Are you up for a challenge? Try out this Strawberry Lemonade Macaron recipe to test your baking skills and impress your friends and family. Our friend and customer, Kelly Riedinger of Sugar High on Life Baking (or @shlbaking on Instagram) shared her recipe to help us soak up the last bits of summer.
Makes 40 macarons
Requires 1 hour prep time and 1 hour total cook time
*for best results, use a food scale to measure out your ingredients
- 140g almond flour
- 135g powdered sugar
- 100g egg whites
- 90g caster sugar or ultrafine baking sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- pink gel or powdered food coloring
1.1Setup your piping bag with the piping tip. Prepare your baking sheet with the macaron mat.
2. Sift the almond flour. Do not push remaining almond flour through the sifter and instead discard any large pieces that remain. Repeat 1-2 more times until the remaining almond flour looks uniform in size with no large chunks or pieces of almond skin.
3. Sift together the powdered sugar and the almond flour. Discard any large pieces that remain. Repeat.
4. Using the mixer, beat egg whites on medium high until they are frothy with large bubbles. Add in the cream of tartar and continue to whip on medium high.
5. Once the bubbles tighten up and leaves tracks in the egg whites, add the caster sugar in three additions, allowing the sugar to incorporate before adding the next addition. This ensures you do not deflate the meringue as it is forming.
6. Whip until the meringue reaches soft peaks. You can tell when you have soft peaks by lifting the whisk out of the bowl to look for peaks that are just starting to form but they drop back in to the bowl. Add 1-2 drops of gel food coloring or a small amount of powdered food coloring at this point.
7. Turn your mixer back on medium high and allow to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks. This means that when you pull back your whisk, the meringue forms peaks that hold firm (though the peak may tip down). You can also determine if your meringue is ready by removing the bowl and tipping it upside down. If the meringue stays in place, it is ready for the macaronage step.
8. The macaronage step is the stage where you work in the almond flour to create a batter that is smooth and flows like lava. To do this, use a flexible spatula fold in the almond flour-powdered sugar mixture into the meringue in three additions.
9. Continue folding the mixture until it flows like a thick lava. To test this, grab some of the batter on your spatula and hold it up to flow in ribbons back in the bowl. If the ribbons disappear into the batter after about 30 seconds, the batter is ready to pipe.
10. Add your macaron batter to the piping bag and pipe out even sized macarons using the circle template on the macaron mat. Make sure you are holding the bag and tip at a 90° angle and piping straight up and down.
11. Once all of the macarons are piped, gently tap the baking sheet on your counter to smooth the macaron shells and allow any bubbles to come to the surface. You can also use a toothpick to pop any bubbles on the surface.
12. Leave the macarons to dry for about 30 minutes (this varies depending on climate and humidity). The drying process is what forms the skin and allows for the macaron feet to develop. You will know the macarons are dry when you can gently touch the top of the macaron shells and feel the dry skin that has formed.
13. After drying, preheat your oven to 315°. Bake macarons shells for 12-13 minutes or until the feet look dry and the shells are firm enough to peel off of the mat. Allow to cool completely.
TIPS:Be sure to use finely ground almond flour - not almond meal
Age your egg whites by separating them and leaving them sit overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using for the macarons.
Liquid food coloring adds water to the batter and will disrupt the meringue. Gel-based or powdered colors are best.
Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Equipment: food scale, double boiler (or pot of boiling water), mixer, food processor (optional)
150 g egg whites
300 g caster or ultrafine baking sugar
400 g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla or vanilla bean paste
160 g strawberry jam
Freeze-dried strawberry powder (optional)
1. Prepare double boiler by bringing water in the pot to a boil over high heat and then reducing the heat to medium to keep the water at a steady simmer.
2. Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl of your mixer. Briefly mix to combine.
3. Place the mixing bowl with egg whites and sugar over the pot of simmering water. Make sure the water level is low enough that it does not directly touch the bowl.
4. Stir constantly until all of the sugar is dissolved. Test this by rubbing a bit of the mixture between your fingers – if it still feels grainy, continue to stir. If it feels smooth and silky, remove from the double boiler.
5. Transfer the bowl back to your mixer and mix on medium with the whisk attachment until it is cool and forms a glossy meringue with peaks. The bowl should be cool enough to touch.
6. Add the butter about 2 tablespoons at a time and wait until it has fully incorporated into the meringue before adding the next addition of butter.
7. After all of the butter has been incorporated, add in the vanilla or vanilla bean paste.
8. If the mixture has not setup as buttercream yet, let the mixture continue running until it does. This can take a minute or so after you add the last addition of butter.
9. Once the buttercream has set, add the strawberry jam and mix to incorporate.
10. For an extra punch of strawberry flavor, pulse freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor until it makes a powder. Add a little bit of the powder at a time (1 TBSP) to your desired taste.
TIPS:The buttercream will also not setup if you add your butter too early before the meringue has had time to cool enough.
If the mixture will not setup, pop it in your refrigerator for a few minutes (5-10) and then whisk again.
1 large egg + 2 egg yolks
130 g granulated sugar
10 g cornstarch
½ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
85g unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
2. Prepare double boiler by bringing the water to a boil on high heat and then reducing the heat to medium to keep the water at a steady simmer.
3. Place strained lemon juice, eggs, sugar, cornstarch and salt in double broiler or glass bowl over a pot of the simmering water. Whisk constantly with a silicone or other heatproof whisk.
4. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. The curd should coat the back of your spoon and leave a trail when you run your spoon through it.
5. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.
6. After the butter is whisked in, pour the mixture through the mesh strainer into a heat resistance container. Place a layer of plastic wrap on the surface so that it does not form a skin. Cool.
7. Refrigerate the curd for 4-8 hours before use. It will continue to thicken in the refrigerator.
- Once the macarons have cooled, match the shells to an equal sized pair.
- Pipe small dots of the strawberry buttercream around the edge of one of the macaron sides to leave an opening in the center.
- Pipe a dollop of the lemon curd in the center.
- Top with the macaron shell match.
We asked Kelly to tell us a little bit about herself. Here is what she said:
I am a home baker in the Seattle, Washington area. I started Sugar High on Life Baking as a way to use my baking addiction to give back to the community. Instead of taking a payment when I make a cake or other sweet treat, I ask for a donation to a charity to "bake it forward." I especially like to donate to charities and non-profit organizations that support individuals with special needs.