Mojito Macarons

 

Rum. Mint. Lime. Did I mention rum? Three of my favorite flavors is probably why I love a good mojito, so no surprise why a mojito macaron was something I had to try. I made these family friendly though and used rum emulsion flavoring. My first filling try I actually used a little rum but it wasn’t “rummy” enough on flavor. I’ll be honest-I toyed around with this filling for three tries until I got it just right. I got a little angry with it until I found the right balance. Mint is one of those subjective things too; either you like it real minty or subtle. The beauty though is it’s all up to you.

 

Macaron Shells

124 g confectioners sugar

140 g almond flour

108 g fresh egg whites (I don’t age mine)

110 g granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

assorted green gel food colors (I used a swirl of mint green, electric green, avocado green, and mojito green)

  1. In a food processor place the almond flour and confectioners sugar and run for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides so the mixture settles into the processor bowl. Repeat this 2 more times, then sift mixture through a strainer (it doesn’t have to be fine) over a large bowl (I use a 5 quart size stainless steel bowl). Preheat the oven to 300° F convection, 325° F for non convection setting. Prepare two baking sheets with Silpat mats. I use these mats by Velesco (you can get 2 for 13 dollars on Amazon).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer place the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar and whisk by hand to combine. Place over a ban marie and stir gently for about 5 minutes until the mixture reaches about 130° F or when you touch the mixture with your index and thumb fingers you don’t feel any sugar crystals. Remove from the heat and place on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and start the meringue by running mixer on  power level 4 (Kitchen Aide) and run for about 3 minutes.  Stop once to scrape the sides of the bowl to push down the mixture that appears on the sides.
  3. Increase mixer then to power level 6-8 and run until the meringue is stiff peaks and it has started leaving tracks in the meringue and a good portion has collected inside the whisk . A sign that meringue is ready is there will be a good amount collected within the whisk and if you turn the bowl upside down the meringue will not slip or move. If you stop the mixer and tap the whisk gently on the side of the mixer bowl it will look like a bird beak; the meringue is stiff but it has a slight hooked curve when holding the whisk horizontally. If the color does not appear to be mixer to your liking at this point I add in any color and mix gently by; being careful not to overmix.
  4. Add one half of almond flour/sugar mix and start folding with a rubber spatula until mixture starts to look cohesive. Add in the remaining half and continue to gently fold, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The batter is perfect when you lift up the spatula and tip the pointed end of the spatula down and ribbons of batter fall smoothly back into the bowl. I like to gauge its ready when I can count 6-7 continuous ribbons falling without breaking and I can “draw” a figure 8 with the batter when lifting the spatula and letting it fall into the bowl. Fill your pastry bag by using a heavy tall cup or mason jar to hold your pastry bag with the top folded over the glass. When preparing your bag after you drop in your round tip (I use Ateco 804), twist the bag right above the larger end of the tip and push it down into tip. Fold the top 4 inches of the bag over the jar or glass.
  5. Let the batter fall right into the bottom of the bag and continue filling to ensure you don’t get air bubbles. When ready to pipe and all of the batter is in the bag, twist the top of the bag and when ready to pipe, push down with your dominant hand to force the bottom of the tip to open.
  6. Pipe the batter onto prepared baking sheet with 30 macarons per sheet. Six across the long side, and five rows perpendicular. Take the sheet pan and let it drop onto the counter about 5-7 times, then look for any visible air bubbles and pop with a toothpick or bamboo skewer. Bake the first tray right away (no resting), in a preheated (convection oven if you have at 300° F , 325° F for NON convection oven*) for about 16-18 minutes or until the cookie does not wiggle when attempting to check by carefully grabbing both sides of a cookie and gently testing. Let the tray rest on a wire rack and then bake the second tray.  After the cookies have cooled about 8-10 minutes turn them upside down and let the cool on the tray until completely cooled. (I find this helps prevent hollow shells)
  7. Cool the cookies completely and pipe a ring of mojito buttercream. In the middle of the ring pipe a small amount of the lime burst flavored filling. Top with a macaron shell and sandwich together.
  8. Chill the macarons in an airtight container for 24-48 hours to impart flavor and help soften the macarons to desired chewiness. Bring to room temp to enjoy.

Fillings

Mojito Ganache: Mint, Lime and Rum Ganache

6 oz. white chocolate chopped fine

1 1/2 oz. heavy cream

1 dropper full of lime oil

zest of 2 limes

4-5 stalks of fresh mint leaves removed, washed and chopped fine

1/4 tsp. rum bakery emulsion flavoring (I used Lorann brand)

In a microwave proof bowl place the chopped chocolate and the cream and microwave in 30 second intervals; stopping to stir until mixture is cohesive and chocolate is melted; which no small bits showing. Stir in the lime oil, zest, fresh mint, and rum flavoring. Cover with plastic wrap.

Chill or keep at room temperature until the mixture has firmed up.

 

Lime “Burst” Center Filling 

7 oz. sweetened condensed milk

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

zest of two limes

In a small bowl stir together the ingredients until combined. Chill until mixture becomes more firm.