Orange-Chocolate Macarons

This past Christmas I received something I’ve had on my wish list for a while– a silicone baking mat specially made for macarons. It has raised circles all over it that you pipe your batter into, and the tiny ridge around the edge helps contain the batter and direct it upwards to make perfect “feet” on your identical circular macarons. I admit to being a little skeptical at how well it would work, but it ended up being amazing! I was able to pipe 48 small (okay, maybe just a tiny bit smaller than I’d ordinarily want) macarons onto a single baking sheet without worrying about them oozing into each other, and they turned out beautifully!

Look at those perfect feet!

I’m absolutely going to get a second mat so I can bake up a 4-egg-white batch of macarons all at once (I had exactly enough batter to fill the sheet twice).

As for flavors, I used my standard recipe, but added some orange zest to the macaron batter as well as to the chocolate ganache, and I think the citrus flavor came through nicely without tasting artificial. While I originally followed a recipe I found online for the ganache filling– it used almost equal weights of chocolate and heavy cream, but filled in about half an ounce of chocolate with butter instead– it turned out too soft, so I had to add another ounce of chocolate to get it to firm up enough to be pipe-able. Alternatively, I might consider subbing in orange marmalade for the butter for extra orange flavor.

Orange Chocolate Macarons:

My favorite macaron recipe with detailed instructions is found here, and it goes by weight instead of by volume, basing everything on the weight of your egg whites.

Basically, you weigh out your egg whites (I usually use 5 at a time but in this case I had 4) in grams, then weigh out your almond meal,  powdered sugar, and regular sugar (caster sugar if you can find it) accordingly:

Almond meal = Egg white x 1.3

Powdered sugar = Egg white x 1.6

Granulated sugar = Egg white x 0.8

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a heavy baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Mix your almond meal and powdered sugar well– if you have too many lumps, process in a food processor until nice and powdery.

In your stand mixer, beat the room-temperature egg whites to soft peaks, then continue beating as you add the granulated sugar a bit at a time, until you have a firm meringue. This goes beyond merely stiff peaks– the meringue should feel like marshmallow.

macaron bears meringue

Add half the dry mixture to the meringue and stir in completely. Repeat with the remaining dry mixture. It will seem dry at first, but it’ll get smoother as you keep stirring. Don’t try to be gentle, you are not folding batter for an angel food cake– stir, stir, stir! Add any colorings and flavorings during this step (I used orange food coloring and the zest of one orange).

When it “flows like magma,” you’re done. A ribbon of batter dropped onto the main surface will disappear completely in about 30 seconds. Do not overmix!

Pipe batter onto the baking sheet and let sit for 20 minutes to form a dry surface shell. These will spread a little, but not too much after the initial smoothing out of the piping lines (which happens naturally). Bake for 2 minutes at 350, then crack the oven door and bake about 8-10 more minutes. When done, the macaron shells will be hard (like eggshells) to the touch, will not dent if you press them lightly with your finger, and won’t move on their “feet” when you nudge them. If you have any doubt about doneness, bake longer– too crisp is fine and the filling will soften them up again in a few days if you keep them covered. Too sticky is not fine and you’ll never get them off the baking sheet.

Let cool completely before trying to remove from sheets, then peel the paper/silicone mat carefully away from them to avoid cracking. You can store these in a ziploc bag at room temp for about a week before filling. You can also store them unfilled in the freezer for quite a while– at least three weeks, maybe longer. Once filled you can store these in the fridge, covered, for at least a week– in fact, they may need some of that time to soften, so be sure to make them at least a day early.

3 thoughts on “Orange-Chocolate Macarons

  1. Pingback: Sesame Ganache Macarons | It's All Frosting...

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