Lemon cream macarons

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Ahh Spring! How I love your clear, cool mornings and longer days. Makes me think of Summer that is coming, holidays and being warm again. Summer to me means fresh, light food and lemons are a wonderful addition to brighten a dish and add pizzazz. I love the bright zesty look of these macarons and fresh lemon curd with lemon zest is a must. It almost makes these lemon macarons healthy… 

One of the challenges with making fruit curd macarons, is that the curd can be quite ‘wet’, making the macarons go soft very quickly. You can compensate for this to some extent by baking the macaron shells a little longer to dry them out further, but I find that this can result in hollow shells. White chocolate ganache is an excellent way to make a slightly harder and drier filling and it can also reduce the sourness of some fruit curds – you should experiment to get the balance of sweet and tart to your taste – I prefer my fruit curds to be not overly sweet.

Lemon cream macarons

  • Difficulty: challenging (multiple and complex steps)
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Makes about 50 macarons

Here are more detailed instructions and notes on the Italian method I use

For the macaron shells

Ingredients:

  • 220 g ground almond
  • 220 g icing sugar
  • 80 g aged egg whites at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon yellow food colouring paste.
  • 220 g caster sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 80 g aged egg whites at room temperature

Method:

  • Blend the almond meal and icing sugar together in a food processor, then sift two or three times into a medium bowl. Add one batch of egg whites (80 g) without mixing them and the lemon yellow food colouring.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and start to bring this syrup to the boil. Meanwhile, place the second batch of egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the whisk attachment. When the syrup reaches 105°C, turn on the beater and start beating the whites on medium speed while the syrup keeps heating up.
  • Once the syrup hits 118°C, take it off the stove top and slowly pour it over the egg whites as they continue to beat. Keep beating until the temperature of the mixture drops to 50°C and you have a compact and shiny meringue.
  • Now mix the almond-sugar-colouring-egg white together, then fold in the meringue until the mixture is uniform.
  • Place the mixture in a large pastry bag with a plain #11 tip (1 cm).
  • Pipe 3 cm rounds of the mixture onto baking trays lined with baking paper, spacing them 2-3 cm apart. Leave them out at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes to allow them to form a crust.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Bake two trays of macarons at a time for 14 to 16 minutes. Swap trays in the oven half way through the baking time.
  • When baked, remove trays from oven and after a few minutes, when cooled slightly, slide the baking paper onto a wire rack and allow macarons to cool completely.
  • Pair macarons up according to size and sandwich together with a teaspoon or so of the filling (recipe below).

For the lemon cream filling

Ingredients:

  • 50 ml cream (35% fat content)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon curd (store bought or use recipe here)
  • 150 g white chocolate

Method:

  • Heat cream in pot on stove until steaming.
  • Pour hot cream over the grated chocolate and stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  • Gently stir through the lemon curd.
  • Cover with cling film on the surface to prevent a skin forming and refrigerate until needed.
  • Bring to room temperature and whisk lightly to loosen up before using to fill macarons.

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