Lemon Pepper Hazelnut Macarons with Lemon Curd and Goat Cheese Cream

Lemon Pepper Macarons (0016) by Meeta K. Wolff   

The waitress, still smiling patiently, brought us another round of frothy cappuccinos, a heart drawn in cocoa on the thick froth of each cup. Clearing away empty glasses of cocktails and stained plates, she asked politely if there was anything else we desired. 

After spending hours in the cozy restaurant in South East London there was just one thing we wanted: more time. More time to enjoy the bubbly conversation, to laugh, to gossip and more time to appreciate the company.

A fantastic meal enjoyed in the midst of vivacious friends, some familiar and cherished others new and benevolent . A common bond brought us together, but it is the affection we share for each other that strengthens the friendship.

Lemon Pepper Macarons (0042) by Meeta K. Wolff 

One of the many highlights I experienced while I was in London in late November last year was a glorious brunch we arranged. We exchanged several mails, actually I think there were almost over 100, it was obvious that we were all excited to see each other. Back and forth they went, mails about where and when to meet, menus, cocktails, food and dietary issues all peppered with some gossip here and there. Some dropped out, only to rejoin us again while others came on board and ultimately we were ready to meet. If the emails were any indication of how the afternoon would proceed, I could safely say we were in for a lot of lively chat and boisterous entertainment.

Lemon Pepper Macarons Diptych by Meeta K. Wolff

Finally on the Saturday morning Jeanne, Jamie and I made our way to Village East. The air was crisp and frosty, our stride picking up pace as we walked from the underground station to the restaurant. The separate room we had reserved was cozy and warm, prepped with plates and silverware, inviting us to linger a little longer. Orders of food and drinks were given and the room was filled with cheerful talk and contagious giggles.

London November 2010 (0031) by Meeta K. WolffLondon November 2010 (0021) by Meeta K. WolffLondon November 2010 (0029) by Meeta K. Wolff

Why do the paramount moments in life end so soon?

Gifts were exchanged and the first started to say their farewells. We shall meet again and until then we have other means and platforms to stay in touch and “get together”. A glass of wine over Twitter, a movie over Skype or collective cooking via our blogs. We are creative and we find a variety of means to stay connected, even with an ocean between us.

Kavey’s creativity with her gifts was simply unique and promised to be a lot of fun. Her bags of spices and herbs were attached with a small note: a challenge to create a dish using the contents of the bag. I held the clear bag in my hands and smiled: lemon pepper. And the first thing that popped into my head was “macarons!”

Lemon Pepper Macarons (0012) by Meeta K. Wolff

Experimenting on ideas and playing around with ingredients are something I love to do and macarons for me are the perfect vehicle for my flavor experiments. Not only do the flavors blend effectively but they also impart a distinct essence for me to get an initial idea of how the combinations could work in other dishes.

Here I paired the fiery lemon pepper with the savory notes of goat cheese and a tangy highlight of lemon curd. The results are a complex flavored macaron, which is not too sweet but deliciously piquant with a zingy note. Rounding off this macaron experience are the rich, earthy flavors of ground hazelnuts, which I used instead of the almonds.

Lemon Pepper Hazelnut Macarons with Lemon Curd and Goat Cheese Cream

Printable version of recipe here

Ingredients

For the macaron shells

110g icing sugar
60g hazelnuts, very finely ground
60g egg whites, (about 2 eggs) aged for either 5 days in the fridge, then for 24 hours at room temperature or a little over 24 hours on the countertop
40g granulated sugar
½ teaspoon lemon pepper
Yellow food coloring

For the filling

100g goat cream cheese
175g plain cream cheese
3 tablespoons + 120g lemon curd
2 tablespoons sugar

Method

For the macaron shells

  1. Prepare your baking tray and baking sheets with a stencil of circles. Draw circles on some baking paper using a (mathematical) compass about 2 cm in diameter. Then place some white parchment paper on the baking tray and flip the baking paper back around. Or use this macaron template.


  2. In a large mixing bowl mix the egg whites with an electric hand beater (alternatively you can use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) until it is thick and frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, whisking all the while, until the mixture turns into a thick glossy meringue. The consistency of the macaron batter should be similar to hair mousse or shaving foam. Make sure the meringue is not over-beaten or else it will be too dry.


