Macarons are the trendiest of sweet treats ever, laying claim to their very own World Macaron Day when you can get one as a free handout! Homemade, these delightful petite creations can be filled with your heart’s desire: ganache, lemon curd, salted caramel or even foie gras (yuk?). Trop difficile, you think? Mais non, mon ami! Do not be scared of the macaron, for you too can make these pretty little things. And for patissiers who already have the know-how, I will introduce you to a leetle cocktail invention: Mojito Macarons, a fine example of patisserie sans frontières as the fancy French biscuit meets a traditional Cuban cocktail. Olé!Refreshing and light, with a tangy but creamy filling surrounded by a crisp yet gooey meringue biscuit, these mojito macarons have won over adults and children alike. A French girl who didn’t like macarons became a convert after trying these little treasures. True story. Demanding friends have gasped: ‘Did you make these yourself?’ So if you’re up for a challenge that is not mission impossible, give it a try! You too could impress the masses whilst simultaneously becoming addicted to macarons. Hey, two or three for breakfast every day can be worked into your calorie-controlled diet. They’re only little.
The filling is dead easy to make. And the macaron shells recipe is based on Christophe Felder’s in his Macarons book. He comes recommended by my French cousin, who studied at the Ferrandi Culinary School and is a chef with her own restaurant in Paris (we’re all very impressed by her). I think Felder’s great too. Apparently, he’s the French patissier to choose if you want easy-to-follow recipes that are relatively fail-proof. He uses the Italian meringue method where you boil syrup to softball stage, which seems more complicated than the French method but is more stable, and a stable macaron is a successful and happy one. I managed to make some nice ones the very first time I tried! Yes, I thought it was a miracle too.
So are you ready? Come on, shout it loud and clear: ‘I’m ready for you, Monsieur Macaron!‘
Help! I’m only little!
Check you have: a sugar thermometre (for small quantities the probe kind is more convenient); greaseproof paper or silicone macaron sheets; a stand mixer (or an electric whisk/hand whisk and strong arm); a food processor or grinder to make your ground almonds finer (or you can just accept rougher macarons); disposable piping bags with 2 nozzles (no. 6, 7 or 8); and airtight containers for storage.
Macaron shells (to make 50 macarons)
First make about 100 shells following the basic Italian meringue macaron shell recipe here. Use green food colouring preferably in powder form. Or half green and half yellow to make the bi-colour version you can see in the ‘glass of macarons’ photos.
Ingredients (for 50 macarons)
White chocolate mojito ganache (best made 24 hours before)
- 188g whipping cream (35% is okay)
- 29g fresh mint (just the leaves)
- 354g white chocolate – chopped into small pieces, or use white chocolate baking drops (25-31% white cooking chocolate that isn’t vanilla flavoured or too sweet)
- 38g white rum
Lemon and lime tangy curd
- 25g lemon juice (about one lemon) and zest of one lemon
- 25g lime juice (about one lime) and zest of one lime
- 40g granulated sugar
- 50g beaten egg (1 small to medium-sized egg)
- 26g softened unsalted butter
- 3g cornflour (eg. Maizena)
Method Mojito ganache (once made it needs 4 hours in the fridge to firm up)
- Wash the fresh mint and dry on a clean tea towel.
- Bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan.
- Take off the heat then stir in the mint. Let it infuse for 20 minutes.
- Strain the cream through a sieve and squeeze the mint to extract any cream left.
- Melt the white chocolate over a bain marie and stir so it loses all the lumpy bits. Make sure it doesn’t get hotter than 45 or 50°C.
- When the chocolate is at 45°C on the sugar thermometre pour the cream on it and stir till well combined.
- Add the rum and stir again to combine well.
- Pour into a small clean bowl and cover the bowl with clingfilm, then put in the fridge to set at least 4 hours but preferably overnight or 24 hours, until the mixture is firm enough to fill the macarons without running all over the place.
Lemon and lime tangy curd (buy some if you like, but it’s best really tangy and sharp to provide contrast to the sweet macaron shell and ganache)
- Put the sugar, lime and lemon juice and zest in a small saucepan.
- On a low heat, melt the sugar in the juice while stirring occasionally. Then bring to the boil.
- Take off the heat and leave in the pan to macerate for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Dilute the 3g of cornflour in a few drops of water, stirring to make a smooth paste, then whisk in the beaten egg.
- Pour the egg and cornflour mixture into the sugar and juice in the saucepan. Whisk the mixture constantly (to avoid lumps) on medium heat until it thickens.
