Alexandra Dariescu’s Coffee & Orange Macarons
These are quite simply my favourite things.
Ingredients for about 16 macarons:
3 large egg whites, room temperature
50g caster sugar
210g powdered sugar
110g ground almonds
2 tbsps instant coffee granules
Filling: (you can take out the orange seat, orange juice and cinnamon for a simple buttercream if you prefer)
115g butter (room temperature)
240g powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsps vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange zest (optional)
cinnamon powder/ground cinnamon (optional)
2 1/2 tbsps freshly squeezed orange juice (optional)
1 tsp instant coffee granules
Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
Separate the eggs in 2 bowls. Beat the egg whites with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (be careful that your bowl is completely dry, otherwise the egg whites will split). Add a little caster sugar at a time and with mixer on high, continue to beat until egg whites are stiff peaks and it turns shiny and fluffy (the same process you would use to make meringue).
Pulse the ground almonds, powdered sugar and instant coffee granules in a processor, then sift the whole combo into the bowl with the egg whites, little at a time. Discard any large pieces that remain in the strainer.
Fold the mixture into the egg whites with a rubber spatula, slowly and patiently. Do not over mix or the batter will be too thin and runny.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe batter onto prepared baking tray into 4 cm discs.
Lift and drop the baking tray onto a hard surface 2-3 times to smooth out the batter and knock out any air bubbles.
Allow the tray to rest at room temperature for one hour, until a skin forms on the surface of the batter discs. Put on the kettle for a nice cuppa and get on with making the filling.
Preheat oven to 285 degrees F (140 degrees C)
For the filling, beat all of the ingredients together until light and fluffy. You can use a bit less sugar if the consistency is right. Set aside.
After about 1 hour, gently brush one of the batter discs with your finger to check that a skin has formed. The batter should not stick to your finger. If it does, allow to set for an additional 15 minutes.
Bake the batter discs in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the discs peel away from the parchment when lifted.
Allow the discs to cool completely out of the oven.
Pipe the buttercream frosting onto the bottom side of a cooled disc, and sandwich together with a similarly sized one.
Use the instant coffee granules to decorate as you wish.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.