Monday, June 2, 2014

Macaron Monday: Arnold Palmer French Macarons with Lemon Buttercream Fresh Mint Filling


Wow the title of this macaron is a mouthful. Sorry about that. Also I know, this is one more French macaron experimentation that will get me thatmuchcloser to being barred from all patisseries in France permanently.



Last weekend I was cleaning out, prepping, stocking a set of cabinets in the PA house that have all sorts of supplies for our almost weekly barbecues, saw this drink mix and gave into my compulsion to add it to a French Macaron shell.


It's trashy. I know.

However, the flavor was surprisingly good.

I did class it up a bit by filling the macarons with gorgeous homemade lemon buttercream left over from a beautiful birthday cake I will be posting later this week.



The mint is coming in like crazy in our herb garden so I added a leaf of that as well to each macaron. It turned out to be the perfect flavor touch to the schitzo half lemonade half iced tea flavor of the shells. 

Ok so at least I didn't sparkle them.


Arnold Palmer French Macarons with
Lemon Buttercream Fresh Mint Filling

For the Arnold Palmer shells:

Use a kitchen scale for precise measurements.

Ingredients:
  • 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 Arnold Palmer powdered drink mix
  • 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.

Directions:
  • 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 Arnold Palmer powder mix. 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/drink 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 Lemon Buttercream:

Ingredients:
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
Directions:
  • Place the butter, 2 cups of the powdered sugar and the cream in a mixer and cream together.
  • Mix in the lemon extract.
  • Add the rest of the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until combined. If the mixture is too liquid, add more powdered sugar.
  • Stir in the lemon zest
  • Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and fill with the buttercream.
If you like place a leaf of fresh mint on top of the lemon buttercream before you sandwich the shells together. 

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