Happy spring! What beautiful day we woke up to this morning. I hope it’s an indication of the rest of the season. It’s no secret that I love macarons. Ever since I tried them in Paris last year I buy one whenever I see them. I have since tried to make them at home quite a few times. The very basic recipe, from Women’s Weekly ‘Bake’ is not too difficult to make and results in very yummy macarons but not quite as good as the ones that use the more involved technique (which I attempted a little while ago without much success). This time, I decided to make a variation of the Women’s Weekly recipe by mixing up the fillings to match the colour of the shells. I chose lemon for the yellow and raspberry for the pink. They actually turned out to be lemon/coconut and raspberry/coconut. Aldi changed their chocolate packaging on me you see. The white chocolate used to be in a white packet so I picked up the one that I usually do without looking. It turned out to be coconut white chocolate but provided an interesting flavour.
The ingredients for macarons are really quite simple – egg whites, sugar, icing sugar and almond meal as well as the filling. It’s best if the egg whites can sit, covered, at room temperature for two days before you make the macarons. It’s also best to make the macarons a day before you want to serve them.
To make the shell, beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Add the sugar while the motor is running and beat until all the sugar has dissolved. An easy way to test this is to rub some of the mixture between your fingers. If it’s smooth then the sugar has dissolved. If you are only making one colour then also add the food colouring in this step.
Remove the sugared egg white to a large bowl and then stir through the sifted (sift them a few times) almond meal and icing sugar.
Divide the batter in half and stir your chosen colouring into the batter. Keep stirring gently until they are smooth and run from the spoon or spatula.
Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
It seems I can’t make macarons without some sort of disaster. This is the second bag that’s exploded on me while making macarons. It was also my last bag so I had to use a spoon and scoop the batter onto the trays and form rounds with the back of the spoon. The mixture needs to form 32 rounds about 4cm wide and 2cm apart.
Leave the rounds to rest for at least 20 minutes or until you can touch the top of them without the batter sticking to your finger. When they are set, bake the shells for 20 minutes in a 130C fan-forced oven.
While the shells are baking, make the ganache by melting the white chocolate with the cream. Divide it in two and stir the raspberries through one half and the lemon zest and juice through the other half.
When the shells are cooked, leave them to sit on the trays for 5 minutes.
Transfer the shells to a wire rack to cool completely.
Because my shells weren’t all perfectly round I had to match them all up to their closest partner. Turn half of them up the other way so they can be filled.
Depending on the consistency of your filling, you can pipe it onto the rounds. Mine was quite thick (because it was coconut not straight white chocolate) so I had to spoon it on.
Place the lids on top and gently push down so the filling extends to the edges. Enjoy!
Raspberry and lemon macarons – recipe slightly adapted from Women’s Weekly ‘Bake’
- 3 egg whites
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- pink food colouring
- yellow food colouring
- 1 1/4 (200g) cups icing sugar
- 1 cup (120g) almond meal
For the filling
- 200g white eating chocolate, chopped
- 2tbsp cream
- a handful of raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- zest of one lemon and half of its juice
It is best to make these a day before you want to serve them. Two days before, take the egg whites out of the fridge and leave them, covered, on the kitchen bench.
Line two oven trays with baking paper.
In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar and keep beating until the sugar has dissolved. If you are only making one colour, add the food colouring with the sugar.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir through the almond meal and icing sugar (after sifting them at least twice).
If you are making two colours, divide the batter in two and stir through the food colouring.
Keep mixing the batter until it is smooth and runs from the spoon.
Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe 36 4cm rounds onto the two trays. Leave about 2cm between each round. Gently tap the tray on the bench then set them aside for 20 minutes or until you can touch the tops without the batter sticking to your fingers.
While the rounds are setting, pre-heat the oven to 130C fan-forced.
Bake the rounds for 20 minutes then stand them on the tray out of the oven for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool.
While they are baking, make the ganache by melting the chocolate with the cream. Divide it in two and stir the raspberries through one and the lemon juice and zest through the other.
Match the rounds with one of a similar size and lay them out so that the one to be on the bottom is upside down.
Dollop the filling onto the macarons and sandwich them together.
It’s best if they can then be refrigerated over night. Take them out of the fridge and bring them to room temperature to serve.