I got pointed to Annie , who used a slightly different technique to make macarons- that is, to make an italian meringue to fold into the dry ingredients (thus known as the Italian method). Her claims- more consistency, convenience, flexibility and a desirable texture- seemed attractive enough to give this technique a try myself.
You'd think I'd leave well-enough alone and just try her recipe as-is, right? While that would've been the right thing to do, I did not. To accompany the key lime curd, I went for a raspberry coconut macaron shell, substituting half of the almond flour with finely shredded coconut and dried raspberry powder. While the flavors certainly shined through, I think these substitutions made the batter a bit dry even after adding all of the italian meringue and resulted in rather ugly and not-smooth macaron shells. That said, I have to agree with Annie on all her points, and will be using this method for my next batch!!
Raspberry Coconut Macarons w/White Chocolate Buttercream & Key Lime Curd
adapted from Annie's Eats
yield: think I got about 70 using this template
I think that freeze dried strawberries or even mango would work well instead of raspberries! There's no need to age egg whites when using this method, so once you have all your ingredients you can get to baking.
For the macaron shells:
106g almond flour
86g unsweetened coconut, finely shredded
20g powdered dried raspberries (I just ground freeze dried raspberries in a
212g powdered sugar
82 and 90g egg whites, divided
236g and a pinch of granulated sugar, divided
For the filling:
White Chocolate Buttercream (I made 1/2 recipe and didn't use it all)
Key Lime Curd (I used ~1/2c)
Preheat the oven to 350deg and make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven.
Combine the almond meal, coconut, raspberry powder and powdered in a large bowl and whisk together to blend well and break up any clumps. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the 82g of egg whites and blend into the dry ingredients until evenly mixed, forming a thick paste.
Combine the 236g granulated sugar with the water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Keep a candy thermometer attached to the side and be watchful! We're heating up the syrup to 248deg, but when it hits 200deg, begin whipping the 90g egg whites with a pinch of granulated sugar in a mixer on medium low speed. Continue whipping the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. If soft peaks form before the syrup reaches 248deg, reduce the mixer speed to low to keep the egg whites moving.
Immediately remove the syrup from the heat when it hits 248deg. Increase the mixer speed to medium and pour the syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow drizzle until fully incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip the meringue until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Add the meringue to the almond mixture in thirds, folding in each addition gently until smooth. Annie notes that you may not use all of the meringue, so add it gradually. The desired end-point is a smooth batter that runs in thick ribbons off your spatula. [Note: I used all the meringue and the batter was not yet smooth enough. Things turned out alright, but next time I'll try to make a little extra meringue!]
Add the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip with a 1/2" opening (or a ziploc bag with a corner cut off to a 1/2" opening). Holding the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe rounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. I find a template slipped under the parchment works well for even piping, just be sure to remove the paper before putting it in the oven! Small peaks that you may see immediately after piping should smooth out if the texture of the batter is correct.
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 325deg. Bake for 9-12min, until the tops are smooth and set and feet have formed around the bottom. Let the shells cool briefly on the baking sheet (~5min), and then peel them away from the parchment and place on a cooling rack. They should come away easily and fully intact. Repeat as needed with the remaining batter, replacing the parchment paper with each batch (I was feeling thrifty and used both sides) and bringing the oven temperature back up to 350deg before each batch.
Once the shells are baked and cooled, match them up in pairs by size. To one macaron shell, add a layer of white chocolate buttercream and a dollup of key lime curd, then top with the paired shell. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. These get better with a little time in the fridge, so don't hesitate to make them a day ahead!
What flavor macaron should I make next?