RECIPE: Once you’ve tried making something a few times, in this case macarons, you start to see gaps in recipes and wonder at the different methods that different authors have applied, or whether they’ve just left out a step. For these macarons I didn’t change the ingredients, and for the first round of macaron shells I used the method as described, but for the second round, a little by default and a little by design, I let the piped macarons sit for a bit longer before cooking them.
COMPONENTS: I started with the lemon curd and I think this is the best lemon curd recipe yet (see below) – and I’ve tried a few. It was beautifully tart, and had a great texture – although I did improve that somewhat by passing the hot curd through a sieve to remove any specks of cooked egg white (my eggs were probably a bit cold). This was only my third time using leaf gelatine, and I think I’ve got the hang of it now as there were no lumps! The trick in this case was to give it a good amount of time soaking in cold water, before adding it to the warm mixture so it could dissolve in. The macarons used Italian meringue, which still makes me a little stressed because I can never seem to mix it all into the egg whites – some always sets on the side of the mixing bowl as I pour. Despite this, the texture of the mixture was fine. Adriano Zumbo always recommends letting the piped macarons sit for half an hour before baking, something Felder didn’t mention. Perhaps he felt that by the time you had piped them, tapped the bottom of the baking sheets with your hand and splattered them with the red food dye, they would be rested enough. The first batch of macarons cracked across the surface (but didn’t break), and the second batch that had rested for an amount of time were smooth.
ASSEMBLY: It was a simple process from here to spread a little jam across one macaron, alternating dobs of piped lemon curd with fresh raspberries, then another macaron on top.
IMPRESSION: So often macarons can be too sweet. Something Felder does really well is create more balanced macaron recipes. The tartness of the lemon and raspberries, which are perfectly paired, is balanced by the sweet macarons, delivering a perfect flavour experience. Loved them, but I will always rest my macarons in future.
Recipe from Patisserie by Christophe Felder
Christophe Felder’s lemon curd
1 gelatin sheet (2g)
130ml lemon juice
135g granulated sugar
175g butter, diced
Soak the gelatine sheet in a medium bowl of cold water until softened, 5-10 minutes.
Combine the lemon juice, sugar and eggs in a medium heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking.
Place the butter in a medium bowl. Squeeze the gelatine dry and add to the butter.
Pour the hot lemon mixture into the butter. Process with an immersion blender until smooth, about 2 minutes. Or use a whisk. (I also passed it through a sieve)
Chill until set, about 2 hours.