Monday, May 5, 2014

Macaron Monday: Chili Pepper Macarons with Lime Buttercream Filling for Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco De Mayo! I'm marking the occasion here on Macaron Monday with a international French Mexican collaboration of cookie and flavors.

This time I added chili pepper to the macaron shells. Luckily there was some leftover lime butter cream in the freezer from my St. Paddy's Day Green Carnation Cupcakes which provided the second of these two perfect classic Mexican flavors to these French macarons.

These may not be for everyone but I loved the heat and savory flavor infusion the chili pepper gave the shells. You also could reduce the amount used in the shells to 1 tablespoon if you are spice squeamish  The sweet tart buttercream offset them perfectly.

Yea for holidays that inspire us to push culinary boundaries1 (Not that I ever needed an excuse.)

Chili Pepper Macarons with
 Lime Buttercream Filling

For the Chili Pepper shells:

Use a kitchen scale for precise measurements.

  • 90 grams of egg whites - aged at least 2 days. Let them sit out on the counter uncovered.
  • 25-50 grams extra fine white granulated sugar
  • 200 grams of powdered sugar
  • 110 Grams of almond flour*
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • Pinch of cream of tarter
  • Pinch of salt
*You can buy almond flour that has been ground with or without the skin. I use the later (blanched). The former looks really nice if you are not coloring the shells. You can also grind your own almond flour by putting whole or sliced almonds in a food processor or blender. If you do, make sure you throw a little of the powdered sugar in to prevent the almonds from forming a paste.

  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.
  • Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together or pulse them together briefly in a food processor. Make sure there are no large pieces. 
  • Remove two tablespoons of the powdered sugar/almond mixture and discard. Replace with two tablespoons of the chili pepper powder. Pulse or whisk until combined thoroughly.
  • Whip the egg whites. When they start to get foamy, slowly add the sugar. Continue whipping until you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing slides out. Add the pinches of salt and cream of tartar.
  • Add the powdered sugar/almond/chili powder mixture to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. The batter should have a "flowing like lava" consistency. Make a peak of the batter and if it does not disappear after 5-7 seconds, keep folding. If it's running all over the place, you will probably have to start over. Place a pastry bag fitted with a round shaped tip in a tall water and and fold the edges down around the glass.
  • Fill the pastry bag with the macaron batter, twist the open top to secure and pipe circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a Silpat. 
  • Let the macarons dry for about a half hour or until they harden.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Place the macarons on the middle rack in the oven. I keep the oven door propped open with a dish towel or wooden spoon.
  • I place another empty baking sheet on top to prevent the shells from becoming toasted and discolored.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • When checking them after 10 minutes or so, if the ones in the back of the sheet seem to be cooking faster that the ones in front, flip the tray around.
  • To test to see if they are done, peel the baking paper or silpat back, if the shell comes off easily, they are done.
  • If you do have a problem with the shells sticking to the surface when removed from the oven, lift up the baking paper and pour a bit of water underneath. this will steam them off the paper.
  • Transfer to a baking rack and let cool completely before matching up the shells into pairs according to size.
  • Fill with buttercream.

For the Lime Vanilla Buttercream:

I used this vanilla buttercream recipe from Magnolia bakery and added a teaspoon of lime extract to the batter and a few drops of green food coloring.


  1. Love the sound of these and perfect for Cinco de Mayo! Macarons are usually so sweet that I prefer more savoury/sour flavours in them.

  2. I'm not one for hot and Spivey but these do look awesome and I never tire of your adventurous and even daring nature with which you pour into all your baking. You are fearless!


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