Flavor of the Week: Mojito Macarons
I had a chance to do something different this past week and that was to put together my very first dessert table. Fortunately, it came out perfect, after all of my careful planning and daily goals. I did a very small plate of green macarons. The first being green tea, then pistachio. These are two standard flavors I offer. However, I did want to share one recipe and that was for mojito-flavored French macarons. I have to say that even I am surprised by the subtle deliciousness of the cookie. When devising this flavor, I first thought of the obvious… adding the lime zest to the shells and having a minty filling. However, after remembering a recipe I had seen where the extract/essence was added to the shell, I was intrigued at the idea. Furthermore, I cringed at the thought of a mouthful of minty filling. I added Creme de Menthe to the shell recipe, and not only ended up with an interesting subtly minty flavor, but a wonderful hue of green. I did cheat a little and add a pinch of blue to it. The results are macarons with a notable lime flavor at the start, followed by a tinge of rum, and finished off with a quick zing of mint. Perfection.
*Remember when making macarons, prepare the parchment ahead of time, with your circle templates. Also prepare a piping bag with a round tip.
2 egg whites (aged 24 hours)
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup powdered sugar
3/4 Cup almond flour
1 tsp. Creme de Menthe
1 egg white
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 tsp lime zest
1 Tbsp white rum
I added the Creme de Menthe to the almond flour before sifting with the sugar, but adding the creme de menthe to the meringue would be fine too.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Mix creme de menthe to the almond flour and combine well. Let it dry a bit before combining with the powdered sugar. Pulverize almond flour and powdered sugar in the food processor until well combined and mixture is very fine. Sift into a bowl. Set aside.
Put egg whites in a bowl with granulated sugar. Put over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk egg white mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Be sure to not let the egg whites cook.
Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until soft peaks form.
Pour almond mixture into the meringue and fold gently, until well combined, but not flat and runny. The perfect fold should end with a batter that holds it shape and only very slowly settles (about 30 seconds).
Transfer mixture to the piping bag. Pipe circles onto the parchment. Tap a few times to settle and let any air bubbles lose. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes and then pop into the oven.
Be careful of your oven temperature. Make sure the temp is accurate with an oven thermometer. You can quickly check how your shells are doing every few minutes or so. If the feet seem to be rising too much or exploding sideways, leave the door open for a second to reduce temp and lower the temperature by 25 degrees or so. It’s very hard to say exactly how long and at what temp because everyone’s ovens are a bit different. It should take about 15-20 minutes though.
In a clean bowl place the egg white for the filling with the granulated sugar. Once again, over simmering water, whisk the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Beat until stiff peaks form and slowly beat in the room temperature butter. Beat until well combined. Mix in the lime zest and white rum. You are set to fill you macaron shells.