I had done earl grey macarons earlier (as i've posted a couple of posts before). i was quite happy with the results then, but i after attempting Call Me Cupcake!'s chocolate macaron recipe, i was so pleased with how the chocolate macarons came out that i decided to try adapting her recipe and changing the cocoa powder into earl grey tea powder to see if it would work better. i made some modifications here and there and i was pleasantly surprised at how well they formed! i mean just look at those feet! i was very pleased.
so i left them to freeze in the freezer after they cooled because i wasn't ready and didn't have the time to pipe them as yet. i left them for filling yesterday and awhile ago when i checked on them (admit it you sneak one or two even though they're not ready for eating), i found that the shells had become super delicate and fragile! in fact it was a challenge to even hold them up. WHAT WENT WRONG?!!
after much thought and listening to feedback from friends, i came to a conclusion - the runny lemon curd affected the texture of the shell drastically because it was not firm enough and the moisture content of the lemon curd overly-infused into the shell. simultaneously, it might be because of the additional lemon juice i added into the meringue, causing the moisture ratio balance to be upset. another thing - i had cut the sugar by 15g because the chocolate macarons previously had a bitter cocoa powder to offset the sugar but for the earl grey, i was afraid it would be too sweet so i cut the sugar. all these factors... SIGH.
so, macarons are really fussy and delicate things. we shouldn't mess with the recipe too much.
however, the shells did cook dry and i did take the curd off the heat once it seemed to start to thicken. i will try heating the lemon curd for a longer period the next time.
another thing, the earl grey flavor was really subtle and after doing some research, it seems that most people complain of the subtle earl grey flavor no matter how many tea bags used. a friend suggested i soak the bags for the liquid instead. i will go look into that method after more googling :)
i will write the recipe down here for my own reference. i will re attempt soon and update.
Lemon Earl Grey Macarons (Adapted from Call Me Cupcake!)
100g Blanched, Ground Almonds
100-110g Egg White
185g Icing Sugar
3 TWG Bags of Earl Grey Tea
4 Tablespoons Sugar (~60g)
17g Lemon Juice
- If egg whites are cold, bring it to room temperature while measuring the rest of the ingredients.
- Sift icing sugar into a bowl - ensure that there are no lumps. (i usually push bumps through the sieve.)
- Sift ground almonds into the same bowl - when you get to the coarser ground almonds, grind almonds in a food processor. (this is important if you want smooth shells) (do note that i usually face a slight problem when blending the almonds. they tend to clump at the sides of the container due to the natural almond oils when you blend. but most of them should turn powdery and i don't use the side lumps)
- Add earl grey powder from the tea bags and mix the dry ingredients thoroughly with a fork to ensure well mixed.
- In a large bowl, whip the egg whites. When the egg whites start foaming, add the sugar gradually and continue whipping until the mixture is glossy and stiff. (stiff peaks)
- Add lemon juice and whip to combine. Do not overwhip.
- Fold the dry mix into the meringue in 2-3 parts using a clean spatula. Mix until mixture is just slightly runny and dissolves back into the mixture. (it's okay if it takes a little while to dissolve in)
- Fill your piping bag and pipe the macarons onto a baking sheet. Let them set for 60 minutes to form a dry skin.
- Preheat oven to 140ºC. Bake for 18 minutes in the middle rack. (i did one tray at a time)