form a fine powder. Sift three times into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large, metal mixing bowl). Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the eggs and hand mix the two together with the whisk attachment for the stand mixer (or hand mixer). Fasten the whisk attachment and beat the mixture on medium speed until foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar and continue to beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Carefully divide the meringue and the almond meal in half using a food scale. Add about a quarter teaspoon of green dye to one half of the meringue and purple dye to the other half of the meringue.
- Fold one quarter of the almond mixture into the green meringue until just incorporated. Then fold another quarter of the almond mixture until the macaronage drips slowly off the spatula; like lava flowing. (Think conditioner dripping out of a bottle. That works for me.) You will also notice that the batter will go from dull to being glossy when it’s ready to be piped.
- Repeat this process with the remaining almond meal and the purple meringue.
- Transfer the batter to a large piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip and pipe 1 1/3 inch rounds onto a silpat covered baking sheet. There are several different templates out there. Two that I like are here and here.
- Preheat oven to 325.
- You’re going to LOVE this next part! Once all the batter has been piped or your sheets are full, grab the edges of the pan, secure the silpat with your thumbs (or any extra batter) and rap the pans on the counter. That’s right! You heard me! Bang them on the counter!! This releases any remaining air bubbles in the meringue. Continue rapping the sheets, turning occasionally, until no more air bubbles surface. Allow the macaron to rest on the counter at least 30 minutes or more depending on the humidity level of your kitchen.
- Once they’ve rested and the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, bake at 325 for 7 to 9 minutes. Rotate the pans front to back and top to bottom and bake an additional 7 to 9 minutes. Do the wiggle test to see if the meringue is cooked; carefully grab the top of the shell and if it moves easily from side to side when wiggled. This indicates that the meringue isn’t completely cooked. Continue to cook in 2 to 3 minutes intervals until they no longer wiggle.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before filling.
For the filling:
- Beat the butter with the salted caramel syrup and the rum extract until creamy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until the desired consistency has been reached. I added about 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar to my buttercream.
- Match one purple shell with one green shell. Pipe a quarter sized dollop of buttercream in the center of each pair. Carefully roll the edges of the macaron in the edible gold glitter.