This is attempt number two of making macarons. I have only ever had a macaron that I myself, have molded with my own hands. This was an exciting challenge for me, as I also made lemon curd to sandwhich the macarons together with. I had previously only ever tasted shop-bought lemon curd. I now know the extreme difference between the two. To me, the shop-bought one has a resemblance to a lemon flavoured jelly, while the home-made one is zesty, tangy, smooth, creamy and unforgettable. I had better get back to the topic of macarons before I find myself completely immersed in the delectable world of lemon curd.
Speaking of macarons, a chef from a Michelin star restaurant – The House Restaurant at the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore – recently did a demonstration at the college which I attend. I am still speechless at the dish he prepared and presented. Before he plated up a phenomenal culinary delight, he presented us with a little something to cleanse the palette. That little something being a beetroot and goats cheese macaron.
Don’t worry. I was scared too, prior to tasting it. But there is no macaron that is too scary for my adventurous tastebuds. I ate the macaron. It was…….interesting to say the least. I guess that the aim of the macaron was to completely cleanse the palette, preparing you for the next course. I’m pretty certain that I would never like to try a savoury macaron again. Ever. Let’s just stick to good, old fashioned, sweet and heavenly macarons.
Take this zingy lemon macaron recipe with you and run with it, away from all savoury macarons. Run like you’ve never run before!
For the macarons:
- 180g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- 4 egg whites
- 180g ground almonds
- 180g icing sugar
- 1tsp yellow food colouring
For the lemon curd:
- 4 egg yolks
- grated zest and juice of 6 lemons
- 70g caster sugar
- 70g salted butter
- Preheat oven to 150C/140 Fan/Gas 2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- For the macarons, dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk the egg whites until they begin to foam. Gradually add the sugar syrup in a steady stream until the sugar has been incorporated and the egg whites form stiff peaks.
- In a separate bowl, combine the ground almonds, icing sugar, 165g of the egg whites and the food colouring. Mix together until the meringue flows similarly to lava.
- Pipe 5cm circles of the meringue mixture onto the baking parchment 2cm apart. Leave to rest for 45-60 minutes in order for the shells to dry out a little and to form a crust.
- Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, carefully remove from the paper.
- For the lemon curd, place the egg yolks, lemon zest and juice and caster sugar into a saucepan and heat gently with half of the butter for approximately 10 minutes, or until the curd thickens.
- Strain the lemon curd into a bowl in order to remove the lemon zest and whisk in the remaining butter. Chill the curd in the fridge until it is firm and until the macarons have cooled.
- Sandwich pairs of macarons together with lemon curd, placing them back into the fridge to chill, ideally overnight.