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
- Fine-mesh 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 green food coloring and using a bit of yellow food coloring to adjust the tint. Decorate the shells before baking with chocolate or green sprinkles or after you remove them from the oven with a ribbon of tempered chocolate applied with a syringe.
- Mint-flavored whipped ganache (make one day in advance)
- 6 fresh mint leaves, 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chilled heavy cream, 1.75 ounces Ivoire couverture chocolate or a white chocolate with 35% cacao content, 1/2 teaspoon acacia honey, 5 tablespoons chilled heavy cream, 1 tablespoon crème de menthe (optional), the necessary amount of Valrhona Perles Craquantes, a dab of green food coloring
Infuse the mint in the 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of cream, then strain using a fine-mesh sieve.
Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.
Bring the 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of 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. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
The next day, add the mint liqueur 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, adding a few Perles Craquantes on top of the ganache before adding the second shell.
o Follow this recipe but replace the mint with lemon verbena, lemon balm, or basil; you can also eliminate the alcohol.
o Consider other flavorings and essential oils or other liqueurs like Chartreuse.
o Fill a small jar halfway with granulated sugar, add a few drops of food coloring, stir, and allow to dry. Decorate the shells with the colored sugar.