To push myself a bit further this holiday season, I decided to make macarons with an Italian meringue, rather than common, this time around.
I will admit, I was a bit intimidated by it, as the only experience I had with it prior was at a restaurant that made them in batches of 1,000 or so at a time. On a smaller scale, however, it was a much smoother experience than I thought it would.
The only irritation was having to keep a close eye on the candy thermometer, and be completely ready to go at the exact moment. In the end, it did result in a prettier, much more uniform macaron shell.
As for the filling, I used the Drunken Monkey jam from The Jam Stand – bananas, rum, and lime. It was runnier than I thought (though it firmed up when I left them in the fridge), so it definitely wouldn’t be something to keep around for hours and hours at room temp. Also, I found that after a couple days, the shells became very soft, due to the moisture of the jam. Certainly not a bad thing, after maybe a week in the fridge (though from what I understand, that’s about the extent you want to keep macarons in a fridge anyway) they weren’t as chewy as I’d have liked.
The garnish was a simple whipped cream recipe, just with a splash of bourbon to add some flavor. I was surprised that it managed to hold its form for over a full day before I need to re-whip it. It was a good flavor, but I figure that in the future, something with a more neutral flavor profile would make it pop a bit more.