Lemon Pepper Hazelnut Macarons with Lemon Curd and Goat Cheese Cream

Ingredients

For the macaron shells

110g icing sugar
60g hazelnuts, very finely ground
60g egg whites, (about 2 eggs) aged for either 5 days in the fridge, then for 24 hours at room temperature or a little over 24 hours on the countertop
40g granulated sugar
½ teaspoon lemon pepper
Yellow food coloring

For the filling

100g goat cream cheese
175g plain cream cheese
3 tablespoons + 120g lemon curd
2 tablespoons sugar

Method

For the macaron shells

  1. Prepare your baking tray and baking sheets with a stencil of circles. Draw circles on some baking paper using a (mathematical) compass about 2 cm in diameter. Then place some white parchment paper on the baking tray and flip the baking paper back around. Or use this macaron template.


  2. In a large mixing bowl mix the egg whites with an electric hand beater (alternatively you can use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) until it is thick and frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, whisking all the while, until the mixture turns into a thick glossy meringue. The consistency of the macaron batter should be similar to hair mousse or shaving foam. Make sure the meringue is not over-beaten or else it will be too dry.


  3. In a food processor pulse together icing sugar, hazelnuts and lemon pepper until everything is finely ground and powdery. Sift the mixture 2 or 3 times to make sure there are no lumps.


  4. Place the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the meringue in three portions, giving it a quick fold using the macronnage technique described in my macaron tips section. Fold the mixture a few times to break the air. Add some of the yellow food coloring till you get the shade of yellow you like best. Continue folding until you get a smooth and supple mixture, thick in consistency so that when you lift the spatula it flows back in thick ribbons. Test a small amount on a plate – should the tops fall back and flatten by themselves then it is ready, if not give it a few more folds.

  5. Fill a piping bag with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (2 cm in diameter) on your prepared baking paper. Leave the macarons to rest and dry for about 15 to 30 minutes.

  6. In the meantime preheat the the oven to 150 degrees C. When the macarons are ready bake the shells for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Use a flat offset spatula to gently remove the shells from the baking paper and allow to cool further on a rack

For the filling

  1. Place goat cheese, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons lemon curd and sugar  in a mixing bowl and whisk with electric beaters until thick and creamy. Transfer to a piping bag and refrigerate for a few hours.

Assembling the macarons
Pipe a blob of the goat cheese cream mixture onto one of the shells and add a small dollop of lemon curd over the filling. Gently cover with another shell. Continue to do this until you have used up all of the filling and shells.

Storing Macarons
If you are not going to be using them right away you can store the shells in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

They freeze well too but it is recommended to freeze them unfilled. To fill them take the shells out of the freezer 48 hours prior to serving and without defrosting fill them. This way the flavors will be allowed to blend as they thaw.

Suggestion: Make your own homemade lemon curd using my delicious and foolproof recipe.

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