Hand-made black matte porcelain bowl. Available at www.etsy.com/shop/MaiaMingDesigns
In honor of the new Pantone color of the year, Greenery, I decided to make lime green macarons.
I’ve been obsessed with macarons for a while, but I only began trying to make them in the past month. Macarons have proven to be as challenging as everyone warns you they will be. There are many bakers who emphasize how much easier it is to make macarons with the Italian method rather than the French method. So after mixed results with the French method, I decided it was time to give the Italian method a try. My original reluctance to try the Italian macaron method was that there is an extra step whereby you have to make a sugar syrup at an exact temperature, and getting a candy thermometer seemed excessively fussy. But then someone told me that I could use my instant oven thermometer instead, so I did just that. These citrusy macarons were an immediate hit in my household and turned out almost perfectly! I’m very happy since I developed the recipe on my own and adapted ideas from several recipes for the filling.
2017 LIME MACARONS
2/3 cup almond flour
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (117 grams)
2 large egg whites, room temperature (if they sit out for a day or two that is good, but not essential)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (53 grams)
1 teaspoon lime zest
4-5 drops green food coloring (different food colorings vary in intensity, make the color darker than you want your final macarons to be)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (88 grams)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lime juice
1. Sift the almond flour and confectioners sugar together through a fine-mesh sieve.
2. Beat one of the egg whites into stiff peaks.
3. Mix the second egg white with the almond flour, confectioners sugar, lime zest, and food coloring into a wet paste.
4. Make a syrup in a small pan over a low heat with the granulated sugar and 25 ml. water (~ 1.7 tablespoons). The sugar must dissolve completely, bubble, and reach a temperature of 107º C (225º F)
This took a while but as soon as my thermometer measured at 107º C, I removed it from the burner.
5. Immediately start to pour and blend the syrup into the egg white peaks to create a meringue mixture with glossy peaks.
6. Add half of the meringue mixture to the almond paste and fold with a spatula. In order to reduce air bubbles in the batter, move the spatula from bottom of bowl upward, then press flat side of spatula firmly through middle of mixture. This process is called “macaronage” and it’s essential to getting bubbles out of the macaron batter and to the right consistency. Add the remaining meringue to the mixture and continue the macaronage. Do not overmix. The batter is ready when it streams like lava.
7. Rest a pastry bag inside a vertical cylinder to transfer the batter into the bag, then close the
top. Cut a very small hole in the bottom tip of the pastry bag, 1/2 to 1 cm in diameter.
8. Either onto a parchment sheet or a macaron mat, pipe batter into 3/4-inch round cookies. The batter will spread out, so don’t make them too large. A macaron mat helps to make the cookies uniformly round and the same size, I also found the raised rims helpful to contain the batter from spreading out on the sheets. However, the cookies need to bake a few minutes longer with a macaron mat than when piped onto parchment paper.
9. Tap sheets firmly against counter 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles. You can pop any air bubbles with a toothpick before the surface begins to form a crust. It is very important to let the macaron sheets sit for 30-40 minutes to dry and create a slight crust on the surface.
8. Preheat oven to 160ºC.
9. Place the macarons in the oven. Bake macarons for 8 minutes and then take the tray out and face the front to the back to bake for another 7 minutes (15 minutes total), this way both ends of the tray get equally baked. Note: if you are not using a macaron mat, then a few minutes less in total, but every oven is different. Do not use the oven on convection heat, it can deform your macarons.
10. Filling: Blend the butter, mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar and lime juice. Refrigerate until thick and spreadable.
11. Only bake 1 sheet at a time.
My macaron mat holds 48 round halves, which makes 24 sandwiched macarons.
Once the macarons have cooled, use a spatula to spread filling on flat sides of half of cookies and then top with remaining half.
Refrigerate or freeze macarons in a closed storage tin.
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