Liquorice macarons

You know those flavours that you either love or hate?  Well, I think liquorice is one of them.  I fall in the former camp.  I am a liquorice fan through and through.

As a child, I remember my mother carefully guarding an occasional box of Bassett’s liquorice allsorts that she would buy from the (unfortunately now non-existent) food hall at David Jones here in Brisbane city.

I was not setting out to create a liquorice flavoured macaron.  My initial list for the wedding favor trials consists of champagne, blueberry, matcha and lime-basil.  But after a hiccup or two, an opportunity presented itself.  Yet another batch of macarons. 

Being a liquorice lover, I have some liquorice flavoured tea in the pantry.  I was staring at the tea and had a flashback to some Earl Grey truffles I made last Christmas.  With a batch of light blue coloured macaron shells just screaming for some filling, I knew what I had to make.

After gently warming some cream, I added a couple of tablespoons of the liquorice tea.  I left that infuse then strained well.  I then proceeded to make a dark chocolate ganache.  The resulting flavour is noticeably liquorice-y but subtle.  It has a refreshing finish that marries perfectly with the cool blue shell.

I am not sure if these will make it to the wedding (the Champagne macarons are currently top of the list!), but I have enjoyed making and tasting them nonetheless.

For the shells, I used my standard macaron recipe, but I hope to actually trial a new version very soon!

{ Liquorice macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Blue food colouring
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the food colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Liquorice cream }

* Ingredients *

120g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons liquorice tea

* Directions *

Heat cream and tea until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.  Let cool and rest for about an hour.  Strain the tea from the cream.  Reheat the cream gently and pour over the chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir.  Let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken.

Champagne macarons

About a month ago I mentioned I was getting married soon.  And for the wedding, I wanted to make some macaron favors.  I was so overwhelmed by the lovely suggestions, so much in fact I did not know where to begin my trials.

But given it is a wedding, there was one very obvious starting point.  Champagne macarons.

The lovely Kerrin at MyKugelhopf made this particular suggestion.

I was not quite sure how to inject the Champagne flavour into this macaron initially.  But I quickly decided the flavour needed to go into the filling.  I was not prepared to experiment with the basic macaron shell that I can almost bake without too many hiccups.

I had a little look around for ‘Champagne Cream’ recipes but only really came across the savoury variety.  I then remembered my impromptu filling for my lavender macarons – lavender infused cream mixed into white chocolate.  I essentially copied the same idea here.

Overall, the flavour is subtle.  The champagne is not too overbearing.  The colour is also lovely being so neutral.  Verdict?  They are definitely on the short-list for the big day!

{ Champagne macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Dust lightly with icing sugar.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with Champagne cream.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Champagne cream }

* Ingredients *

120g white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
¼ cup Champagne (sparkling wine)

* Directions *

Heat cream and Champagne until bubbles slowly form around the edge of the pan.  Let cool and rest for about an hour.  Reheat the cream gently and pour over the chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir.  Let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken.

Cardamom macarons_single

With macarons completely occupying my mind due to my upcoming wedding, I was worried they may overshadow my Finnish baking adventures this month.  So inspired by all the creativity and ideas for my wedding macarons, I wondered if I could somehow combine something Finnish with a macaron.

I think I did.

The Finns are reported to be the largest coffee drinkers in the world.  So I knew coffee had to feature as a prominent flavour.  Cardamom is a very common spice used in Finnish (and Scandinavian) baking.  I love the flavours of both so was more than happy to trial the combination.  And let me just say, I am in macaron heaven.

I used the same Italian Merignue technique I have been using recently.  And I must admit, with about 6 weeks past since my last batch, it is amazing how quickly it all feels so new again.

But it fortunately all came together, and I can present, the “Suomalainen (aka Finnish!) macaron”.

{ Cardamom macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
130g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Ground cardamom
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the spice.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with extra ground cardamom.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Bake at 180C for 10-12 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Mocha Mousse } recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

* Ingredients *

6 oz / 180g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons espresso coffee powder
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup Sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy cream

* Directions *

Beat the cream until soft peaks form.  Set aside.  In the top of a double boiler, set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolates with the coffee.  In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks until the mixture is thick and pale.  Heat the sugar with 1 tablespoon of water over a low heat until the sugar reaches 238F or 115C.  Slowly pour onto the egg yolks.  Then add in the chocolate mixture until just combined. Fold in the whipped cream, gently but thoroughly.

:: Update ::

dmblgit_green june 2009A big thank you to Marija of Palachinka for hosting the June 2009 Edition of DMBLGiT (Does My Blog Look Good in This?) event. Thank you also to the other judges this month for their time.

