Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lemon Buttercream Macarons

This month’s Mac Attack challenge #11 was to bake a macaron inspired by a childhood summer memory.

I had a really happy childhood and stacks of fond memories, but I found they were either difficult to create (due to my inability to source mulberries at the moment), or already posted by other members and I was scratching my head when this came to mind.

My mother's jewelry box, filled with treasures I used to sneak in to look at and occasionally dare to try them on. Sometimes I would be allowed to legitimately try them on whilst sitting next to my mother on her bed, I used to feel so special.

Now I actually know that mum kept her real treasures elsewhere and the stuff in that box was costume jewelry, but I still remember that box and it's shiny baubles with a smile on my face.

My box here is filled with a different kind of treasure.

and while I was taking these photo's and piling the macarons in a tower I remembered that I also used to love playing with building blocks and lego so I made a couple of little towers

Oooops - after you get to three its a bit unstable.

My macarons were Lemon Buttercream and raspberry white chocolate.

One of the best parts of these Lemon Buttercream filled Macarons is that they used up 3 egg yolks - wahoo my house is always filled with egg yolk leftovers and any chance I get to use them makes me soooo happy.

Recipe follows.

Lemon Buttercream filling for macarons adapted from the book Macaron by Alison Thompson
(makes enough to fill approx 30 macarons)

Juice and zest of 1 lemon (I used 3//4 because my lemon was super juicy)
140g (5oz) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
165g (6oz) softened unsalted butter chopped in small squares
1 egg
3 egg yolk
2 tbsp (1 1/2 fl oz) water (US - 1 1/2 Tbsp water)

1. Combine lemon juice, zest, 50g (1 3/4oz) sugar and 40g (1 1/2 oz) butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and then remove from heat and add the 1 whole egg (not the yolks yet still need them).

2. Mix well and return to heat stirring continuously until the mixture thickens.Transfer to a bowl and press cling wrap over the surface to prevent skin from forming and pop into the fridge.

3. Put the 3 egg yolks into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat the egg yolks on high speed for 10 mins until they have increased in volume and are pale and creamy.

4. Place water and remaining 90g (3oz) sugar in a small saucepan and bring to boil, simmer  until the syrup reaches 121 C (250 F).

5. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the creamed yolks. Beat on high speed for 10 mins until cool.

6. Turn the speed down to medium and add the remaining butter slowly, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next lot.

7. Beat at high speed for 2 mins, add the cooled lemon mixture and then beat for another 2 mins.

Makes enough for at least 30 macarons.

French Macarons based on Pierre Herme's recipe

150g (5  1/4 ounce) ground almonds
150g (5  1/4 ounce) Icing (powdered) Sugar
110g Egg Whites, (3 7/8ounce) aged at least 3 days, separated into 2 lots of 55g (1 7/8 ounce)
150g (5  1/4 ounce) Granulated Sugar
37g ( 1 1/4 ounce) Water
yellow food colour

1. Mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together and pulse a few times in food processor to make almond meal finer. Do not over process as the meal can become oily. Sieve into a large bowl. Add colour and 55g (1 7/8ounce) of the egg whites to the sugar/almond mixture but don’t mix in.

2. Place remaining 55g (1 7/8 ounce) of egg whites in bowl of mixer fitted with the whisk.

3. Pop granulated sugar and water into saucepan stir to combine and cook without stirring to 118C. Once the mixture reaches 115C start mixing the egg whites on high. Once the sugar syrup reaches 118C remove from heat and immediately pour in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl continuing to whisk on high.

4. Continue to whisk the meringue on high until the side of the bowl is only a little warm to touch, around 50C.

5. Add meringue mixture to almond mixture and using a large spatula fold the mixture together until it starts to shine and forms a ribbon that stays visible for about 30 seconds.

6. Add the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe in lines onto parchment lined baking sheets. To make the macarons as even as possible I apply a constant slow pressure to the piping bag and count a few numbers like up to 3 for each one.

7. Set aside for about 30 minutes or until the macarons have formed a skin that doesn't stick to your finger.

8. Meanwhile preheat oven to 140C (285 F). Once ready bake the macaroons for around 13 to 15 minutes depending on size, they should not be browned. Remove the baking trays and immediately slide off the macarons and the parchment onto the work surface and let cool completely before removing the shells.

