French Macaron Baking Adventures, Part 15: Lemon Butter Curd Macarons

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2016

lemonbuttercurddickenson

You’ve heard of lemon curd and lemon butter, right? In fact, there are two types of lemon butter, one edible, the other that can be spread on your skin as it’s made with lemon peel and lemon oil, sweet almond oil, and hydrogenated vegetable oil. How do I know this? I’ve spent 10+ years in the kitchen formulating the perfect whipped shea body butter and I’ve tried all kinds of butters and oils. But I digress, this is about real dairy butter that goes inside those lovely macaron shells.

This time when I made my lemon buttercream filling, I didn’t use any cream. I blended room temperature butter with the powdered sugar [a/k/a confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar]. I looked in the fridge and saw that the heavy whipping cream was a day away from expiring. Not wanting to take a chance, I decided to add the lemon curd. I added just the right amount to make it much tarter than in the past. Before, it was a sweet lemon. Now, it was a sweet and tart lemon and the vanilla bean paste helped perk up the flavor even more. So it was still a curd and there was that lovely fresh Plugra butter so why not call it butter curd? I also enhanced the color with yellow gel colorant.

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Lemon Butter Curd Filling

Admittedly, I have problems with hollow macaron shells. While some people might not like to bite into a big air pocket, others aren’t as fussy. I’m a perfectionist and didn’t like them, although I’d rather they were hollow than footless! But this time I had fewer hollows. Here’s the proof:

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Fewer hollows inside the macaron. Yes, the bright yellow lemon curd is almost the color of mustard. 

Since July, there have been a couple of baking changes. The first is that the oven maintains an even temperature. Secondly,  I’m using powdered colorants which means I mix the batter well, but not too well.

I’m also adding the powdered colorant to the triple-sifted almond flour/sugar mixture just before it goes into the meringue. For this lemony batch, I went au naturel and used turmeric. The resulting color wasn’t a bright yellow and the photos make it look tanner than it actually was. The truest color is that seen with the almost hollow-free macaron just above.

I’m working on a new eBook that will contain macaron recipes along with LOTS of helpful tips for making your own French macarons. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to baking another batch of minty macarons this week.

Want to make this recipe and many others? Check out my new book, BAKING FRENCH MACARONS: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE.

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An Excerpt from “Liquid African Black Soap Recipes for Skin and Hair”

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2016

ABSliquidafricanblacksoaprecipes3DMy newest eBook, Liquid African Black Soap Recipes for Skin and Hair has just been released this month and is free on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble NOOK, Kobo, iTunes, Scribd, Smashwords and on other online stores. 

For the record, I’d like to state why an author of books on soap crafting and shampoo bars is actually writing about liquefying soap!

Why Liquid African Black Soap?

As I’ve written about shampoo bars and soap, it may seem unusual for me to write about liquefying soap. However, African black soap isn’t your ordinary bar soap. It’s the softest soap I’ve ever used. In fact, I’ve formed it into soap balls. However, by liquefying it you’ll find that it’s simpler to use as either a shampoo and/or a facial/body soap. You can apply the soap with a washcloth, bath pouf, sponge, sock, soap bag or loofah, depending on how much of a scrubby surface you want. I’ve found that a simple $1 bath pouf increases the lather of the liquefied soap and doubles as an effective skin exfoliator. While solid African black soap can work in a bath pouf, it’s easier and more economical to use it in liquid form. In the following recipes, I give approximate amounts for each 2-ounce size. The more African black soap you add, the less water, the thicker the resulting liquid soap.

I also like to change my shampoo bars for liquid African black soap every few weeks.

Here’s the official blurb:

Make your own liquid African black soap in minutes! Includes five easy recipes using natural ingredients. You also receive information about essential oils and where to buy links for African black soap and other healthy additives. “Liquid African Black Soap Recipes for Skin and Hair” makes a great companion book to “Nilotica [East African] Shea Body Butter Recipes [The Whipped Shea Butter Series], Book 1” and “How to Make Handmade Shampoo Bars.”

Available at the following online stores. This eBook is FREE.

Amazon: Liquid African Black Soap Recipes for Skin and Hair
Amazon UK: Liquid African  Black Soap Recipes for Skin and Hair 
Barnes & Noble NOOK: Liquid African  Black Soap Recipes for Skin and Hair
iTunes: Liquid African Black Soap Recipes for Skin and Hair
Kobo: Liquid African Black Soap Recipes for Skin and Hair
Scribd: Liquid African Black Soap Recipes for Skin and Hair
Smashwords: Liquid African Black Soap Recipes for Skin and Hair

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What’s So Great About Nilotica Shea Butter?

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2015, 2016

Nilotica [East African] Shea Body Butter Recipes [The Whipped Shea Butter Series], Book 1 lisa maligaI took 178 photos over the span of three days. It’s what I do to make sure I get the right photo. Shea butter is very sensitive to heat and sunlight – two things that I needed to get photos of my star ingredient. A hot sunny day provided awesome lighting conditions but the melt threat was on red alert. Photographing shea butter at noon is akin to taking a photo of a bowl of ice cream. I found a sunny corner indoors but the light was too intense even after a nice improvised background.

Braving the 87 degree heat, I placed the two containers on top of a tray table. I got the shot, and now it’s on the cover of my latest eBook, Nilotica [East African] Shea Body Butter Recipes [The Whipped Shea Butter Series], Book 1.

Click images to enlarge. I spent quite a while making the recipes and taking the pictures. I tested the Nilotica shea butter. I tested it raw, right out of the container. I tested it midway through the whipping process and afterwards. Ever since I first tried it back in 2009, I adore Nilotica shea butter. And I hope you want to learn more about this marvelous and versatile nut butter.

Here’s the official blurb:

Learn the quickest and easiest way to whip Nilotica shea butter. Each recipe is easy to follow and includes the time it takes and amount it yields. Find out the secret to getting that incredibly light and airy texture. Nilotica [East African] Shea Body Butter Recipes [The Whipped Shea Butter Series], Book 1 is written by the author of Nuts About Shea Butter and How to Make Handmade Shampoo Bars.

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Nice shea, not so nice lighting!

This ebook also contains:

* Original, tested step-by-step recipes
* Aromatherapy and your skin
* Recommended equipment
* Supplier resources
* Color photos
* Special care and storage tips

Nilotica whipped shea butter is so lightweight it almost floats!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nilotica-East-African-Butter-Whipped-ebook/dp/B017WJCRT8

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nilotica-East-African-Butter-Whipped-ebook/dp/B017WJCRT8

B&N NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nilotica-east-african-shea-body-butter-recipes-lisa-maliga/1123394756
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1083060832
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/nilotica-east-african-shea-body-butter-recipes
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/298861008/Nilotica-East-African-Shea-Body-Butter-Recipes-The-Whipped-Shea-Butter-Series-1
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/614536

Excerpt from an Amazon reader review: “She states in the introduction how many years she’s been working with nut butters and it shows. Good information that is presented in clear language. She provides factual information on the properties of Nilotica Shea Butter.” 

whipped nilotica shea butter
Whipped Nilotica Shea Butter — standing up to the test!

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