Welcome back for another post!
Before I delve into this recipe, I just want to take a moment to thank all my followers for the support The Cakeasaurus has received! I’m blown away by the love and encouragment I’ve gotten. Thank you all so much, and feel free to share what you see with others! With the COVID-19 pandemic roaring worldwide, we all need something constructive to help us cope. Baking is just one of those coping mechanisms for me. Through this blog, I get to share my interests with the world, and people are listening! That’s crazy! Again, thank you and I love you all so much!
Comment below if you’re a lemon fan (Lemon-Head? 🤔). I am, for sure! As I wrote in my lemon curd post, lemon truly is one of my top 5 favor flavors! Maybe even in the top 3! Bring me ALL the lemon things! 🍋🍋🍋
I used my lemon curd for the filling. The tartness of the lemon curd pairs nicely with the sweet macaron shell. Because there’s only 1/4 tsp of lemon extract, the shells themselves only have a slight lemony flavor. Most of the lemon flavor is in the filling. I don’t recommend adding extra extract to the macaron batter, because that would affect the consistency. Macarons are very particular! If you’ve never made macarons before, read through the directions before you start. At some point in the future of The Cakeasaurus, I’ll write a detailed macaronage post, with guidelines, common problems and general FAQs. So ask your questions now! In the meantime, we’ll stick to the basics.
First, macarons need to start with a stable meringue base. If the meringue isn’t strong in the beginning, the end result macarons will be flat, feet-less and hollow. When the meringue is under whipped, the tell-tale sign is runny batter. See the photos below for reference.
Both of these batches were made with the same exact recipe but the meringue in the first picture was under whipped. The perfectly domed macarons in the second picture are made with a very stiff meringue (which is pictured above). There are two tricks I use to get stiff meringue. The first is the speed. The highest speed setting (usually 10 on a standard Kitchen Aid stand mixer) whips a lot of air into the egg whites. With macarons, we don’t want a ton of air whipped in because that also leads to hollow shells. Start whipping the egg whites at setting 4, until the peaks are soft. That should take about 4-5 minutes. Then after adding the sifted granulated sugar, turn the speed up to 6-8, and whip for 5-6 more minutes until peaks are stiff.
The second trick is cream of tartar. My macaron recipes always call for cream of tartar. Some food blogs will tell you it’s optional, but trust me, it’s not. The cream of tartar adds stability. I sift it in with the granulated sugar, after the peaks are soft. Like baking soda, cream of tartar can be clumpy, so make sure it’s sifted.
The meringue will be sticky and glossy, similar to a melted marshmallow- that’s when its done.
The next important thing to keep in mind is when you’re folding in the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture, be VERY GENTLE. I repeat that in the recipe card because it’s incredibly important. Folding is the key word. Do not whisk or stir the almond flour into the meringue; fold it. Gently scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure all the flour is incorporated. Be extremely light-handed. Pretend you’re swaddling a baby. Weird analogy, but when you’re done, you will feel like these macarons are your babies.
Don’t let these important aspects of macaronage intimidate you. Macarons are difficult at first, and practice and patience is crucial! I promise that if you don’t give up, you will soon become addicted to the macaronage process!
Pʜᴏᴛᴏ Cʀᴇᴅɪᴛ : MᴄKᴇɴᴢɪᴇ Bʀᴏᴡɴ