I’ve been to Atelier des Chefs for a cooking class all about macarons, where we made the most perfect examples… when trying again at home they never turn out quite as perfect, but I love playing around with them, particularly with the fillings!
I used recipes from Atelier des Chefs for my macaron shells – the chocolate following this one chocolate macaroons with honeyed ganache and the pink ones using macaroons with a lime and fresh ginger buttercream.
What is key in making the shells is getting the texture of the batter right – the egg whites need to be combined to the right level with the dry ingredients (sugar and ground almonds), but not overmixed, complicated…
Lemon curd with 58 Gin folded into whipped cream – yum!!
We made the lemon curd from scratch following this recipe from The Usual Saucepans – as it didn’t end up being that thick (probably due to the addition of the 50ml of gin!), we whipped up cream and folded the curd through to get a thicker filling, which would stay in place.
A flourish of lemon curd macarons!
For the chocolate ganache filling, I used the Atelier des Chef recipe, but replaced the cream with raspberry coulis (basically raspberries pureed through a fine sieve to get all the pesky pips out), and a slog of Caroline’s home made sloe gin (again about 2 shots or 50mls… ish, try it first and then add more if you want more!).
Both fillings should be cooled before being piped onto the shells, which are then gently pressed together. Macarons then need to be chilled at least overnight in the fridge for the shells and the fillings to ‘mindmeld’ – i.e. the flavours and textures to work together. I don’t know the science of what happens, but the combination of the shells and fillings works so much better in the macaron as a whole! (obviously you can still taste test straight away!)
Packed up ready to go into the office – you don’t want to bang them about and remember to keep them in the fridge when you have cream fillings, but you may want to get them out a little bit before you eat to let them get back up to room temperature.