Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eat Your Veggies!

My parents never had to force me to eat vegetables when I was a kid. I always loved them, and there are several types that I can devour a few bowls before I can stop.  So it's very foreign to me when I heard parents complaining how difficult it is to force their kids to eat vegetables.

Ok, maybe these little cuties aren't replaceable to the real vegetables, but I bet you won't have problems forcing your kids to finish them off in no time. (and maybe their parents too)

Will you feel less guilty eating these macarons if I tell you there's real tomatoes and olives in the recipe? Awesome!

Preparation - Dehydrated Tomato Paste:
Preheat your oven to 170C. Line a piece of parchment on your baking tray. Using a palette knife, spread a thin layer of tomato paste on the parchment paper. You probably need half a can for a tomato paste for a 20cm by 30cm baking tray. Bake for 1 to 1.5 hours until the paste is dry and can peel the whole thing off the paper. Take it off the paper, flip it over, and put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes, or until it is completely dry to touch. Let cool, and process in a coffee grinder. This should yield about 20 grams.

Tomato Macarons with Basil Buttercream
Macaron shells:
20g dehydrated tomato paste, grinded
95g ground almonds
130g icing sugar

90g egg whites
45g caster sugar
Burgundy and yellow food colouring

Basil Buttercream:
about 1 cup Swiss meringue buttercream
1/16 teaspoon of finely chopped basil, or to taste*

*The key to this combination is to only slightly flavour the buttercream with basil. It point of the added basil is to enhance the flavour of tomato, to make it a fresher taste. You should not be able to recognize that there's basil in the buttercream. I would imagine mascapone cheese will be a good substitution to buttercream as well. I just didn't have mascapone cheese handy in my fridge.

You can check out the method and recipe of the olive balsamic macarons here.


  1. really like the last 2 pix. cute idea to disguise the macaron as a tomato. what's that beside the tomato paste?

  2. Oh, that's chopped olives. I dehydrated them together to save some time and energy.

  3. I just think your food photography is so beautiful! The picture with the macaroon with the other tomatoes on a vine is genius!

  4. The fifth photo is very clever! Really caught my eye.

  5. What a cool idea! I notice this recipe has a bit less sugar than most macaron recipes I've seen. Did you notice any difficulty working with the batter or in the resulting shells as a result? Thanks!

  6. Thanks for all the nice comments.
    Since there's natural sweetness in the tomato, I had to reduce the sugar to balance out the flavour and give it a savory touch to the shells. I have reduced both caster sugar and icing sugar. The caster sugar gives the meringue structure to hold up the shape, whereas the icing sugar absorbs the moisture. I have increased the amount of ground almonds to compensate the reduction of icing sugar; however, these tomato macarons are slightly flatter when compared to my other ones and presumably is because of the reduction of caster sugar. They still taste great I promise!

  7. Thanks very much for the quick response! I'll keep that in mind :).

  8. That's brilliant, Em!
    Now there's no more excuses not to eat vegetables.
    I love the photos as well.



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