I’m back again with another macaron recipe. Sorry if anyone is bored by this – maybe I should call my blog Macarons are the new black at this rate haha.
Anyway, the Hari Raya weekend just passed in Singapore. It was really awesome to have a 3-day weekend after working for the past 7 weeks. Yet, I decided to optimize the way I’d spend my weekend, arranging for a baking date with Jancy (my #le2petitgirls buddy who went to Le Cordon Bleu with me) on Monday, the public holiday itself.
Ever since our trip to Paris last year, the two of us haven’t really met and while we still bake a lot individually, the last time we baked together was in 2012. We decided to meet on Monday & play around with some fresh & new macaron flavours.
We discussed the flavours over dinner & we were bursting with ideas. We seriously could not settle on just two flavours & kept suggesting new flavours during the days leading up to our baking date. Finally, we decided on two very strong smelling flavours. The first recipe I will share with you is the Lavender one (hint: the other one isn’t quite as nice smelling!). Most recipes we saw online used Lavender paste/essence or only incorporated it into the shells. We didn’t want to pair it with lemon or honey buttercream like most of the recipes do but rather, have a nice lavender buttercream.
Lavender, to me, is really a taste you must acquire. It’s something like Rose – but because we get much more exposure to Rose flavoured foods (like tea, Bandung in Singapore etc.) it is not quite as unusual to be eating it. Lavender, on the other hand, is largely associated with Essential Oils & initially can seem like you’re eating what people lather on you in massages.
I’ve grown to like the taste of Lavender over the years & because Jancy and my sister both love the flavour, I was more than willing to try it out. Always be daring, right?
This was the first time I made a French buttercream to fill my macarons. I’m SO glad that I got to use up the egg yolks that were remaining from my egg whites. I usually have this bowl of A LOT of egg whites. But this time, I managed to use it all up. Hooray for no wastage!!! In addition, I managed to get my macarons to the purrrrfect purple hue I wanted. The past three times I made purple macs, the outer shell would come out greyish and only the insides purple. I couldn’t figure it out but I’ve now found the solution – letting the purple colouring sit with the non-whipped egg whites before baking. My first few trays of macarons were greyish but ALL the remaining in the beautiful purple hue. I guess you really need to be patient here!
The last thing that I learnt making these macarons is that my stamina is no longer as good as it used to be. Just two years ago, I was standing in the pastry kitchen from 10-6pm with no problem. That day, I baked from 10-6 but needed to sit down for at least 10 minutes before continuing (yes we baked the entire day – I’ve got about 200 macarons sitting in my freezer now, all for future parties).
Without further ado, here’s the recipe for the lovely Lavender Macarons.
Makes approx. 80 macarons
- 300g ground almonds (Phoon Huat now offers an extra fine ground almonds option – I like it!)
- 300g icing sugar
- 110g egg whites (I’ve stopped using aged egg whites)
- Violet colouring (to whichever tint you desire)
- 300g granulated sugar
- 75g mineral water
- 110g egg whites
- Dried lavender
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius and prepare baking trays with parchment paper.
- Sift ground almonds and icing sugar together.
- Place first batch of egg whites over the ground almond + icing sugar mixture. Add violet colouring and leave aside.
- Place remaining egg whites in your mixer and whip it till it foams.
- Place granulated sugar and mineral water in a saucepan and heat over stove. Once mixture reaches 115 degrees celcius, ensure that egg whites have reached soft peaks.
- Once mixture reaches 118 degrees celcius, remove saucepan from stove and pour into mixture to create your meringue.
- Whip till you get stiff peaks & the meringue is less than 50 degrees celcius hot.
- Put all meringue into ground almond mixture and fold (without incorporating too much air) till you get a ribbon texture (or slightly less than that)
- Pipe out macarons shells. To make it even, use a stencil. Place a small lavender bud (or two) in the middle of each shell.
- Once piped out, leave to dry. This is quite difficult in Singapore so what you can do is leave it in an air-conditioned room for 10 minutes or so. You can touch one of the shells and your finger should not stick to it.
- Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. The way I check it is if I shake one of the shells, the whole parchment paper will shake.
- Cool it down on a wire rack while still on parchment paper.
- Gently peel off.
- 7 egg yolks
- 220g granulated sugar
- 100g water
- 350g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 + 2 tsp of dried lavender
- Whisk egg yolks till light.
- Heat sugar, water and 2 tsp of lavender in saucepan till mixture reaches 117 degrees celcius.
- Pour into whipped egg yolks and whip until mixture/bowl is cool enough to touch.
- You have to ensure that the temperature difference between the yolk mixture and butter is not too great or it will separate. Unlike the SMBC, this buttercream is harder to achieve.
- Add the butter in and keep whisking. If you do it right, the buttercream should not separate and should start looking like how your SMBC looks.
- Add in the last 2 tsp of lavender.
- Optional: I like to put some ice in a towel and place it at the bottom of my bowl towards the end of making my buttercream to ensure that the buttercream doesn’t melt in this heat.
- Pipe a dollop of lavender buttercream onto one shell and sandwich with another.
- Place them all nicely in a box and put into fridge.
- Rest for at least a day before consuming/serving.
- Alternatively, freeze it for months and then move it to the fridge before consuming.
- Leave at room temperature for 5 minutes (in Singapore) before eating or your macarons will be a little too hard.
- Enjoy 🙂