My cardamom and coffee macarons were awarded Overall 2nd Place.

There were many outstanding images in the running this month, and I am excited to have won this award.  Thank you!  (Make sure to check out all the other winners and entries.)

 

Talk about a global brainstorm.

From 4 continents in less than 3 days I have over 20 macaron flavour ideas for my wedding.  How amazing is that?  Thank you so much for all for your ideas (and keep them coming, please!).  To be honest, I was actually a little overwhelmed by all the options.  Where to start?  Where to start?

It will be difficult to choose only one or two flavours for the wedding.  But luckily, I am planning to continue my macaron adventures post-wedding.  With all these ideas, looks like I have no other choice!  What a shame…

{ Green }
1. Wasabi
2. Pandan and pandan/screw pine
3. Matcha tea
4. Lime
5. Kiwi
6. Mint macaron with chocolate cream and mint leaf
7. Mint macaron with vanilla cream and chocolate square
8. Basil
9. Lime-basil
10. Green tea and palm sugar
11. Apple and mint
12. Green cardamom (powder)
13. Pistachio with rose water

{ Purple }
14. Blackcurrant
15. Violet figs with honey cream filling
16. Black cherry

{ White }
17. Coconut
18. White shells filled with a white Russian butter cream
19. White rose
20. White chocolate
21. Salted caramel (well, close to white and given how delicious these macarons are, I could not help put them on the list!)

{ Blue / aqua }
22. Blueberry

Let the short listing commence…

Wedding inspiration board

First off, this post may seem to deviate away from baking, but I promise there is a (round-about!) connection.

I am getting married at the end of the year.  I am pretty excited as you can imagine.  And those that know me well, know that it also means one thing.  A highly researched, organised, considered event.  Do not get me wrong; there is absolutely nothing elaborate planned.  It will be a simple affair of 30-35 people, sans formalities.  No bridal party.  No speeches.  No first dance.  And dare I say it…no cake.

When first engaged, the prospect of eloping seemed very appealing.  Simple, minimal fuss, low key.  Problem was, we would miss out on sharing the day with family and close friends.  And really, at the end of the day, what is more important?  I was then reminded of the reason I bake.  It is really part of my fabric.  I love baking to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, birthdays.  I love to bake to give homemade gifts.  I love to learn and discover what families around the world incorporate as baking traditions into their lives.  For me, it is the people in your life that make you who you are and provide the joyous memories.  Baking helps me create those memories.

So you may be thinking, “if baking is so important in your life, why not have a cake at your own wedding?”

Good question.  There are two reasons why.

1. Because we do not want the formality of cake cutting, and
2. I am including something better!

Macarons.

Everyone knows I am obsessed with these little petit fours so what a better way to personalise my wedding day?  The search is now on for colours, flavours, fillings, packaging, labeling to give these little macarons the regard they deserve.

I have created my own ‘inspiration board’ (above) for the wedding.  I selected emerald green with hints of aqua and lavender as the theme colours.  (Long story!)  So far I have considered my macaron options to be pistachio, lavender and vanilla, to tie in with my colour palette.  But there are so many other choices. 

Any ideas for flavours, colours and filling?  Anyone made macarons for wedding favors?  Any tips or hints?

I am glad it did finally come back to baking – and my favourite kind at that.

{ Images }
1st Row: Champagne bottle photo by Jonathan Canlas, Green tie from Martha Stewart Weddings, Lavender field, Atonement movie scene, Long table photography from the Brides Cafe
2nd Row: Flowers from Martha Stewart Weddings, Invitation from Snippet and Ink, Table Number from Novak Photography, Champagne Truffles from Teuscher
3rd Row: Hanging Flowers from Apartment Therapy, Jewellery from Martha Stewart Weddings, ‘The Dress!’ – Wedding Dress, Oscar de la Renta, Martha Stewart Weddings Fall 2008
4th Row: Macarons from Paulette via Brooklyn Bride, Favor Boxes from Snippet and Ink

pistachio-macarons2

I attended a baby shower on the weekend for my lovely friend J.  I took along some mini pistachio macarons, which were selected specifically so I could colour the little mouth sized treats with the party theme colour – mint.

I was a little nervous about sharing my macarons on such a wide scale as some of my recent macaron attempts have ended up with a slightly thicker than desirable shell.  Y at Lemonpi and Duncan from Syrup and Tang both suggested slightly increasing the baking temperature and decreasing the resting time to counter this.  I wanted these macarons as perfect as possible so I decided to bake this batch of macarons in line with this advice.