- Leave the mixture to cool 10 minutes then whisk in the softened butter.
- If using the same day, pour into a small clean bowl and put some clingfilm to cover it, directly in contact with the curd and eliminating any air or gaps (if you need to store for longer than pour into a sterilised jar). Put in the fridge to cool and set, till needed.
Note: if you discover lumps in the curd you can rescue it by passing it through a sieve.
Filling the macarons
- Fill a piping bag (plain nozzle no. 7 or 8) with mojito ganache and pipe it in flat blobs on half the macaron shells.
- Fill another piping bag (plain nozzle no. 6) with lemon and lime curd and pipe a small blob in the middle of each blob of ganache.
- Put another macaron shell on top of the ganache and curd, and press gently. The ganache should spread slightly to the edges.
That’s it – done! Let’s do the ‘I just made macarons’ dance of victory. Woohoo! And make yourself a cocktail too – you deserve it!
Well, almost done. Macarons need to rest in the fridge (on trays and uncovered) for 24 hours before you can eat them! After the 24 hours, you can go for it and any you don’t devour will keep in the fridge in airtight tupperware containers for up to 3 or 4 days.
You can also freeze some in airtight containers and take 2 or 3 (or 10) out to defrost whenever you need a few to nibble on. After a week or two, as time goes by, they do lose their ‘structural integrity’, getting stickier or developping patches, so you might not be able to serve them at a dinner party and would have to eat them all yourself. Oh dear.
So, sweet reader, hope you enjoy making, eating or looking at these macarons as much as I do. Which brings me to something my blogging course suggest we do: consider who our ‘dream reader’ is. Well, it’s you because you’re still reading this article! Well done! (Yes, I was an English teacher). And who do I want reading this blog? Anyone who loves cakes. Anyone, actually, even if they don’t love cakes!
I admit I will be excited if one day some extra special reader (hint!) tries one of my recipes then comments on how it went, good or bad. Or on any changes they made. I do enjoy a good cake conversation. But if you don’t have the time or inclination, no worries. I frequently drool over recipes in baking books and online without making the stuff or commenting on it. So for now I bid you a cheerful farewell and say ‘happy baking!’, be it real or virtual.
P.S. Maybe you’ll find this useful too. Here are some extra notes in English and Spanish prepared as support for participants making macarons at home for the first time after a workshop here in Barcelona.
MOJITO MACARONS WORKSHOP ENGLISH/SPANISH NOTES
Filling/relleno (for about 50 macarons/para más o menos 50 macarons)
White chocolate mojito ganache/ganache de chocolate blanco al mojito
- 188g whipping cream/nata para montar (35% is okay)
- 29g fresh mint/menta fresca (just the leaves/sólo las hojas) – rinse the leaves in cold water then dry in a clean kitchen towel/enjuages las hojas en agua fria y las secas en un paño de cocina limpio.
- 354g white chocolate – chopped into small pieces (25-31% white cooking chocolate that isn’t vanilla flavoured or too sweet – I use Torras white chocolate with no added sugar, found in Carrefour, Glories)/chocolate blanco – cortado en pedacitos (25-31% chocolate blanco para la cocina/reposteria, que no sea muy dulce ni con sabor fuerte a vanilla. Uso el chocolate blanco Torras sin azucares que se puede encontrar en Carrefour, Glories).
- 38g white rum/ron blanco
Extra method and notes/metodo y notas extras
- Make the mojito ganache the day before making the macarons so it’s firm enough to fill the macarons/Hay que hacer el ganache de mojito el día anterior, para que sea lo suficientemente firme para rellenar los macarons.
- Bring the cream just to the boil (so it boils 3 seconds) then immediately take off the heat and add the mint leaves. Stir and leave 10 minutes to infuse at room temperature. Then pour into a clean bowl and put in the fridge to cool for 1 hour or the freezer for 30 minutes. Hay que hervir la nata (debe hervir sólo 3 segundos), se retira del fuego de inmediato y se agrega las hojas de menta. Remover y dejar infusionar a temperatura ambiente 10 minutos. Luego se vierte en un bol limpio y se deja enfriar en la nevera 1 hora o en el congelador 30 minutos.
- When cold pass the cream through a sieve (to remove the mint leaves) into a small clean bowl and finally squeeze the mint leaves to extract all the cream. Cuando la nata esta fría pasala por un colador o tamiz (para sacar las hojas de menta) sobre un tazon pequeño y limpio. Finalmente se apreta las hojas en la mano para exprimir toda la nata.
