This week, the two halves of TSP were finally together in Phoenix and we decided to tackle a slightly challenging recipe…french macarons! We have made them together once before, and while they tasted great, they didn’t come out perfectly and we were disappointed. This time, we used a new recipe and ended up with a near-perfect result! We chose to use limes for a tangy, summer flavor but you can certainly leave out the lime zest or substitute it with another flavor if you’d like.
Having two people during the photoshoot made things a lot more exciting. We were able to test out some action shots that would have otherwise been challenging to shoot with only one person. We tried two different piping techniques: one where you piped around the base on the shell, and another where you just made a pile and spread it out when you put the top shell on. If you opt for the second method, make sure that the pile of icing is in the middle to get it to spread evenly.
If you’re not super huge on buttercream or don’t want the overly sweet flavor of it, you can certainly substitute. One option we toyed around with was a curd, such as a lime or lemon curd. This would be a great way to use up the egg yolks that would be leftover from this recipe. Another option is jam or jelly, which opens up the door to a wide array of flavors. Just make sure whatever filling you use isn’t too stiff or the shells might break. So ice cream probably isn’t meant to be put into a macaron… though we aren’t completely opposed to the idea!
Guys, we’re going to be completely honest with you – these aren’t a walk in the park. The addition of meringue powder (you can pick this up at Michaels or Amazon if you can’t find it in stores) helps stabilize the shell mixture. The mixture itself is rather thick but don’t over mix or you’ll deflate the egg whites you worked so hard on! If you’re planning on coloring the shells, add the food dye during the whipping of the egg whites so it’s not over mixed. Finally, when you’re baking the shells, don’t be afraid to take them out a little before you think they’re 100% done. They will harden slightly after you take them out.
And of course, feel free to leave questions or comments below!
2 aged egg whites (at room temperature)
68 grams almond flour
153 grams powdered sugar
2 tsp meringue powder
3 drops vanilla extract
2 Tbsp lime zest
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 cup confectionary sugar
3 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Set the egg whites in a bowl and bring to room temperature. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper trimmed to fit inside with no creases or bumps.
2. With a mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed for about 10 seconds. Then, gradually add meringue powder while beating constantly for about 1-2 minutes, or until soft peaks form. (Peaks are soft when you lift the beater and the egg whites flop over)
3. Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add 1/3 of this mixture into the egg whites and gently fold it in using a small spatula. Fold in by scraping around the sides of the bowl and then cutting through the middle carefully. Repeat twice more with the remaining 2/3 mixture. (If you stir too hard, your egg whites will deflate and the cookies will not rise)
4. Gently stir in the vanilla and lime zest.
5. Scrape the batter into a piping bag with a 1/2″ tip and pipe onto prepared pan in 1″ mounds. Let rest for about 30 minutes until dry. (Cookies should not be tacky to the touch)
6. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until feet have risen and cookies have lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool nearby to not create a drastic temperature change that will cause cracking.
7. While shells cool, cream butter and add confectionary sugar, lime juice, and vanilla to make buttercream filling.
8. Remove shells from pan and pipe buttercream onto half of them. Gently press another shell on top of each one. Use just enough buttercream so that it is visible between shells but not gushing out.
Macarons (once filled) will stay fresh in a container in the refrigerator for about 3 days or in the freezer for about a month.
Shell recipe from Dessert For Two. (Adapted to be lime flavored)View more articles written by Britta.