Milk & Honey Macarons!

In France I bought several cookbooks on pastries and macarons. I haven’t made many of the recipes because I enjoy creating my own! However I was wanting to do something a little more traditional and I REALLY wanted to use honey because I LOVE honey. Why is it not used more nowadays? Honey is freaking delicious not to mention 100% natural. Anyways most of the recipes I was finding online and in books were lightly honey flavored or I felt the honey would be covered up by the other flavors. Then while looking through one of the recipe books I bought I stumbled upon this recipe. I changed it a little but it’s mostly the same. It’s from Tendances Gourmandes #07: Macarons Fondants and it is published by Le Figaro (ugh)

In the book they are called Honey and Spice Macarons but they taste more like milk and honey to me. Well I guess I did change the recipe a little. We don’t have spice mixes for pain d’épices (spice bread) like they do in France so I just used some spices I thought would go along with honey. But they taste like milk and honey in any case….well I guess milk and honey and spices. I call them Bible Macs 😉 This is what God promised to the Children of Israel, the land of milk and honey…..and macarons. Well, my God promised that at least. I mean what benevolent god wouldn’t promise macarons?

Oh and also!!!! if you haven’t noticed these are made using French meringue! I decided it was high time I tried the French meringue method again and since I just got my Kitchenaid mixer (which I ADORE) I thought it was the perfect time. They worked like a CHARM! I was thrilled! I mean, the first time I tried the French meringue method it was a complete failure, probably because I added all of the ingredients when the eggs started to foam….because I wasn’t paying close enough attention. But the second time I tried to make macarons I used the Italian method (sugar syrup) and it worked perfectly so I thought why not stick with what I know works? But now I know I CAN successfully pull off the French method too! And it is TRUE! The French meringue macarons do have more of a “melting” quality to them. They do seem more delicate. I would suggest starting off using the Italian method because I still think it is more full proof, then when you get good at the Italian method try out the French method.

Lastly I have been experimenting with oven times and temperatures as well as with using parchment paper or silpat and with air-bake baking sheets vs. regular baking sheets. Here is what I have found. Typically silpat macarons give me smaller feet and parchment paper macarons have higher feet. Parchment paper macs also tend to have dryer bottoms than silpat macarons for ME. If I use a silpat + an air-bake sheet I end up with very odd concave macaron bottoms. So I always put silpat on regular baking sheets and I use my parchment paper on my air-bake sheets. Also I usually leave my macarons on the baking sheets until the sheets are cool enough to touch. This ensures the bottoms are nice and dry and not sticky. I have NEVER had my macarons over-cook from being left on the hot baking sheets but I have had them be disemboweled several times from a sticky bottom. But by all means if your macarons look burnt take those sons of bitches off the baking sheet immediately!

Ingredients:

The Macarons
90 g Egg Whites (Aged)
125 g Almond Flour
225 g Powdered Sugar
30 g Super-Fine Sugar

Honey And Spice Cream
2 Egg Yolks
25 cl Whole Milk
100 g Butter
25 g Cake Flour
100 g Honey
tsp Vanilla Extract
pinch Ground Cloves
pinch Cinnamon
pinch Ginger Powder

Directions:
The Macarons
1) Beat the eggs into a meringue (stiff peaks) and when they are starting to foam add the super-fine sugar into the egg whites in three parts.

2) Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar and add the mixture in two parts to the meringue until you have a homogenous batter that is like “magma” (falls in a ribbon but not liquid)

3) Transfer the batter to a piping bag and pipe 1.5 inch circles in staggered rows on parchment paper or silpat. (after you are done piping you may sprinkle cinnamon to the tops of the macarons if you’d like)

4) Bake at 300°F for 14-15 minutes and rotate pan halfway through the baking time. (you can see them developing feet in the oven!)

5) Wait for the macarons to completely cool and them remove them from the parchment paper or silpat and assemble them two by two using the butter and spice cream! (when the macarons are still warm you can use your thumb to make indentions in the bottom to allow for more filling!)

The Butter and Spice Cream
1) Bring the whole milk and vanilla extract to a boil and then remove from heat.

2) Whip the egg yolks, honey, and spices until they are well combined. Then add the flour and mix, finally adding these both to the milk.

3) Stir the mixture and let it thicken over low/medium heat. Afterwards put it in the refrigerator and let it cool down for around 2 hours.

4) After it is cool add the softened butter and whip them all into one homogenous mixture! Ta da! This is the Honey and Spice cream!

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