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Peppered Grapefruit Macarons

Recipe Peppered Grapefruit Macarons
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Peppered Grapefruit Macarons

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 5 hours
Servings 24 cookies

Ingredients

Macarons

  • 70 grams egg whites left at room temperature for 2 hours
  • 91 grams almond flour
  • 91 grams powdered sugar
  • 63 grams sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pink or red gel food coloring

Grapefruit Curd

  • 125 ml freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 grapefruit zested
  • 85 grams unsalted butter cubed
  • 75 grams sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • Piping bag

Instructions

  1. For macarons, begin by separating your egg whites and leaving at room temperature for 2 hours. In macaron baking, there is some tension regarding the process of aging egg whites before making macarons. If you would like to age longer than 2 hours at room temperature, please do not hesitate in doing so.
  2. Prepare two heavy-duty baking pans by lining them with silipat (my preference) or with parchment paper.
  3. Run more almond flour than is needed through a fine mesh strainer. Run through the mesh strainer again, this time weighing the precise amount needed.
  4. Run powdered sugar through fine mesh strainer, adding the sifted sugar to the bowl with the sifted almond flour. Whisk sifted almond meal and powdered sugar together to combine.
  5. Run both the inside and outside of a medium mixing bowl under hot water for several seconds, until the bowl feels warm. Thoroughly wipe down the inside and outside of the bowl, making sure that there is no water left in the bowl.
  6. Add aged egg whites to the warm bowl and beat on medium speed until foamy. When foamy, add cream of tartar and resume beating on medium-high speed.
  7. When visible trails are evident in the egg whites, add 1/3 of the granulated sugar to the bowl. Beat into the eggs. Add another 1/3 of the sugar and continue to beat. Add last of the sugar and beat into the egg whites.
  8. After the sugar has been added, drop 1 - 3 drops of gel food coloring into the egg whites. Make sure to add the food coloring before the eggs have come to stiff peaks. Continue to beat the eggs until you have reached stiff peaks. This has occurred when the egg whites stand tall, with absolutely no curls at the edges, when the mixer is removed from the egg whites. You can tell that you are nearing stiff peaks when the egg whites begin to thicken and form rivulets as the mixers go through them.
  9. Once you have reached the stiff peak stage (and not a moment before!), stop beating and use a rubber spatula to remove the egg whites from the beaters. If you have reached stiff peaks, there should be quite a bit of meringue caught in the beaters.
  10. Sift 1/3 of the almond meal and powdered sugar mixture into the meringue. Do not force large pieces of almond or sugar through. Stop once the fine pieces have been sifted in and weigh the remaining clumps. Keep note of this number, as you will add almond flour to replace this amount.
  11. Fold the flour into the egg whites with the rubber spatula by sliding the spatula beneath the egg whites and turning the meringue over onto itself. It will seem as if the flour will not incorporate, but it will after a few folds. Stop immediately once the flour is incorporated.
  12. Sift the remaining almond flour and powdered sugar into the meringue. As above, do not force any large pieces into the mixture. Large pieces of almond and sugar will weigh the macarons down and prevent feet from developing in the baking process. Weigh remaining chunks of flour and add this number to the leftover almond weight from step 10.
  13. Sift equal parts almond flour and powdered sugar into a separate bowl and weigh. Once the needed amount is reached, sift into meringue.
  14. Begin folding the meringue, sliding the spatula to the middle of the meringue and folding it over itself until the almond flour is fully mixed into the meringue. Do not beat or stir, only fold during this process. The mixture will start out very thick and as you fold, it will begin to loosen. Continue to fold until the mixture is the consistency of honey. When you lift your rubber spatula from the bowl, the mixture should run off like honey or molten lava, slow and consistent. This will take several minutes of folding. Another good way to tell is by moving your spatula in the shape of figure eight. If the batter runs off the spatula and makes a visible figure eight, you should stop folding.
  15. Add mixture to a piping bag and pipe macarons onto prepared baking sheet in 2-cm wide circles, leaving enough space between the cookies for a bit of spread (between 3 - 4 cms is plenty).
  16. Once you have finished piping the macarons, rap the baking sheets against the counter. You will do this by grabbing the edges of the pan with the tips of your fingers, raising the pan about a foot about the counter, and dropping it straight down to the counter. Repeat twice more. Rotate the pan once, so that it is now long ways, and rap. You will do this for each side of the pan, each side rap 3 times.
  17. Preheat oven to 320.
  18. Rest macarons on stovetop for 30 minutes while the oven preheats. There should be a visible skin on each cookie. The macarons will appear dull and matte at this stage. Do not put them in the oven before this has happened.
  19. Bake, one tray at a time, for 12 - 15 minutes. When cookies peel easily away from silipat, they are finished. Allow to cool on wire racks. Adjust temperature and cooking time according to the results from your first tray.
  20. During the 30 minute macaron rest, or while they are baking, prepare the grapefruit curd. Combine grapefruit juice, zest, butter, sugar, egg yolks, eggs, and black pepper in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring to keep the eggs from scrambling. The mixture will begin to thicken after several minutes over the heat. Cook until the curd has become thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Run through a fine mesh strainer.
  21. Refrigerate for 2 hours to thicken curd.
  22. Once curd has set and cookies have cooled, use a piping bag to pipe curd onto cookies and make sandwiches.
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