I always love reading cocktail menus. The combinations of flavours and fruits is so alluring, and the unique names never fail to make one giggle. However there is always my one favourite I go back to: the Mojito. The combination of nasal-clearing mint, zesty lime and the crunch of raw sugar is something that never fails to evoke memories of lazy afternoons in the summer sun, jewelled sandals, and over-sized sunglasses.
I’ve been contemplating this flavour combination for a while now and considering what was the best way to inject all of the divine flavours of a mojito into a small macaron. I’m no Adriano Zumbo, so unfortunately I don’t have wacky powders and syrups that you’ve never heard of. I was most hesitant on using peppermint essence in the macaron as everyone knows how rubbish essence can taste, and the flavour of peppermint essence just didn’t seem like it would hit the spot that I was looking for.
Ultimately, I decided on using fresh mint; chopped finely and combined with a dash of lime juice and Havana rum in a white chocolate ganache for the filling (I’ve tired of buttercream), and the shells being dyed with a Wilton green and containing the lime’s zest. I decided to also top the macaron shells with a sprinkle of white sugar while they were ‘drying’, to re-create that element of ‘crunch’ from the cocktail.
For the shells, you will need:
- 110g icing sugar;
- 60g almond meal;
- 65g aged egg whites (approximately three eggs);
- 40g caster sugar;
- Finely grated zest of one lime;
- 1 tablespoon white sugar.
This should make you about 24 shells (12 macarons) depending on how large/small you pipe them.
Sift your almond meal and icing sugar together twice in a large bowl and set to one side. In a clean, dry bowl, whip your egg whites with the lime zest and some green food gel on high until foamy for about 30 seconds, then gradually add the caster sugar until stiff peaks form. This should take about eight minutes; don’t be afraid about overwhipping them!
Fold the dry ingredients into the egg white mix in two batches.
The perfect macaron mix will have a consistency similar to ‘magma’. I’m sure none of you have actually stirred REAL magma, but if you imagine what it looks like from the documentaries/news/movies and compare it to your mix, that should help.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large round 1cm-tip nozzle and pipe rounds onto two baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. Hold the nozzle in the centre of the circle and simply apply pressure to the bag until the mixture expands out into a circle.
Allow to rest in a cool, dry room for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the day’s humidity). Preheat your oven to 140 degrees Celcius. Macarons are sufficiently rested when you lightly touch the edge of one with a fingertip and no mixture sticks to your skin. Sprinkle the tops with the white sugar.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Hellooooo feet!
Rest briefly on the tray before wiping down a clean work surface with a wet dishcloth and then lifting the baking paper with the macarons on it, carefully transfer to the work surface. The humidity between the warm baking paper and the damp surface will help to remove any macarons stuck to the paper. Match them up and place them to one side to cool while you work on your filling.
You will need:
- 75g good-quality white chocolate;
- 20g thickened cream;
- Small handful of mint leaves, about 10 leaves or 5 grams, finely chopped;
- 10 ml fresh lime juice;
- 10 ml white rum.
Over a double saucepan, melt the white chocolate and the cream together on a low heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and beat in the lime juice and the rum with a spoon until smooth. Cool in the freezer briefly and once about room temperature, then mix in the chopped mint leaves.
Refrigerate (or freeze) the ganache until it’s firm enough to hold its shape. Dollop onto half of your macarons.
Top with the matching half of the macaron and twist slightly to secure. Repeat with the rest of the macarons, and then refrigerate your babies for 24 hours to allow the flavours to mature… believe me, the wait is excruciating but it is well worth it!
Unfortunately I caved in and had one after I got back from dinner that evening, about five hours after I had made them. And they were divine and absolutely to die-for. Summer in a bite. What more could I ask for? These gave my Spiced Chai and Salted Caramel Macarons a definite run for their money!
I waited until the next morning so I could have enough natural daylight to photograph this gorgeous creation properly, and the neighbour’s cat was being very clingy and insisted on following me everywhere around the house. When I removed the macarons from the fridge, he got extremely excited, thinking it was food for him, and when I set up my things outside, he decided to photobomb me!
He kept trying to inch his way closer and smell them and I ended up having to push him off the table lest he eat one of them. He went and sat in the hedge and sulked after that, the moody thing!
Oh well. I had better things to think about. Like how best to enjoy a Mojito and Mojito Macaron together 😉
Enjoy the rest of your week, lovelies! xx