I spent a lot of time trying to perfect the macaron. As much practice as I’ve had, sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t. I don’t mean to scare you away from them, but what this finicky cookie has taught me is that not everything is going to be perfect, even when you think you’ve done all the right things.
It used to really upset me. It’s upsetting. I put a lot of work into these little treats, and if they come out cracked or hollow, I feel a little betrayed. But, I’m trying to be more flexible in my life. When they don’t come out perfect, they still taste good so it isn’t a tragedy, so I try to just accept that today isn’t the right day for macarons, and can comfort myself in their sweetness.
Today we’re making these lovely, sweet and spicy coconut macarons with a homemade ginger marmalade and fresh lime zest. Each of these flavors complements the others so well and makes a very addicting macaron.
The marmalade needs to cool overnight TWICE, so make sure you make that ahead of time (or cheat and buy some – I don’t judge).
As for the macarons, please don’t be scared! I believe you can do it. It might looks like a lot of steps, but it’s not really. It’s mostly just a lot of notes on how to do the step. So just hang on and give it a read. I bet you’ll feel like you can give it a go.
Makes one jar
150 grams ginger
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp sugar
2 oz pectin
- Peel and chop your ginger into little bits, and move half of the amount to a food processor. Blend until it becomes a paste. Move all ginger to a saucepan and simmer, covered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain ginger, keeping about 1/2 cup of liquid. Cool ginger in the fridge between 4 hours to overnight.
- Move ginger back into a saucepan with the sugar. Bring to a boil until sugar has completely dissolved, then bring to a simmer and add the pectin. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Move ginger to a jar and let cool completely before using. Best used cool.
*If your marmalade is too runny, you can return it to the heat and reduce it more, and/or add a bit more pectin.
Coconut Macarons with Ginger Marmalade and Lime Zest
2/3 cups (3oz) almond flour
1 1/2 cups (6oz) powdered sugar
2 tbsp + a little more for topping unsweetened, shredded coconut
5 tbsp granulated sugar
3 egg whites
Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I like to draw circles on the paper so when I am ready to pipe, I have guidelines to make consistent sized blobs. I trace a cookie cutter to do this. Just make sure the pencil side is down so it doesn’t get on your cookies.
Start by finely chopping up the shredded coconut.
In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar, and now chopped up coconut. Sometimes my powdered sugar can be clumpy, so I did this step a 2-3 times. Set aside
In the bowl of your mixer (or a large bowl), whip the egg whites on medium until foamy.*
Slowly add the granulated sugar as your mixer continues to mix on medium speed. Give it a few minutes and your mixture will fluff up into stiff peaks! The mixture will be glossy and when you stop the machine and lift the head, your mixture (which is now a meringue) should stay still and not ooze back down.
Plop your meringue on top of your dry ingredients, and start the macoronage. This is a very official term for the folding process. This is the really tricky part of the process, so I recommend watching a youtube video to really wrap your head around it. Basically, you want to gently drag your folding tool (I use a flexible spatula) around the bowl, then pull it through the middle. The idea is to release the air from the mixture without overmixing.
Periodically test your mixture. Lift your spoon or spatula with some batter and see how it flows. You want it to smoothly but slowly begin to drop off. If it’s dropping off in globs, it needs more mixing, but be careful and check frequently. Just let it get to the point where it can run off in one consistent piece, but not any more than that!
Move your batter to a piping bag with a round tip and pipe your batter onto the cookie sheet you prepared. Try to pipe meticulously and straight down as the shell can cook lopsided if you pipe it on crooked.
Count out how many shells you have, and sprinkle some shredded coconut on top of half. If your coconut shreds are too big, chop them up a little to make them smaller.
Tap the tray on the counter several times to release any trapped bubbles, then let them sit and think about what they’ve done for 45-60 minutes. You want a skin to form on the cookies so they cook evenly. If you don’t let them sit, the tops will crack in the oven. I place my trays under a ceiling fan that I let GENTLY air them out. You can test if a skin has formed by very gently petting the shell. You don’t want to poke it, so just stroke your finger across the top. If they’re ready, the top will be smooth and won’t stick to your finger.
Bake on center rack in your oven at 305° F for 10-12 minutes.**
Once they are done cooking, remove them from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes because trying to take them off the tray. Let cool completely.
Scoop a little ginger marmalade onto one shell and sandwich with a coconut covered top. Zest fresh lime on top.
Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week! Eat and share.
*I have tried using egg whites from a carton, but they never turn out for me, so I ALWAYS use egg whites separated from eggs that I’ve left on the counter at least overnight.
**This will vary based on your oven though. If it’s your first time making macarons, consider doing a couple testers. So, pipe one circle on a tray and pop it in the oven at this temperature and timing and see what happens. Do they cook all the way through? Do they brown on the edges? This will help you figure out if they need more or less time, in a cooler or hotter oven. Then, you can correct this for the rest of the macarons, and not have just a big disaster.