Concerning Macarons | Variations

Here is a quick guide to experimenting with different flavours of macarons. They all work using the same basic principles as this recipe, so once you know you are familiar with this you are good to go. Below are a few examples of what I have done so far. As a general rule, the shells – which are by far the most delicate part of the macaron, are not to be tinkered with. I have discovered that one should only  colouring and decorating them. Real variety lies in the fillings you use.

On colouring:
  • When adding colour to your almond paste, be sure to make it a stronger colour than you would like, as once you add the meringue it will mellow out.

Lemon

This alteration results in a delicate yellow macaron, which is filled with a light and tangy lemon cream.

  • To colour your shells, add yellow colouring to the almond paste
  • Fill your shells with the lemon cream below. Or alternatively, use a homemade or store bought lemon curd for more flavour.
Ingredients Method
+ 200 ml lemon or lime juice
+ 3 eggs
+ 6 egg yolks
+ 75 g caster sugar
+ 110 g unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
+ 125 g white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
NOTE: Filling requires at least 1 hour in the fridge, so plan ahead. Heat the lemon or lime juice in a saucepan, over a low heat. Beat the eggs and egg yolks vigorously with the caster sugar in a mixing bowl. Pour the hot lemon juice over this mixture, then return the combine mixture to a low heat until it thickens, stirring continuously for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and incorporate the butter and white chocolate. Mix until smooth. Place in an airtight container in fridge.

Strawberry

This version features pretty pink shells, and a mildly chocolatey ganache flavoured with strawberry coulis.

  • To colour your shells, add red colouring to the almond paste
  • Fill your shells with the strawberry ganache below.
Ingredients Method
+ 300 g strawberries
+ 25 g caster sugar
+ 200 g white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
+ 100 g milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces
NOTE: Filling requires at least 1 hour in the fridge, so plan ahead. Wash then hull the strawberries. Process them with the caster sugar to make a coulis. Heat the coulis in a saucepan, over a medium heat. Place chocolate into a mixing bowl. Once the coulis is hot, strain through a fine sieve over the chocolate. Gently combine to make a smooth ganache. Place in an airtight container in fridge.

Green Tea

This one was dreamed up by my husband who wanted green tea macarons stat. As a consequence, he painstakingly ground up green tea leaves and sieved them many, many times to get a fine dust. Alternatively, you could simply buy a green tea essence.

  • To colour your shells, add green colouring to the almond paste. My husband also added a teaspoon of his precious green tea dust to the shells.
  • Fill your shells with a green tea ganache.
Ingredients Method
+ 1 teaspoon of ground green tea leaves, or a touch of green tea essence
+ 400 g white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
+ 200 ml pure (pouring) cream
+ 30 g butter, diced
NOTE: Filling requires at least 1 hour in the fridge, so plan ahead. Place your chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl. Bring your cream and your green tea flavouring to a boil. Pour your hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Combine using a whisk and allow mixture to cool a little. When cooled to 40ºC incorporate the butter. Mix until smooth. Place in an airtight container in fridge.

Blood Orange

These pale orange and pink beauties were created to celebrate the season of summer.

  • To colour your shells, combine yellow and red colouring to the almond paste
  • Fill your shells with a blood orange almond butter cream.
Ingredients Method
+ juice of 4 blood oranges
+ 40 g caster sugar
+ 250 g softened butter
+ 100 g icing sugar
+ 160 g ground almonds
Make a blood orange syrup by combining the juice and caster sugar in a small saucepan. Reduce over a medium heat until you have 1/2 cup of syrup. Allow the syrup to cool completely in the freezer. Beat the softened butter vigorously, to give it a smooth and creamy texture. Add the icing sugar and beat again, to combine. Finally, incorporate the ground almonds and the blood orange syrup and whisk again for a few minute to aerate the cream and give it lightness. Refrigerate in airtight container until just before it is needed.
Original recipe sourced from José Maréchal’s Secret’s of Macarons cookbook, and my own experiments.

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