Rhubarb and blood orange macarons

rhubarb and blood orange macarons
 Although it is still, at least at times, bitterly cold it does feel like spring has at last raised its head out of the frigid depths of winter. The garden is beginning to come into bloom and the heady scent of springtime blossom seems on the cusp of arrival. The hawthorn has been the first tree to blossom, its delicate white flowers slowly filling the hedgerows and filling the air with their heady springtime perfume as the month progresses.

hawthorn
They were pretty enough that I went out to photograph some this afternoon, though by the end my hands were stingingly cold which reminded me that it does feel unseasonably cold for this time of year, particularly so with the heating having broken down (any thoughts of a short-sleeve shirt coming out of the wardrobe is off limits for now) and so I do feel impatient for a spell of warm weather.
rhubarb and blood orange macarons
At this time of year, there is still very little growing in the garden, especially for fruit, with the first early strawberries and cherries only coming into season in late May, so the crimson crown of rhubarb looks even more prominent. The tart rhubarb here is combined with blood orange in a crisp and chewy almond macaron.
hawthorn
Macarons actually aren't that hard; sure, they may be difficult to perfect but even the worst, most ugly batch I've made, looks aside, actually tasted delicious. I'm not an expert, nor claim to be, however here are some tips for perfect macarons:

1. Give it a bash
For a long time I made my macarons as the recipes stated, even letting them rest, yet they always came out cracked on top and I couldn't work out why. Then one day, I was looking up tips for macarons and it said to hit the baking tray to remove excess air bubbles. So, I made another batch and dutifully did as it said and, although still not perfect, the macarons didn't crack on the top - just by hitting the tray.
rhubarb and eggs for macarons
2. Not too stiff, not to loose
The consistency of the macaron batter should be just right: not too stiff and not too loose. I've heard it described as 'magma', you'll know it's there when if the batter is dropped from a spatula it can sink back into the mixture in 10 seconds. You should err on the side of too stiff: too thin and it will just spread out like a pancake.
hawthorn
3. Spread it out
When piping the macarons, make sure they are far enough apart that they won't spread into each other, 1-2 cm is about right: there's is nothing more annoying than an otherwise perfectly good batch of macarons which has merged into one.
Rhubarb and blood orange macarons


Rhubarb and blood orange macarons

Macaron shells (adapted from Tartelette):
90g egg whites (about 3)
50g caster sugar
Zest of an orange
1/4 teaspoon ruby food colouring paste
200g icing/powdered sugar
110g ground almonds

1. Line 2 trays with baking parchment. Whisk the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks. Whisk in the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is stiff and glossy then whisk in the orange zest and food colouring.

2. Whisk together the icing sugar and almonds then fold into the meringue. When dropped from a spatula, the batter should sink back into the mixture in 10 seconds.

3. Preheat the oven to 140C/285F. Pipe into small rounds then leave to form a 'skin', so that when touched they do not feel sticky. Bake for 20 minutes.

Rhubarb and blood orange buttercream:
125g rhubarb chopped into batons
Juice and zest of 1 blood orange
Few drops of vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
30g sugar
100g room-temp butter, cut into cubes

1. Put the rhubarb, vanilla, and orange juice and zest in pan and cook until the rhubarb is tender. Blitz until smooth.

2. Combine the rhubarb purée, egg yolks and sugar and cook until the mixture thickens and becomes custard-like. Leave to cool.

3. Beat the butter until light then add the rhubarb, a bit at a time until smooth.

Pipe into the filling into the macarons and serve

Till next time, happy baking!

4 comments:

  1. Oh wow, your macarons look so stunning!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! I recently changed my macaron recipe to tartelette's and they've seemed to come out much better since :)

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  2. Lovely dish! Would you be happy to link it in to the new Food on Friday which is all about rhubarb? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad you like it! I'd be delighted if you linked it on your blog ;)

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