Monday, December 07, 2009

Gingerbread Macarons


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.)

Gingerbread Macarons
(printable recipe)
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.

Lemon-Ginger Buttercream

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:


Jamie said...

Your macs are perfect and I love the seasonal flavors you used. Great macs!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I have heard that Tartlette's macarons turn out heavenly!!!! Gingerbread makes these to die for:D

Erka Perka said...

Äntligen! Jag har väntat otåligt på receptet :-)Mmmmmmmmums, det vattnas i munnen! Ha det gött!/Erika

GrapeSugar said...

I can't wait to try these! Great flavor combination idea. I am gathering different recipes to try to finally make some myself. These do sound great for Christmas :)

numberwitch said...

Yum! I've been eagerly awaiting your recipe since the sneak preview on your blog. They look & sound delicious.

Katie said...

Oh yum these sound fantastic - gingerbread macarons! Inspired. Love the sound of the filling and they look so perfect.

Anonymous said...

I have recently moved to Sweden (from Australia) and am learning lots of great recipes from you. My Swedish sambo is utterly impressed..thank you :)

2 questions about the macaroons (as I drool all over my computer...I LOVE macaroons but have never been brave enough to try them)...where can I buy caster sugar in Sweden? Haven't found it anywhere...2nd question ; have you frozen the shells and do they work as well or better fresh on the day...oh, just thought of a third question. I saw a few recipes needing golden syrup. What is the equivalent here...i have seen all the different coloured syrups in ICA but not sure what they would one like a corn syrup, one like golden syrup and the dark one like treacle or molasses? They don't seem as thick?! Thanks Anne, Kate

Anne said...

Kate, I'll try my best to help! :) Caster sugar - well, I always thought it was just regular strösocker. So that's what I use. I actually JUST froze macaron shells on their own, but I think they'll be perfectly fine to use when I decide what to fill them with. Usually I fill them right away, then freeze the entire cookie. That works really well too, they're just as good when they're defrosted. (Maybe even better.)

Golden syrup - that's what I translate from our "ljus sirap". It's very similar. The "mörk sirap" is similar to treacle or molasses, but maybe a bit runnier. And the white one isn't exactly like a corn syrup but I've found it works well enough in recipes that call for that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anne :)

Caster sugar is like regular strösocker but the grains are much finer/smaller so they dissolve easier when making meringue mixtures...but great to know regular sugar works. A friend in Australia suggested I blitz the regular sugar in a food processor for a few seconds to make it finer but won't bother now I think :)

Thank you for the syrup comparison...I won't have to buy each bottle now for a taste test ;)

I will get brave now and start experimenting with macaroons. We are getting married next summer and I want a dessert/candy buffet filled with lots of yummy things and macaroons will be front and centre. I am also going to attempt your Princess cake recipe (undoubtedly the BEST thing Sweden has ever produced heehee) for my birthday in September. It HAS to be better than the ICA variety (and even they are pretty darn good). Kate