- Melt the chocolate in a clean and dry glass or metal bowl over a bain marie on low heat (the water in the saucepan shouldn’t touch the bowl and shouldn’t boil). Stir the chocolate occasionally till melted and a temperature of 45°C (check with a thermometre or it should be hot to your little finger but not too hot – so you can keep your finger in there). When it reaches the correct temperature immediately take the bowl off the bain marie. Derretir el chocolate blanco en un bol limpio y seco de vidrio o de metal sobre un baño maria a fuego bajo (el agua en la olla pequeña no debería tocar el bol ni hervir). Se remueve el chocolate de vez en cuando hasta que se derrite y llegue a una temperatura de 45°C (se puede averiguar con un termómetro o con el meñique – se debería sentir bastante calor al ponerlo en el chocolate, pero no tanto que no se lo pueda dejar dentro). Cuando llega a la temperatura apropiada retiras el bol de inmediato del baño maria.
- Stir the cream carefully and slowly into the chocolate until combined then stir in the rum. Remover con cuidado y lentamente para agregar la nata hasta que se incorpore y despuès agregar el ron.
Lemon and lime tangy curd/crema de limón y lima
(this is double the original quantity stated in the above recipe/doble la cantidad de lo que hay en la receta original arriba):
- 50g lemon juice (about 1 and a half/two lemons) and zest of two lemons/zumo de limón y la ralladura fina del la piel de dos limones
- 50g lime juice (about 1 and a half/two limes) and zest of two limes/zumo de lima y la ralladura fina de la piel de dos limas
- 80g granulated sugar/azúcar
- 100g beaten egg (2 small to medium-sized egg)/huevo, batido muy legeramente
- 52g softened unsalted butter/mantequilla de buena calidad sin sal
- 6g cornflour (eg. Maizena)
Method and notes:
- Dissolve the juice, zest and sugar in a small saucepan on low heat (stir occasionally) then increase the heat and bring to the boil. When it boils take off the heat. Se dissuelve el zumo, la ralladura y el azúcar en una pequeña olla sobre baja temperature (remover de vez en cuando) luego se pone la temperature más alta y para que hierva. Apenas hierva se retira del fuego.
- Mix the cornflour with a teaspoon or more of water to get a thick white pasty liquid. Add to the beaten egg to combine. Add to the lemon mixture in the saucepan. Put back on medium heat and whisk everything until it thickens and is a little gelatinous. Remove from heat. Se mezcla la Maizena con una cucharita (más o menos) de agua para conseguir un liquido blanco y espeso. Se agrega al huevo batido – remover para combinar. Vertirlo todo a la olla pequeña de limón/lima/azúcar. Poner de nuevo a fuego mediano y batir con batidora a mano, continualmente hasta que sea más espeso y un poco gelatinoso. Sacar la olla del calor para que s’enfrie unos minutos.
- After 5 minutes add the butter and mix till combined. Pour into a clean bowl and cover the lemon curd with plastic film, on contact so there’s no air between the curd and the plastic. Let it cool in the fridge (or the freezer if you need it quickly). Después de 5 minutos agregar la mantequilla para combinar. Se vierte en un bol limpio y se cubre la crema de limón con película adherente, a contacto para que no haya aire entre la crema y el plástico. Dejar enfriar a la nevera (o en el congelador si la necesitas rapidamente).
For the extra notes on making macaron shells please go to the Italian meringue macaron page in basics. Para las notas suplementarias sobre las coques de macarons por favor ir a la página Italian meringue macaron shells en basics. Good luck and buena suerte! 🙂
With such clear instructions I shall make master macarons!
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Thanks for the nice comment, and I’m sure you’ll make lovely macarons!! Happy macaron-making to you! 🙂
Lili, this is an inspired recipe! I would never think to make mojito macarons but you’ve inspired me to do so. You had me at “mojito”! Thanks for sharing!
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Hi Gen, You’re welcome! It’s great to hear that you’re inspired and hope you enjoy the macarons – with a nice mojito cocktail on the side, of course! 🙂
Lili, I told you elsewhere that I’ve often gazed at macaroons as I love the colours and colour combinations you often see in them, but have never actually eaten one. You’ve inspired me to change all that: the next one I see I’m having!
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Excellent news Susan – go for it! Lots of macarons out there waiting for you 😉 Happy eating!
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