Everything seemed to come together well.  The sugar syrup was not over heated, the nut / sugar mixture was blended carefully, and the overall batter was mixed well.  When I started to pipe the macarons out, however, I noticed they did not form well.  They held a slight peak.  I gave the batter a couple more turns and tried again.  Same thing.  Worried that I could over-mix the batter, I piped out all the little macarons anyway.  I wrapped the baking sheets a few times on the counter to help flattened them out.

Disappointingly, these macarons did not form as well as previous attempts.  Quite a number of them cracked, and were absent of their cute little ‘feet’.  After a couple of batches, I decided to lower the oven temperature closer to my previous attempts.  Interestingly, the last batch seemed to have the most successful number of perfect macarons.  Bizarre.

Despite the little hiccups they were probably the best tasting macarons I have made.  The shells were perfectly delicate and gave way to a slightly chewy centre.  The pistachio was a delicious flavour, too.   I guess the true test is the speed with which these little macarons disappeared at the party – they flew off the stand so quickly that some people did not even have a chance to sample one at all.  So not all bad, I suppose.

Next time though, I’ll crack it.  Fingers crossed!

{ Pistachio macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
65g almond meal
60g ground pistachios
125g icing sugar
Extra ground pistachios for garnish
Food colour
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal, pistachio and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond / pistachio mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with extra ground pistachios.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Bake at 180C for 10-12 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Vanilla buttercream } adapted from Epicurious

* Ingredients *

4 large egg whites at room temperature for 30 minutes
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces and softened
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

* Directions *

Combine whites and salt in a very large bowl. Stir together water and 1 1/3 cups sugar in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan until sugar is dissolved, then bring to a boil over moderate heat, without stirring, brushing any sugar crystals down side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water.

When syrup reaches a boil, start beating egg whites with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until frothy, then gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat at medium speed until whites just hold soft peaks. (Do not beat again until sugar syrup is ready.)

Meanwhile, put thermometer into sugar syrup and continue boiling until syrup registers 117C or 242°F. Immediately remove from heat and, with mixer at high speed, slowly pour hot syrup in a thin stream down side of bowl into whites, beating constantly. Beat, scraping down side of bowl with a rubber spatula, until meringue is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes in a standing mixer or 15 with a handheld. (It is important that meringue is properly cooled before proceeding.)

With mixer at medium speed, gradually add butter 1 piece at a time, beating well after each addition until incorporated. (Buttercream will look soupy after some butter is added if meringue is still warm. If so, briefly chill bottom of bowl in a large bowl filled with ice water for a few seconds before continuing to beat in remaining butter.) Continue beating until buttercream is smooth. (Mixture may look curdled before all of butter is added but will come back together by the time beating is finished.) Add vanilla bean paste and beat 1 minute more.

passionfruit-macarons21

Living in sub-tropical Queensland certainly comes with its advantages;  it is the perfect climate for a range of home-grown produce.  One of my colleagues at work is the proud owner of a yellow passionfruit plant.  I often only see the purple variety available in stores (I rarely come across the yellow…), so I was pretty happy when I was able to snaffle myself a handful of these tarty fruits.  I endeavoured to somehow combine this flavour into a macaron. 

Gifted macaron-maker, Duncan, of Syrup and Tang, recently posted his version of the famous PH passionfruit macaron.  This little gem comprises a macaron shell lightly flavoured with coffee essence, dusted with cocoa and sandwiched together with a passionfruit infused ganache.

I could not ever remember eating passionfruit and chocolate together, so I instantly knew this would be macaron flavour / version #6 for the month.

I was keen for a fairly strong passionfruit flavour, so skipped the infusing part of the ganache and simply added whole passionfruit pulp.  The result?  The flavour was still delicate (thanks to the yellow passionfruit variety), but it was unmistakably passionfruit in taste without being too overbearing. 

As a ganache is relatively quick to make, these macarons were produced almost in record time.  The same base recipe was used but again seems like the shells were thicker than preferred after letting the sugar syrup reach too high a temperature.  But despite that, they were still delicious!

Next weekend I am attending a baby shower and have been requested to bring some baked treats.  Macarons, of course.  There was no direction in terms of flavour, only colour.  Colour = mint.  Flavour = ?  Stay tuned…

{ Passionfruit macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Dash coffee essence
Cocoa for dusting
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the flavouring / colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Dust lightly with cocoa.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Passionfruit ganache }

* Ingredients *

120g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pulp of one passionfruit

* Directions *

Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.  Pour cream over the chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir.  Cool slightly and add the passionfruit pulp.  Transfer to the refrigerator to thicken.

lavender-macaron3

My first visit to Provence was nearly 15 years ago.  I was very young, but fortunately travelled enough to appreciate the beauty that shined brightly in this part of France.  Since that time, I have joked (somewhat seriously!) that I would love to retire to that part of the world. 

