Makes about 60 shells (30 assembled macarons)
90 g egg whites (from approx. 3 large eggs), preferably aged at least overnight and brought to room temperature
110 g almond flour (almonds ground to a powder)
200 g confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp caster sugar
several drops lemon essence
several drops lemon yellow food coloring (gel)
- In a blender or food processor, grind the almond flour together with the confectioner’s sugar; set aside. (You don’t actually have to do this, but I do it to break down whatever big lumps are still present in the almond flour)
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites using an electric mixer, starting at medium speed. When the mixture starts becoming frothy and opaque, turn the setting to high speed. Gradually add the caster sugar, beating continuously, until the mixture forms a meringue (becomes glossy and forms soft peaks). Add the flavor essence and gel food coloring, then continue beating until the color becomes homogenous.
- Sift the almond flour mixture over the meringue. Using a spatula, carefully fold them together until the resulting batter is uniform in color and has the consistency of flowing lava (this should take about 30-40 folds). Tap the sides of the bowl several times during folding to get rid of excess air in the batter (this could cause the macarons to crack during baking).
- Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain 1-cm (diameter) nozzle. Pipe out 3-cm (diameter) circles, each about 2.5 cm apart, onto non-stick baking paper* placed on a baking tray. Rap the baking tray on the counter/table to get rid of excess air that could either crack the macarons or make them hollow.
- Leave the piped out batter in a cool, dry place to set. They are ready for baking when the surface is completely dry and not sticky when touched.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 150°C-180°C for 12-14 minutes, taking care not to let the exposed surface turn brown. When finished, slide the baking paper (with the macarons) out from the baking tray and onto the countertop/kitchen table to stop further cooking. Leave them to cool for a few minutes before attempting to remove from the sheets. The ideal macaron should just slide off the baking paper (or pop easily out of the silpat); the bottoms should be dry, but still a bit soft at the center.
Makes enough filling for 25-30 macarons
125 ml fresh lemon juice (ca. 2 lemons)
grated rind of half a lemon (yellow part only)
6 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornstarch
175 g caster sugar
250 g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar at high speed until the mixture becomes fluffy and lemon-colored.
- Pour into a saucepan, add the rest of ingredients except the butter, and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- When the mixture starts to become somewhat creamy, stir in the butter. Continue stirring until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Remove from the heat and let cool in the refrigerator before using on the macarons.