Happy baking and check out the rest of the Mac Attack crews childhood interpretations, they should all be posted by the end of the month.


  1. You are such a tease! i wish i had the knack for cooking! like everything you bake these look Devine!

  2. These look fabulous! I am currently trying to perfect making macarons, mine do not look anywhere near as perfect as yours, but I might give your recipe a try. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Yummo! Maybe I should stop over and help you eat them :)

  4. These look perfect! Love the pretty pastel colours.

  5. these are so pretty and I love the colors!

  6. These are maybe the most perfect macs I've seen! And love the flavors and the colors, they really are little jewels! Very cute! Love having you bake with us in our mac kitchen!

  7. Lovely colors! Macarons look cute and delicious, Linda.

  8. They look wonderful! And lemon is one of my favourite macaron flavours as it seems to balance the sweetness so well :)

  9. Such a cute post and a lovely story. I agree with everyone else they are the most perfect looking macs, such smooth shiny shells and pretty colours. I wish I could share my oodles of mulberries with you.

  10. There are never enough ballet macarons in the world but I am really glad you did these. Your post is great and I love the lemon buttercream recipe using egg yolks. Beautiful mouth watering macs. Yay!

  11. oh wow, I'm sure these were absolutely delicious.
    I have never heard of this challenge before, thank you for sharing! :)

  12. Oh, yummo! These look delish! I've been wanting to make these for ages, thanks for the recipes!

  13. Very pretty! Gorgeous box too. I'm the opposite, usually have oodles of egg whites hanging around, but that's ok now that there's the macattack gang to party with :) Looks like I better hurry up and get baking before the deadline arrives.

  14. So perfect and beautiful, as usual:) What a sweet memory shared too.

  15. Yum the look fabulous Linda! Leanne
    Ps. Have that same issue with time - there is never enough of it for all that is out there to do!!!

  16. Yum! I really want to try these! Love the box! I was actually looking at that the other day in Target wondering if I could paint it successfully he he. Looks gorgeous! x

  17. Lemon have to be one of my favourite macaron flavours - YUM!!! The colour of your macarons are so perfect. If you're in Brisbane, do you have a good source for food colours, cos I've found that the variety we get in Woolies and Coles is very limited and they're not great to work with either? Great job on the theme for the month, love the jewelry box idea! - Jen =)

  18. They look delicious.What a great blog you have.

  19. I know what you mean Linda. Momma's jewellery box was always filled with colourful shiny things...., love your Macarons, so pretty.

  20. Oh my god they look so perfect...You are amazing Linda..

  21. Thanks all, yup I loved the colour and flavour as well.

    Digella had so much stuff last week I was door knocking neighbours to give it away.

    Butter Sugar Hearts - wish you could share too.

    Danielle - yup that box is from good ole Target

    Aaron and Jen - I use the Wilton Gel colours which you can get online or the Kitchenware Plus at Logan has them. Most Cake decorating shops should see them.

  22. I have shared this post on my blog, I just sooo in lovo whit you'r recipe!! and I will definitly try this lemon filling!!
    I love you'r blog!!

  23. You make these treasures sound like a breeze! I'd happily fill all my treasure boxes with these beauties any day! Absolutely stunning macarons and feet to die for! The colours are amazing too. Thank you for bringing such beautiful memories to MacTweets!

  24. Your macarons are so shiny on top. Absolutely perfect. They truly are little jewels.

  25. Your macs are perfectly beautiful, Linda. You've achieved a vibrant color and perfect little feet. And they look so pretty in your lovely jewelry box.

  26. Hi There,

    Awesome recipe, but i just have one question about the lemon buttercream.
    Is there any reason why you make the lemon part, and set it aside in the fridge, and then make the rest of it?
    Would it matter if you simply added the lemon juice and zest at the end and quickly whizz it together?

  27. Hi and thanks, that first step is pretty much making lemon butter/curd, it sets to a solid jam type consistency which you then mix into the buttercream. You could try mixing in the zest and a little lemon juice at the end but it would be a different consistency and taste to this one. The juice of 1 whole lemon would be way too much if you are doing it this way.