Let me just start by saying that I don’t particularly like summer. Which many people would find strange as I live in Australia, and everyone here is meant to be these great outdoorsy people and love…just LOVE summer. But even though I don’t LOVE summer like I should, I do love some of the amazing flavours associated with it – cherries; berries; pineapple…I could go on forever. But I don’t think that you can beat citrus in summer. Anything citrus is completely refreshing – even water that has simply been graced with a slice of lime. Delicious. So as it’s been a while since I baked something decent to share with everyone, I thought I’d have a crack at making some macarons that have that beautiful citrus flavour I love, combined with the smooth tropical flavour of coconut. Summer in a bite!
Before making these, check out my post on my essential utensils for getting a good macaron here.
Lime & Coconut Macarons
This recipe will make about 60 macaron shells, 30 full macarons
INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS
- finely grated zest of two limes
- 4-6 limes (for 1/2 cup lime juice)
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 125g unsalted butter, chopped
- green food colouring (optional – I used it otherwise the curd is yellow and looks like lemon curd)
Place all ingredients into a heatproof bowl. Place bowl over simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Stir continuously until the ingredients are combined (once ingredients are combined you can add food colouring if you’re using it), then continue stirring for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain into a sterilised jar and seal. Anything that you don’t use for the macarons will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
- 150g almond meal
- 150g icing sugar
- 150g caster sugar
- 38g water (that’s right – you have to weigh it)
- green food colouring (I used 10 drops of liquid food colouring from the supermarket, but they still were nowhere near as dark as I wanted, so this will need some adjusting next time)
- 55g egg whites
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 55g egg whites, extra
- finely shredded coconut
Sift together the almond meal and icing sugar. Ideally you want to do this at least three times, more if you have the time (which is why I recommend using a crank sifter). The finer you can get the dry ingredients, the smoother the consistency of the macaron will be. Make sure you sift into a LARGE bowl.
Put 55g of the egg whites into the bowl of your mixer. Put the water and caster sugar into a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, add the food colouring, increase the heat and bring to the boil. **Keep in mind that different food colourings vary in strength of colour – you may need to use more or less of certain types.**
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP(you’ll need a candy thermometer to get it exact)!! Once the sugar syrup reaches about 105°C, add the cream of tartar to the egg whites in the mixing bowl and start mixing on a medium speed (I put it at about 6 on my Kitchenaid) – the egg whites need to be frothy. When the sugar syrup is at 118°C and the egg whites are frothy (if you start mixing the egg whites at 105°C, this should happen at the same time), increase the speed of the mixer (I had it at 8 on the Kitchenaid) and start adding the sugar syrup to the egg whites – do this slowly in a steady stream down the side of the bowl. Once all the syrup is in, continue mixing until the mixing bowl feels warm to touch. It should be roughly 5-6 minutes. In the meantime, pour the extra 55g of egg whites into your sifted dry ingredients.
Once your meringue is ready, add to the bowl of dry ingredients and extra egg whites, and start folding together. On finishing folding the ingredients, the mixture should have quite a runny consistency. If it’s too thick, piping the mixture will cause you lots of grief. My advice is this: when you think you’ve mixed it enough, fold it about 4-5 more times. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter and when you drop some from your spatula back into the bowl, it shouldn’t just sit on top – it should fall in on itself. You may not get the right consistency the first time, but if you practice enough, you will figure out how much you should mix.
Once you have the batter at the right consistency, you’re ready to start piping! Cover two large baking trays (I use cookie sheets) with some baking paper, with your macaron template underneath (if you are using one). Prepare your piping bag. Using a small spatula, half fill the bag with the macaron mixture. If you have achieved the correct consistency, the mixture should start falling out through the nozzle on it’s own, without you applying too much pressure. If this is the case, make sure you hold the bag over the bowl otherwise it’ll get messy! Twist tightly closed and make sure you squeeze any air pockets out of the bag before you start piping. Then, holding the bag straight up about 1cm from the baking sheet, start piping your rounds, about 3.5cm is a good size. To finish each round, you want to do a quick “6 to 12” (as in a clock) – this is a little flick of the wrist to break the mixture away from the nozzle.
When the piping is done, sprinkle the finely shredded coconut over the top of half of the macarons (these will be the top shells), then you need to let them sit for about 30 minutes before baking. During this time, the macaron will form a smooth skin, which lifts during cooking and causes the phenomenon known as the “foot” at the base of the macaron shell. 10 minutes into the 30 minute sitting time, you need to turn your oven on. It should be at 135°C for a conventional oven, 115°C for a fan forced (if you aren’t overly familiar with your oven, I would recommend getting an oven thermometer to make sure that your oven is actually at the temperature it says it is).
The macarons will be ready to go in the oven when you can touch them and feel the skin – they should not be at all sticky to touch. It might take longer than 30mins if it is a particularly humid day. But once they are at this stage, pop them in the oven for around 16mins (make sure you have removed your piping template) or until a hard shell has formed, swapping the trays over about half way through cooking (the foot should start forming after about 5mins, so get ready to do your jig of joy). Once you take them out of the oven, allow to sit for about 2mins, then try lifiting one away from the baking paper with an icing spatula. If it comes away easily and is dry on the bottom, then they are ready. If it doesn’t come away easily and isn’t dry, put back into the oven for another 2-3mins, then repeat the process. Allow them to cool completely on the baking trays when they are ready.
- 150g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 230g icing sugar
- 50g coconut milk powder (you can find this in the Asian food section in the supermarket)
- 2 tbsp water
Sift together icing sugar and coconut powder. Beat butter until it is pale and fluffy, then add half of the icing sugar and coconut mixture and half of the hot water. Mix together, then add the remaining icing sugar and coconut, and the rest of the water. Mix until fully combined and the icing is smooth.
Match the top shells with bottom shells of the same size. Half fill two piping bags – one with coconut buttercream (I used a 1cm plain nozzle) and the other with lime curd (I used a 5mm plain nozzle). Pipe on some buttercream, then a small amount of lime curd. The curd is quite tart, so you don’t want to put too much on as it will overpower the buttercream. You might need to taste a couple to get the ratio to your liking!! Once the buttercream and curd are both on, pop the top shell on and you’re done!
- Salted Caramel Macarons and Mexican Chocolate Macarons (korenainthekitchen.com)