Naked Orange Mini Macarons
This is an entirely artificial coloring free macaron recipe. Using natural orange zest and juice really brings out a vibrant flavor. A little beet powder enhances the buttercream color, but can be omitted if you want to go entirely au naturel.
Basic Macarons (adapted from Bento Monsters)
- 80g finely ground almond flour
- 160g powdered sugar
- 60g egg whites aged
Age egg whites by cracking your eggs open the night before or in a pinch, use the microwave aging method by popping them into the microwave for 10 seconds on medium power.
Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper. I like using Nordicware’s half sheet aluminum pans as I find that they do not overly brown the macarons. I also use the free macaron template from Barbara Bakes. You can print out two sheets on standard printer paper and slip them right under your parchment paper to help guide your piping.
Sieve 80g each of almond flour and powdered sugar together once. I like using Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Almond Flour, but you can use your preferred brand.
Beat egg whites until foamy, then sieve in 80g of powdered sugar one third at a time before reaching soft peak stage. Keep beating egg whites and sugar mixture until you reach stiff peak stage. You should be able to turn your whisk upright and any peak will hold its upright shape.
Gently sieve half of ground almond flour and sugar mixture into egg white mixture. Gently fold in together with a spatula and then sieve in remaining half and fold until fully incorporated.
Fill mixture into large pastry bag with plain round tip (such as the Ateco #808 tip).
Pipe directly down into center of where you want the macaron to be, then lift up once you have piped enough batter to fill the outer circle of the template. Bang tray on counter 3 times to remove any large air bubbles.
Let macarons dry for 30 minutes at room temperature so that they form a “skin.” Preheat your oven to 300F (150 C)
Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack. Rotate macarons and add a second sheet pan or foil on an oven rack above your macarons to prevent too much browning. Continue baking another 10-15 minutes until macarons are set and sound hollow. Turn off oven and allow macarons to cool down with door open for a couple minutes before removing.
Naked Orange Buttercream
- 70 g butter
- 140 g powdered or caster sugar
- 3 tblsp orange juice, freshly squeezed
- zest of one orange
- pinch beet root powder (optional) for natural coloring (Color Kitchen beet red is made specifically for this purpose)
Cream butter until fluffy and pale. Add in sugar gradually until fully incorporated. Add 2 tblsp orange juice and zest. Fully incorporate by mixing another 2 minutes. Mix in beet root powder with remaining orange juice and beat on high to incorporate.
Pipe buttercream into centers of fully cooled macaron with plain round tip. Twist and push second macaron on top to finish.