It's been a while since I made macarons, and seeing all the Daring Bakers (I'm afraid I'm out, as I haven't participated for so long now - sorry!) make macarons really made me want to try it again. Feeling all christmas-y, I suddenly realized that christmas macarons would be excellent - my first thought was gingerbread macarons with a white chocolate filling. After some discussions on Twitter and Facebook (Do you follow me? Are we friends yet?) I decided that lemon and ginger would be a better match than white chocolate, so I made my trusty buttercream (not so much mine, it's really Rose Levy Berenbaum's) and flavored it. Delicious!!
This recipe makes more buttercream than you'll use for the macarons, so dare I suggest slathering some on soft gingerbread? Maybe gingerbread cupcakes? The possibilities are endless.
My macarons always turn out really well using this recipe, which is based on Tartelette's. I always age my egg whites, which simply means I take them out of the fridge the night before I want to bake and leave the in a covered bowl in the counter. (Not the yolks though - I keep those in the fridge.)
makes about 20 filled cookies
3 egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbsp caster sugar
200 g powdered sugar
110 g almonds, blanched
1 tbsp gingerbread seasoning (or one teaspoon each cinnamon, cardamom and ginger)
Combine powdered sugar and almonds with the spices in your food processor, and grind until very fine. Sieve. Re-grind any lumps or big pieces of almonds. Mix carefully (they tend to separate a little bit when sieving, since the sugar falls through first.)
Beat egg whites and sugar until you have a thick, glossy meringue. Don't overbeat. Stir in the almond-sugar powder, and fold together. Don't overmix this - most seem to say that you should use less than 50 strokes. (You can try it by dolloping a little batter on a baking sheet - if the peak falls down, it's ready. If it doesn't, try a few more strokes.)
Pipe small rounds on a baking sheet with baking paper. Leave at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, to form a skin.
Bake at 150°C for 15-20 minutes. (I have a convection oven, and 15 minutes is perfect for me.) Let them cool completely before filling. Unused shells can be frozen, or kept in an air-tight container for a day or so.
3 egg yolks
75 g sugar
82 g corn syrup (or if you're in Sweden, white baking syrup works perfectly)
225 g unsalted butter, softened
1-2 tsp ground ginger
zest of one lemon
Beat the egg yolks until fluffy. Bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil, and immediately remove from heat. Pour over the egg yolks and beat at high speed until fully cooled. (Try not to get any on your beaters, or it will spin to the sides of your bowl.)
Add the butter, a pat at a time, until fully incorporated. Finally add the ginger and lemon, to taste.
Spread - or pipe - the cream onto half of the macaron shells, top with the remaining shells. Eat right away or freeze.
Recipe in Swedish: