It is Easter Sunday and I am preparing dessert. It will be a simple but delicious one this year – French Macarons with Mascarpone Coconut Creme, served with fresh forest fruits. Our festive menu is so rich already, white asparagus soup with cream and speck, followed by Celtic lamb baked in rosemary and garlic and glazed with honey, served with Bearnaise sauce and croquettes, that I need something light and simple as a glorious end to our family Easter lunch.
I am preparing the Macarons the day before. They turn out easer to be made than expected, with a perfect foot and high risen rounded dome. To reflect the season, I am colouring them turquoise blue and flavouring them with vanilla while the filling is prepared from Mascarpone and coconut shreds – heavenly combination.
For the macarons
- 115g almond flour
- 200g powder sugar
- 90g egg whites at a room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 40g granulated sugar
- Vanilla essence
- Food coloring optional
For the filling
- 150g Mascarpone
- 50g powder sugar
- 100 shredded coconut
1. In two separate dishes sift the powder sugar and the almond flour 2 times, measuring the final ingredients on a digital scale to the exact proportions of the recipe.
2. Whisk the egg whites, the vanilla extract and a pitch of salt with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add the sugar one spoon at a time, and whisk until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high, and whisk until medium stiff peaks form. Don’t whisk until stiff peaks otherwise the macarons will become dry and crumbly.
3. Sift the powder sugar and almond flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny (mixing maximum 30-40 times) .
4. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. When putting the macarons in the oven reduce temperature to 150 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 15 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 180 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 150 degrees.
6. Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)
7. Prepare the filling my mixing the Mascarpone and powder sugar. When smooth and combined add the shredded coconut. Fill the mixture in a piping bag and place an equal amount on one shell, toping it with other and pressing lightly to glue together.
8. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for a couple of days.