Make the filling (one day ahead):
Infuse the mint with 1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. of the cream by heating them over low heat just until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat and let the mint infuse for 1 hour. Strain using a fine-mesh sieve.
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave. Bring the infused cream and
the honey to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the melted chocolate in 3
parts and stir with a spatula to obtain a mixture that is smooth, shiny,
and elastic. Add the remaining cream and mix well (with an immersion
blender, if necessary), being careful not to incorporate air into the
ganache. Refrigerate overnight.
Prepare ingredients for the shells (one day ahead)::
Separate the egg whites from their yolks and whisk together. Refrigerate in a covered container overnight.
Roast the almond meal at 300ºF for 10 minutes and allow to cool. Mix
the almond meal and confectioner's sugar in a food processor, making
sure they don't overheat.
Bake the shells:
Remove the egg whites from the fridge and let them come to room temperature.
Mix together 1 Tbs. of the sugar and the powdered egg white (if using).
In a stand mixer, gently beat half the egg whites with the salt and 2
drops of lemon juice. When the whites begin to foam, incorporate the
sugar-egg white mixture in three additions, raising the mixer speed
after each addition until all the sugar is added. The meringue will
become structured and begin to form soft peaks. If they reach soft peaks
before the syrup is ready (next step), reduce the mixer speed and
continue to run on low speed until you're ready to proceed.
While beating the egg whites, put the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/4
cup water in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir to
dissolve the sugar. Make sure not to stir once the syrup begins to heat.
When the syrup reaches 230ºF on a candy thermometer, and the egg whites
have reached soft peaks, increase the stand mixer speed to high, and
gently pour the syrup in a steady stream down the side of the mixer
bowl. Turn the speed down to medium and beat this mixture as it cools to
Heat the oven to 300ºF and put 2 baking sheets on racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.
While the meringue cools, use a spatula to mix the remaining half of the
egg whites with the sugar-almond meal mixture to achieve what looks
like almond paste, then add enough green food coloring (and just a
little yellow) to tint the batter pale green. Slowly incorporate the
Italian meringue into this mixture with a rubber spatula, starting from
the middle of the bowl and moving upward and out. (This is what the
French call macaronnage.) The batter should fall back upon itself in a
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8- or 1/4-inch tip.
Pipe the macaron shells in staggered rows onto perforated baking sheets
covered with silicone-lined baking paper or parchment paper. Decorate
the shells with sprinkles. Place the shells in the oven on the heated
baking sheets. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Remove the shells from the
baking paper (if you're using regular parchment, you may need to place
the paper over a damp surface to remove the shells easily). Let the
shells cool down a bit, turn them over, and make a small indentation on
the flat bottom with your thumb to make room for the filling.
Assemble the macarons:
Add the crème de menthe to the ganache and beat the mixture to firm peaks. Transfer it to a pastry bag with a tip and use it to fill the macarons, piping a dollop of filling onto one shell, topping with a few Perles Craquantes or chocolate chips, and gently topping with the second shell.that with a second shell.
Photo: Sigrid Verbert