These crowd-pleasing Honey Orange Macarons combine comforting, mellow flavors in a tiny, colorful package. This recipe includes a variety of resources to help you learn how to make French macarons, including a video class!
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Some flavor combinations are matches made in heaven, which makes them perfect candidates to be turned into macarons. Strawberry and rhubarb, raspberry and matcha, milk chocolate and passion fruit, maple and pecan—all feature high on my list of favorite macaron flavors. I have a second macaron wish list―one with flavors I haven’t tried yet but that sound delicious in my mind. That list is long, and I try to check one off the list whenever I have time.
Unsurprisingly, many of the macarons on my wish list are citrus-centric. These Honey Orange Macarons combine sweet orange with honey in an aromatic and colorful way. There’s something comforting in such soft, mellow flavors, and this macaron has been universally top-rated by all who’ve had the chance to taste it.
Helpful Tips for Making Honey Orange Macarons
Hunt for small-batch, specialty honey: Honeys vary widely in terms of flavor, depending on the flowers the bees gathered their pollen from. Regular honey (the cheapest variety) is made from a blend of different sources, which makes it taste delicious but sort of unremarkable. If you can get your hands on a single-flower honey variety, I’d definitely indulge to use it in these macarons. Orange blossom honey is a real treat, but read the label carefully before buying because most are artificially flavored and not worth your money. Clover honey is easy to find and lovely, as is wildflower honey. Or use whichever honey you can buy from a local producer. You can’t go wrong!
Play with citrus varieties: I made these Honey Orange Macarons with navel oranges, but they’d be absolutely lovely made with aromatic clementines or mandarins. Don’t hesitate to try Cara Caras and blood oranges too!
Get ahead on the filling: This creamy honey orange filling needs to be refrigerated for several hours to firm up before you can pipe it into the macarons. You can make it up to 4 days ahead of time, so make sure to use this opportunity to get ahead! This will also spread out the work required by making macarons so you can concentrate on making the shells and assembling the macarons on a separate day.
First Time Making French Macarons?
If this is your first time making macarons, prep, read, and watch before you start: Macarons are finicky to make, but if you set aside enough time so that you won’t be rushed, you can do it. I have a variety of resources available for you: a lengthy step-by-step recipe with photos to guide you through the process; a detailed troubleshooting post that’ll help you understand mishaps, should they happen; and a full video class—which I highly recommend watching before you make macarons for the first time. There’s nothing like watching someone making macarons to learn how to make them properly—that’s how I learned over 10 years ago, and that’s how thousands of my students did too!
My class is hosted on Skillshare and if you sign up using this link, you’ll get free access to the whole site for 14 days—which is just perfect to get you started on your macaron-making journey.
I designed my Skillshare class both for novice bakers who want to learn new skills, and for experienced bakers who are seeking to master a new and impressive dessert. The class is divided into 15 short lessons that show you the essential equipment you need, the important steps to follow, the techniques to master, and the potential pitfalls to avoid. You can watch the videos on your own time, start practicing, share with other budding macaron makers, and ask me questions if you encounter difficulties along the way.
I myself learned how to make macaron by watching a friend making them for me repeatedly, and I believe a live (or video!) demonstration is the best way to learn how to make macarons because you can see exactly the techniques, textures, and results you should aim for.
Over 6,000 people have taken my Skillshare class so far and the class gets overwhelmingly positive reviews, most students stating the lessons exceeded their expectations. I’m confident that this video class will enable you to create perfect macarons.
Get FREE Access to my French Macaron Video Class for 14 days: Enroll Now!
For the honey orange filling: In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the lemon juice. Set aside.
In a saucepan set over medium heat, whisk the orange juice, honey, sugar, and zest together until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is bubbly around the edges (no need to boil). Remove from the heat.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together, then gradually pour some of the hot syrup into the eggs, whisking constantly to incorporate. (This will gently warm up the eggs). Whisk the eggs back into the syrup, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to medium heat and cook until the mixture is thick like a soft pudding, about 3 minutes, whisking constantly so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Let the mixture cool until it is lukewarm.
Pour the mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and process the mixture until it is smooth and emulsified, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times along the way, about 1 minute total. Pour the mixture in a container and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (You can keep the honey orange filling refrigerated for up to 4 days.)
For the macaron shells: Return the egg whites to room temperature at least an hour before making the macarons.
In the bowl of a food processor, add the almond flour and powdered sugar, then process until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated, 30 seconds to a minute. Sift mixture to make sure no lumps or bigger bits of nuts are left.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium/high speed until frothy, about 1 minute, then slowly pour in the granulated sugar. After 2 minutes, add the gel food coloring, if using. Keep beating until the egg whites are stiff, dense and creamy, about 3 minutes more.
Add the almond and powdered sugar mixture to the egg whites and, using a spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients: slide your spatula all the way to the bottom of the bowl and comes back up to the top. Do this about 6 times to incorporate the dry ingredients, then keep folding for a total of about 14 times until no pockets of dry ingredients remain and the mixture drops from the side of the spatula in a slow, lazy ribbon. Start testing early to make sure not to overfold.
Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Cut out the parchment paper so it fits exactly over the bottom of the sheet to make sure the macarons will lay flat. Slide macaron templates under the parchment paper, if using.
Transfer the macaron batter in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch (1.25-cm) round tip. Pipe 1 1/2-inch (3.8-cm) rounds of batter, evenly spaced but still close to one another as they will not expand much.
Carefully slide the macaron templates off the baking sheets, if you used them. Lightly sprinkle the macaron shells with sprinkles, if using. Let the shells rest on the baking sheets for 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 275°F (135°C) with a rack set to the middle position. Bake each sheet of macaron shells for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the shells are firm on their feet when you lightly tap on them with the tip of a finger.
Let the shells cool completely to room temperature before assembling them, about an hour.
To assemble the macarons: Pair same sized shells together and set side by side on a work surface. Transfer the honey orange filling to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe some filling over half of the shells. Tuck a tiny piece of honeycomb into the filling of each macaron, if using. Close the macarons, gently pressing the second shells over the filling.
Store the assembled macarons in an airtight container and refrigerate for one night before indulging.
Always bring the macarons back to room temperature before serving.
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