  3. In a food processor pulse together icing sugar, hazelnuts and lemon pepper until everything is finely ground and powdery. Sift the mixture 2 or 3 times to make sure there are no lumps.


  4. Place the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the meringue in three portions, giving it a quick fold using the macronnage technique described in my macaron tips section. Fold the mixture a few times to break the air. Add some of the yellow food coloring till you get the shade of yellow you like best. Continue folding until you get a smooth and supple mixture, thick in consistency so that when you lift the spatula it flows back in thick ribbons. Test a small amount on a plate – should the tops fall back and flatten by themselves then it is ready, if not give it a few more folds.

  5. Fill a piping bag with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (2 cm in diameter) on your prepared baking paper. Leave the macarons to rest and dry for about 15 to 30 minutes.

  6. In the meantime preheat the the oven to 150 degrees C. When the macarons are ready bake the shells for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Use a flat offset spatula to gently remove the shells from the baking paper and allow to cool further on a rack

For the filling

  1. Place goat cheese, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons lemon curd and sugar  in a mixing bowl and whisk with electric beaters until thick and creamy. Transfer to a piping bag and refrigerate for a few hours.

Assembling the macarons
Pipe a blob of the goat cheese cream mixture onto one of the shells and add a small dollop of lemon curd over the filling. Gently cover with another shell. Continue to do this until you have used up all of the filling and shells.

Storing Macarons
If you are not going to be using them right away you can store the shells in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

They freeze well too but it is recommended to freeze them unfilled. To fill them take the shells out of the freezer 48 hours prior to serving and without defrosting fill them. This way the flavors will be allowed to blend as they thaw.

Suggestion: Make your own homemade lemon curd using my delicious and foolproof recipe.

 


Verdict

Lemon Pepper Macarons (0023) by Meeta K. Wolff 

Temperamental and sublime with a a subtle fiery note – these macarons were an awesome flavor experiment. I really liked the variety of layers this offered. It’s not your regular very sweet macaron but instead it renders an intricate body of savory flavors accentuated with a sweet note.

Sending many warm wishes to Sarah, Catty, Anne, Kavey, Julia, Michele, Eunice and of course my spice sisters Hilda, Jeanne and Jamie. It was a wonderful afternoon!

After all the sweet we’ve been indulging here on What’s For Lunch, Honey? over the past several weeks, next week I’ll be sharing a fantastic German stew to get us warm and cozy. Hope you’ll join me!

Have a great weekend!

More macaron ideas from WFLH:

Rooibos Chocolate Chai and Sweet Spicy Chocolate Cinnamon Macarons Rosewater and Raspberry Macarons Lebkuchen Spice Macarons with Quince Jam and Candied Ginger

 


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2011 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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38 comments:

  1. Aaah, what a wonderful brunch that was - and we DID choose the right venue, eventually! ;o) Unsurprisingly, there were only like 2 duplicates in all of Kavey's spices and you, Borg sister, and me got the same one. What are the chances?! Shapes that go together. Knew you'd do macarons with yours - and I LOVE these flavours. The filling sounds pot-lickingly good ;o) Hurry up and come and visit again! Mi casa su casa...

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  2. There are the babies you were torturing me with!!! I'll send you my address so you can mail me some. Ok?

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  3. Ha, magic, a fantastic start to the challenge! Can't wait to see what all the ladies come up with for their individual herbs or spices!

    x

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  4. Oh what a lovely time you seem to have had with those ladies :) I love the filling for these macarons. I'm yet to bake my first batch but every time you make some I just want to conquer my fear and start baking them :)

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  5. Fabulous macarons! That London trip and get-together must have been awesome.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. Gorgeous gorgeous macarons and what a unique flavour! Lemon curd and goats cheese filling sounds perfect!

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  7. Goat cheese is one of my favourites! Macarons are instead my Achilles' heel.. their feet.. sigh! I should try again, maybe with this flavour combo, sounds perfect, what I really like!
    Lovely photos and.. time! you're right! what a great gift!

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  8. I said it before but I will repeat myself...you truly are the champion for macaron flavours! I love how you experiment and get it right!

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  9. Gorgeous macarons as usual Meeta, and what a great flavour combination. Such happy snaps too, makes me smile :)

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  10. Happy New Year Meeta! The macarons look great. I've seen some in stores here and am always reminded of you!