Retirement is a long way off, so if I ever need a sensory reminder of the beauty of Provence, I simply head to my local L’Occitane store.  I am instantly greeted with gorgeous imagery and aromas of the region … including lavender.  I love the smell and rustic look of this special flower.  My partner, A., has actually planted a few varieties in our garden for me to admire.  (Love him!)  So with my macaron month, I could not go past including a humble lavender inspired version.

I was tempted to incorporate lavender with orange after reading about a quite delicious sounding lavender, orange and almond cake on Melissa’s beautiful blog, The Traveller’s Lunchbox.  I also came across this flavour combination in macaron form by the talented Aran’s of Cannelle et Vanille

I was all prepared to embark on combining these flavours when I hit a bit of a snag.  I carefully added the right amount of red and blue food colour to the macaron batter to create the perfect lavender tint, I carefully piped the batter and then sprinkled with lavender flowers.  So far so good.  All was working like a charm.  But then I baked the macarons.  After 15 minutes in the oven, the colour paled significantly.

Plan B.

I ended up creating a lavender infused white chocolate cream as the filling so I could brighten the centre to enhance the flattened hue of the shell.  I guess I will just have to taste the lavender / orange flavour another day.

Overall, I was fairly happy with the macarons.  The only comment I would make would be the shells were probably thicker than desirable.  I believe I took the sugar syrup slightly too high in temperature – closer to 120C.  My previously attempts were at a lower temperature.

I will have to test that again, next time!

{ Lavender macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Red and blue food colouring
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the food colouring to make a lavender colour.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with lavender flowers.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Lavender cream }

* Ingredients *

120g white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp of lavender flowers (Herbie’s)
Red and blue food colouring

* Directions *

Heat cream and lavender flowers until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.  Let cool and rest for about an hour.  Strain the lavender flowers from the cream.  Reheat the cream gently and pour over the chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir.  Add food colouring to suit.  Let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken.

rose-macarons

I was reflecting on the macarons I saw throughout Paris at Pierre Hermé, Ladurée, Gérard Mulot, as well as those I made at Savour Chocolate and Patisserie school.  I think part of the attraction of macarons for me is the bold, strong colour and favour combinations.  So for my next macaron challenge, I wanted to be more daring in my selections.

In searching my pantry I came across some rose water.  I instantly knew that rose macarons would be the next feature.  Combining the delicate rose flavour, along with some essential food colouring, would certainly produce quite an attractive shell.

For the filling, I initially considered a nice simple vanilla buttercream.  But after some thought, I considered complementing the rosy colour with a berry filling.  I took some inspiration from Fanny at Foodbeam and one of her macaron posts, and raspberry cream was born.
 
The macaron batter used was the same as the lemon macarons I made recently.  The only key difference was resting time.  I was able to let this batch sit for closer to an hour before baking.  The outcome for these blushing delights?  A slightly more prominent foot.   You cannot be disappointed with that?

rose-macarons-21{ Rose macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Rose pink food colouring
2 teaspoons rose water
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the food colouring and flavouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

roses{ Raspberry cream }

* Ingredients *

120g white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbs good quality raspberry jam (St Dalfour)

* Directions *

Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.  Pour cream over the chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir.  Add the raspberry jam and continue until just mixed.  Let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken.

lemon-macaron

I recently made a zesty lemon meringue cakefor my sister’s birthday.  I borrowed from the flavours of that delicious cake for my next macaron experiment.

I adapted the basic macaron recipe that I have been using with a few tarty enhancements.  I added lemon juice in the meringue for a hint of flavouring, and some yellow food colouring to imitate the sunny shade of a lemon.

I also made some more fundamental changes to the macaron batter.  I omitted the sugar suggested to accompany the almond mixture – I found the sweetness of the last batch of macarons could be reduced.  Also, I experimented and included some egg white powder.  I have not used egg white powder before, and think it has certainly helped stabilise the mixture to produce a much improved shell.

For the filling, I used the same lemon curd recipe from the cake.  It has a perfect balance of sweetness and tartness that I thought would complement a fairly sweet macaron shell well.

Overall, I think a bit of a success.  Fingers crossed this continues…

lemon-macaron-2{ Lemon macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Yellow food colouring
2 tsp lemon juice
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  In the final minutes of whipping the meringue, add the lemon juice and food colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with lemon curd and refrigerate to set.

lemon-curd{ Lemon Curd } adapted from Martha Stewart

* Ingredients *

4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon

* Directions *

Prepare an ice water bath; set aside. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the lemon juice, butter, and lemon zest. Place over a pan of simmering water and cook, whisking occasionally, until thick, about 15 minutes. Transfer bowl to ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cool. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Transfer to refrigerator until completely cold, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.