Blood Orange Macarons
GUYS! ANOTHER MACARON RECIPE!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?!
Ok, I’ll stop yelling…
But seriously, the excitement is well-deserved because surely you all know how expensive macarons can be and none of us need that type of negativity in our lives (or draining our wallets, amirite?!)
I’m also here to remind you that blood oranges are still in season and I intend on taking full advantage of that, as should you. I mean… the way the beautiful, blood red flesh contrasts with the orange peel and the gorgeous, pinkish juice not to mention the perfect balance between sweetness and tartness… WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE!? (Still yelling, I know)
About two months ago, I made a ridiculously easy & beautiful blood orange and mandarin galette, which was admittedly the first time I had ever baked with citrus… but I told myself it absolutely couldn’t be the last time so about a week later, I made these macarons and posted them on Instagram (sans recipe).
People went CRAZY. My comment section, my DMs, and even my email inbox were flooded with people asking where they could find the recipe. And so while it’s definitely taken me longer than I wanted to share it with you all (though that’s the way it goes nowadays, isn’t it?)… it’s finally here.
As always, especially with my macaron recipes, I encourage you to read the entire recipe before beginning. There are a few moving parts– and I’m very thorough in my instructions. Have fun and get baking!
Blood Orange Macarons
By Michael Johnson
These blood orange macarons are infused with orange extract and filled with a decadent blood orange buttercream.
Makes: 48 shells; 24 filled macarons
For the macarons:
For the blood orange buttercream filling:
- In a medium bowl, sift together almond flour and powdered sugar.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until your whisk begins leaving visible trails in the foamy egg whites.
- Once you can see trails, gradually add the granulated sugar making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until soft peaks form. Soft peaks = the egg whites falling back into itself slightly when the whisk is pulled out.
- Add orange gel food coloring and orange extract, then beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks = your meringue should be clumping inside your whisk and your egg whites should stand up straight once the whisk is pulled out. (Be sure not to over-whip your egg whites otherwise you risk drying them out which will cause problems down the line).
- Add dry ingredients to meringue and fold (don’t stir) with a rubber spatula from the bottom of the bowl upward then press the flat side of your spatula through the middle (also known as macaronage). This technique when done properly will ensure that the air bubbles that you beat into your egg whites don’t all deflate when incorporated with the dry ingredients. You’re looking to beat out some of the air that was created in the whipping of the egg whites, but not so much that it’s fully deflated and prevents your macarons’ signature feet from developing. The batter will look very thick at first, but it will get thinner as you fold. Repeat the folding until batter gets to a lava-like consistency (the figure 8 test is a great way to check your consistency; pick up the batter and let it flow down while drawing the figure “8”. If it can do that, immediately stop folding) This video is a great resource to see both how to macaronage and what your batter consistency should look like.
- Transfer the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip. (I use this Wilton 2A plain round tip.)
- Pipe out 1.5-inch rounds about an inch apart on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. (Feel free to print out a macaron template if you’re worried about size/uniformity).
- Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. If you don’t release the air bubbles, they will expand during baking and crack the tops of your beautiful macaron shells.
- Let the macarons rest and dry for 30 minutes or until a skin has developed; on a humid day, it might take an hour or more. To see if it’s ready to be baked, lightly touch it. If the batter doesn’t stick to your finger, then it’s ready. (Don’t forget to remove the macaron templates, if using, before baking!)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. (Place an oven thermometer inside the oven to ensure that the temperature is correct). Bake the macarons one tray at a time for 13-15 minutes.
- Allow macarons to cool. If the bottoms are a tiny bit sticky, keep them on the tray to cool off for about 10-15 min. If the bottoms are already brown, they peel off cleanly, or appear over-baked however, carefully take them off the tray immediately to cool down. It’s always better to over- rather than under-bake your macarons as the maturation process can typically salvage ones that are over-baked.
- While macarons are drying and baking, prepare the blood orange buttercream filling. Beat the butter and blood orange zest until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, salt, and blood orange juice and beat until well combined. You may need to add more blood orange juice to achieve desired consistency.
- Transfer the filling into a pastry bag and fill the macarons, then gently sandwich together.
- Macarons are best enjoyed the next day after they mature in the fridge (since the flavors will be absorbed into the shell). If your shell is hard/crunchy/over-baked, letting them mature will also cause the shells to absorb the moisture from the filling and soften up / give them their signature chewy texture. Store the filled macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and bring back to room temperature before enjoying.
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