Recipe from Sweet Macarons by Mercotte (Taunton Press, 2012)Prep time: 15 minutes the day before, 20 minutes the day of baking
Bake time: 13 to 15 minutes per baking sheet
You will need
- 1 or 2 sets of 2 baking sheets
- Food processor with the blade attachment and/or a sieve
- Stand mixer or electric beater
- Digital scale
- Large pastry bag with a plain 3/8-inch or a 1/4-inch tip
- Rubber spatula
- Make the basic recipe, adding a dab of bright red food coloring.
- Whipped ganache (make one day ahead)
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream, 1 tablespoon rose-litchi tea leaves (see Sources on p. 77), 1.75 ounces Ivoire couverture chocolate or a white chocolate with 35% cacao content, 1/2 teaspoon acacia honey, 5 tablespoons chilled heavy cream
- Heat the 3 tablespoons cream and add the tea leaves. Allow to infuse for about 10 minutes, strain, and measure out 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons infused cream.
Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.
Bring the 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons infused cream and the honey to a boil.
Make an emulsion by pouring the cream over the melted chocolate in 3 parts and stirring with a spatula to obtain a mixture that is smooth, shiny, and elastic.
Add the chilled cream and mix well (with an immersion blender, if necessary), being careful not to incorporate air into the ganache. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
The next day, add the essential oil to the ganache and beat the mixture as you would for whipped cream. Transfer it to a pastry bag with a tip and use it to fill the macarons, piping a dollop of filling onto one shell and gently topping that with a second shell.
o Avoid tapping the baking sheet on the counter too roughly before placing it in the oven; otherwise, you will incorporate air into the batter and the shells will crack during baking. If your batter has the right consistency, it will spread exactly as necessary and there will be no need to tap the baking sheet on the counter.
o Don't forget to make an indentation with your thumb on the bottom of the baked shells while they are still warm. This step will allow room for more ganache between the shells.
o You should always wait to taste the finished macarons. Leave them on an open platter in the fridge overnight to protect against condensation, then transfer them to an airtight container. Remove them from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
o There are many flavored teas available. Follow this basic recipe and experiment with some of your favorites.