Serve decadent Orange Macarons with Dark Chocolate Buttercream for a festive fall dessert that is sure to please.
Orange Macarons with Dark Chocolate Buttercream
- 3 large egg whites
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
- 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Orange food coloring paste
- 1 recipe Dark Chocolate Buttercream (recipe follows)
- Place egg whites in a medium bowl, and let sit at room temperature, uncovered, for exactly 3 hours. (Aging the egg whites in this manner is essential to creating perfect French macarons.)
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a pencil, draw 1½-inch circles 2 inches apart on parchment paper. Turn parchment paper over.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, combine almonds and 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, pulsing until very finely ground. (Don’t over-process or a nut butter will be created. The nut particles should stay separate and dry but not clump together.)
- In a medium bowl, combine remaining confectioners’ sugar and orange zest, whisking well. Add to almond mixture, and process just until combined.
- In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites at medium-high speed with a mixer until frothy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. (Egg whites will be thick, creamy, and shiny.) Add food coloring until desired hue is achieved. Add almond mixture to egg whites, folding gently by hand until well combined. Let batter stand for 15 minutes.
- Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip (Wilton #12). Pipe batter into drawn circles on prepared baking sheets. Slam baking sheets vigorously on countertop 5 to 7 times to release air bubbles. Let sit at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes before baking to help develop the macaron’s signature crisp exterior when baked. (Macarons should feel dry to the touch and should not stick to finger.)
- Preheat oven to 275°.
- Bake until firm to the touch, 22 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely on pans.
- Transfer to airtight containers, separating layers with wax paper. Refrigerate until ready to fill and serve.
- Place Dark Chocolate Buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip (Wilton #12). Pipe buttercream onto flat side of a macaron, and top with another macaron, flat sides together. Push down lightly, and twist so filling spreads to edges. Repeat with remaining macarons and buttercream.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before serving.
Dark Chocolate Buttercream
Serves: 1 1⁄2 cups
- ½ cup salted butter, softened
- 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 (4-ounce) bar dark chocolate*, melted
- In a mixing bowl, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, and milk. Beat at low speed with a mixer, and gradually increase to high speed, until smooth and creamy. Add melted chocolate, beating until incorporated.
- Use immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a day. Let come to room temperature before using.
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