it’s kind of amazing how many possible macaron flavor combinations are out there. it’s also amazing how, once you’ve got the method down, you can make them at pretty much any time with things that you already have in your pantry and everyone will be super impressed and think you spent hours slaving over them.
the lemon-cardamom flavor combo is an example of one that i came up with because i was determined not to go to the store and to just use things i already had sitting around. the lemon curd is smooth, tangy, sweet, and tart, and goes perfectly with the cardamom-flavored macaron shells. i only put in a tiny bit of cardamom, because i was worried it would get too overpowering, so it’s really just a little hint of spice in the background that makes everything taste a little more complex. it’s the kind of thing that people taste and go “hmm… what is that?” but they can’t actually put their finger on what it is (unless you’re my friend amittai, in which case you will guess it immediately and i will have no idea how you did that).
anyway, the subtle cardamom spice and punch of lemony goodness pair together perfectly, making these macarons into a truly lovely treat.
- 4 ounces almond flour
- 7 ounces powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4 oz egg whites
- 3.5 oz granulated sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup earth balance (or butter), melted
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar, and cardamom. set the dry ingredients aside.
- put your egg whites and a pinch of the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. whisk on medium-high speed until you see soft peaks. then, with the mixer on low, slowly add in the rest of the sugar, then turn the mixer up to high speed. whisk the mixture until it has stiff peaks.
- now, add your dry ingredients to the egg mixture all at once. with a spatula or a wooden spoon, fold it all together - at first it will seem like the dry ingredients won't incorporate, but just keep folding. you want to keep folding until the batter is "lava-like" - basically, it should fall from the spatula in thick ribbons that slowly ooze back into the rest of the batter.
- line two baking sheets with parchment paper. put the batter into a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe it into small circles about an inch apart on the parchment. once you are done piping, take each baking sheet and bang it hard against the countertop a few times - this releases any air bubbles hiding in your batter. now, let the baking sheets sit out on the counter for at least 15 minutes, until the macarons are dry to the touch. while the macarons are drying, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- once the macarons are dry, set one of the baking sheets on top of another empty baking sheet and put it in the oven. bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the macarons peel off easily from the parchment. repeat with the other baking sheet.
- let the macaron shells cool completely.
- combine all of the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. microwave it in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until the mixture has thickened.
- strain the mixture into a separate bowl and put the it in the fridge to let it chill completely before putting it in the macaron shells.