I haven’t baked macarons for quite some time now – more than a year. That’s why when I ended up with two egg whites in the fridge I decided that the time has come for a new batch.
The previous time I made macarons they were a complete disaster. Complete! Meaning – they went all to the bin. The saddest part of the story was that actually they were almost perfect when I removed them from the oven. I let them cool calmly and started making the filling… For some reason I don’t remember any more my first choice of filling didn’t go well, so eventually I prepared a pudding from milk, sugar and cornstarch (!) and filled the macarons with it as it was almost hot (!!!). This happened at night so in the morning when I opened the boxes with the macarons I almost fainted after seeing them: all wet and melted. Well, I preferred to throw them away rather than eating them with a spoon… But I learned my lesson: treat macarons as a meringue and never fill them with anything too moist. The macaron filling must be thick and cold.
This autumn I am in a yellow mood, so it wasn’t hard for me to decide the colour of today’s macarons. And the lemon flavour paired very well with both caramel and chocolate (I guess I must be in a caramel mood too :)).
It is good that these macarons were not too many because I ate them almost all by myself. I just didn’t want to share them as they were so tasty 🙂
For the shells (using proportions 1: 1,3: 1,6: 0,8):
62 g egg whites (from two medium eggs)
80 g almond flour
99 g confectioners sugar
38 g granulated sugar
10 g (1 pack) lemon sugar
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground rosa canina (from 1 tea bag)
yellow food colouring (powder or gel, but not liquid)
pinch of salt
For the Chocolate filling:
120 g cream cheese
50 g dark chocolate
2 tbs confectioners sugar
1 tbs rum extract
For the caramel filling:
1 tbs salted caramel spread (recipe here)*
50 g white chocolate
30 ml milk
*Note: You can also use salted caramel sauce instead (here is a recipe) and in this case the milk is not required.
Shells: In a food processor blend together almond flour, confectioners sugar, lemon zest and rosa canina until well combined. Sift the mixture and set aside.
With an electric mixer beat the egg whites and the salt until foamy. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks. Add the food coloring and beat just for a few seconds.
With a rubber spatula fold in the almond-sugar mixture in 3-4 times. At the end the mixture must be smooth and all ingredients well combined. It is important not to over-mix, because the macarons will not make feet.
Pipe onto trays lined with baking sheets or silicon mats and then leave the macarons to dry out for 30-40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C and bake the macarons for about 10-15 minutes (the exact time depends on the oven). They should be dry but not changed in colour.
Let the macarons stay for 5 minutes on the pan and then remove them and let cool completely on a rack. If it’s not easy to remove them from the pan without breaking them, place the baking sheet on a damp cloth for 5-10 minutes and they will come out easily. However if they are baked well, you shouldn’t have this problem (so returning them to the oven for 2-3 more minutes should solve the issue as well).
Break the dark chocolate and melt it in a bowl over a pan with simmering water. Add the cream cheese, confectioners sugar and rum extract. Mix well. Let the filling cool 1-2 h in the fridge before applying it to the macarons.
Break the white chocolate and combine it with the milk and the salted caramel spread. Heat the ingredients in a bowl over a pan with simmering water or on a very low power in the microwave. When the mixture becomes homogeneous let cool at room temperature for an hour. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge for 12-24 h before applying to the macarons (the filling should be thick and creamy).
Use a butter knife, a spoon or a piping bag to fill the macaron shells (I found that the best method for me is to put some filling on one shell with a butter knife, to cover it with another shell and to twist the second one: that way the filling stays all inside and doesn’t spread out).
Store the macarons in airtight container in the fridge. They taste better 12-24 h after filled in.