Earl Grey Macarons
This is one of my favorite desserts to make, but can be a challenge if you're just starting out (believe me, I've made several batches of failure macarons before!). My biggest tips for getting it right are these:
- Make sure your egg whites are not perfectly fresh (not expired, but not straight from the grocery store either), and let them sit to room temperature before making your meringue.
- SIFT your dry ingredients several times! I usually sift, put it into the food processor to blend up, and then sift again.
- Make sure your peaks are stiff when making the meringue- you should be able to tip the bowl upside down and have no egg white falling out.
- The "macronage" is the process of folding the dry ingredients into the meringue. Make sure to fold enough that your dough is the consistency of lava, or can make a figure 8 shape without breaking when it's running off your rubber spatula.
- Smack the tray on the counter a few times to get the air bubbles out! Sometimes I will take a toothpick and pop the bubbles I can see if they're still there.
- Rotate your tray halfway through baking for an even bake.
- My recipe here is for a French buttercream, but you can fill your macarons with whatever you want!
- Macarons are best served after 24 hours in the fridge following assembly, and should be stored in the fridge for best results.
Recipe makes about 30 macarons
For the shells:
1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 sachet Earl Grey tea
3 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lavender extract (optional)
Gel food coloring of your choice
For the French buttercream:
5 large egg yolks
Pinch of salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla
Making the macaron shells:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 315 F.
Sift almond flour, sugar, and tea, then blend in a food processor for about 1 minute and sift again; set aside.
Add egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar to a large, clean mixing bowl and mix on high until egg whites begin to appear foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar while continuing to beat on high until stiff peaks are formed. Add vanilla, and gel food coloring until desired color is reached. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Macronage: Add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the meringue and fold until incorporated; continue to add the rest of the dry ingredients about one third at a time. Fold until the mixture appears like ribbons or lava, and can form a complete figure 8 without breaking.
Immediately transfer the dough to a piping bag with a round tip and pipe small circles onto baking sheets, about 1-2 inches apart. Gently drop or tap the pan against the counter to release air bubbles from the shells.
Rest the shells for 30-60 minutes or until a film has formed over the surface of the shells and you can sweep a finger across the top without sticking.
Bake for 12 minutes, rotating halfway through.
Cool shells on a wire rack and fill once shells have completely cooled; refrigerate.
Making the French buttercream:
Add egg yolks to a mixer and beat until smooth. While these are mixing, place sugar and water in a saucepan on medium heat and stir the mixture, heating to 240 F.
Once the mixture has reached this temperature, carefully pour into the egg yolk mixture. Continue beating until the mixture has reached room temperature.
Cube butter and slowly add pieces while mixing until the consistency is smooth, and add vanilla. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe in a circular motion onto macaron shells to assemble.