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  11. Lovely flavor combination, Meeta! and in a macaron to boot!! way to go. as usual beautiful photos. love the colors

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  12. Hi Meeta, just visiting here from Licillian Delights. I couldn't arrive in the more inapportunite moment. I've just concocted my first ever macarons (basic type solely, no exotic flavour to excite), but it happened to be an utter disaster. I could not pry the little things off of the baking sheet for the life of me. Will try again, though, amd your tips might be exactly what I need to start mastering the macaron ability here. Thank you for the inspiration, your images totally do it for me. I know, you'll hear again from me. Most likely when I have a macaron to show for. Hugs.

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  13. Lemon, pepper and hazelnuts with lemon curd thrown in the mix??!! Are to trying to kill people here? :D
    Sounds like an out of the world flavor combination! Love it!

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  14. Hey,

    Lovely macarons...Great combo...yumm yumm...:)

    Dr.Sameena@

    http://www.myeasytocookrecipes.blogspot.com/

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  15. What a great flavour combination. Your macaroons are literally picture perfect.

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  16. nice post..
    thank's for the information ^_^
    please visit me too :
    check it out

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  17. These are so very perfect, Meeta! The feet are befitting of Louboutins!! The flavours are amazing too, wish I could sneak a bite of these macs.

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  18. Happy New Year Meeta. You must have a wonderful brunch with the girls and those macaroons looks so fabulous. I'm gonna try that one at home. Thanks for sharing.

    You have a great year ahead of you! :)

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  19. Your flavor combination here is amazing! I've got to try my hand at some more macarons, just need to figure out what to do with all the yolks! :)

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  20. wow wow wow..what a delicious combo of flavors in macaroons! can't stop looking at the pics as usual!

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  21. I love the many different flavor combinations you come up with, and this one sounds like another winner!

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  22. It looks like you had a fun time with the girls. London is on my list of must-see places. Hopefully one day. As for the macarons, I think I already told you they looked simply PERFECT!

    Take care!

    Nisrine

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  23. Memories and such beautiful ones Meeta.These macs seem to best fit them; a perfect tribute to the wonderful get together! I LOVE the flavour combination lady... you are one after my ♥!! xo

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  24. This sounds like a very special recipe. It must always remind you of your special time with your friends. What a great gift to recieve; a bag of ingredients!

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  25. Ah, you have caught the moment and brought it all back! I wish we could meet up like that for brunch every weekend, sitting cozily amongst girlfriends, chatting, getting to know each other better, laughing, eating. What a weekend it was; thanks for stirring up the memories. Perfect macs, once again, darling, and stunning photos. xo This is a flavor combo I would so love to try.

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  26. These are perfect macarons. Beautiful pictures. Happy New Year!

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  28. lemon curd and goat cheese all at once: heavenly! how fantastic. Great looking cookies.

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  29. Looks scrumptious! Best wishes for the New Year!

    Paz xox

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  30. found your recipe when looking for ideas for macarons with lemon curd filling... how do you think this would taste if i used almond flour instead of hazelnut?

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  31. Thank you all so much for all your comments on this. The long weekend was awesome. Seeing friends, people you have come to cherish was just unforgettable.
    Thank you also for all your best wishes.

    KG - yes of course you can use ground almonds. It is actually the original ingredient that makes up a macaron. Enjoy!

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  32. Magical and very very delicious! I have no idea how you come up with the splendid combination of flavors, but you did, as always.

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  33. It looks like you had an amazing time with your friends. It's so great you were able to get together and enjoy each other's company. The macarons look sensational. What an amazing flavor combo!

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  34. what delicious macarons... I found your blog through Kavey Eats and i'm so glad I did, it's lovely and the photo's are sublime x

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  35. What an amazing flavour combo! You certainly aren't afraid to experiment Meeta. ;-) Love that I can see your reflection in the second last photo.

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  36. I worked as a chef at The Rose Bakery during a dark Parisian winter a couple of years ago. Pierre Herme's Macarons were my sunshine. I particularly loved his combination of vanilla and olive oil.

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  37. The use of goat cheese reminds me of something Pierre Herme might try. Very inventive. If only I could sample some :(

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta