Making macarons for the English.
A terrifying task, in my opinion. It's like you want to do something fancy and French, but at their royal level.
A nice hodgepodge (I can't decide if that sounds terribly basic or elite) of the two cultures.
My ideas on the perfect flavour combination were many, and quite diverse. I went through every British stereotype that I could think of (don't worry, dear friends, I will NEVER put anything "fish n' chips" related on Bakecetera), and finally decided that the theme would be tea.
But! What kind of tea? ::insert another rambling discussion (in my own head, obviously) for an hour:: ... I went straight back to my stereotypes, because, shucks, who doesn't love a good cultural stereotype? : /
The cool thing about having a baking blog (it's still fairly new to me!) is that I can now reference myself. The lemon part of the macarons is the same as this recipe, but with a teaspoon (for me about 2 lemons) of lemon zest. I added it in to the almond/powdered sugar mixture before sifting!
Am I lazy today? You bet. But follow that recipe linked above with some lemon zest, et voila! Lemon macarons.
Since we are pairing these with an Earl Grey filling, I topped a few of the macaron shells with Earl Grey tea leaves right after pipping them out.
Alright, now I'll give you guys an actual recipe...
(adapted from the Food Network)
Earl Grey filling - What you need:
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tiny pinch of salt
- the leaves of one tea bag of Earl Grey
Earl Grey filling - What you do:
Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a sauce pan to prepare a double boiler.
In a large, heat proof bowl, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. After this is combined well, stir in the tea leaves.
Put the bowl over the sauce pan and whisk until the sugar is dissolved, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl down occasionally to dissolve all of the sugar.
Take the bowl off the heat, and beat with an electric beater on high for 5 to 10 minutes, or until a thick meringue cream is formed. Allow to cool to room temperature, then spoon into a pastry bag.
Pipe the filling onto one macaron shell, then top off with another macaron shell!
Macaron math is fun!
Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
So, I thought about doing something classic and all British, but I'm going to see The Lumineers tonight in concert, so I am gonna have to bail on the Brit theme now...
This will be the opening act for The Lumineers... I still have mixed feelings, but I quite like this song...
And then some Lumineers action...