Lavender & Rose Macarons
The first time I made macarons was in a commercial kitchen under the watchful eye of a French Head Chef. There were often a choice fews words flying around the kitchen when a batch didn’t turn out the way it should and I think he was convinced only the French could make them consistently! I have since learnt from many Blog or Web sites that even the greatest chefs have their failures with macarons and perhaps it is just practice that gives you the ‘feel’ for making them.
I decided after 4 years ‘out of the industry’ that it was time to make them at home, fully expecting to eat a few batches of failures therefore I was thrilled when my first batch came out really well (lavender coloured ones) and I pranced around the kitchen feel pleased with myself. That was until the second batch, from the same mixture as the first just coloured pink, all cracked…..that’s macarons for you.
So certainly not for the faint hearted or impatient but certainly worth the effort when they come out right. Not that we wasted the cracked ones, they also received some filling and we promptly ate them.
I used David Lebovitz chocolate macaron recipe because I liked the method and enjoyed his stories of making them. I adjusted it slightly to produce lavender flavoured and rose flavoured macarons.
Both the lavender and rose went well with the faint floral flavours complementing the macaron.
Ingredients for macaron batter
- 100g icing sugar
- 55g powdered almonds ( finer than ground)
- 2 large egg whites (room temperature)
- 65g castor sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Line two large baking trays with greaseproof paper and prepare 2 pastry bags with 2cm pipping tip.
- Blend in a food processor icing sugar and ground almond.
- In a bowl whisk egg whites until they begin to hold their shape.
- Gradually add castor sugar while continuing to whisk until mixture is stiff. It is important to add the sugar slowly at this stage, if you add it too quickly the egg white can liquify and not become stiff.
- Carefully fold dry ingredients into the whisked egg mix with a metal spoon or rubber spatular until almost combined.
- Before completely combined separate into two bowls and add a drop or two of pink food colour to one batch and purple to the other.
- You want the mixture to hold it’s shape when piping but you don’t want any peaks to stay on top of the macaron, they wont cook out. If you think the mixture is too stiff give it a few more folds with the spoon which should make it smoother.
- Put mixture into piping bags and pipe onto prepared trays about 1 inch circles and 1 inch apart.
- Bake them for 15-18 minutes and allow to cool before removing from baking sheet,
Ingredients for filling
- 100ml cream
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- 100g white chocolate
- Rose water
- Lavender essence or lavender flowers
- Heat cream to scalding in microwave and then add the chocolate to the cream
- Allow chocolate to melt with the heat of the cream and whisk together.
- Once chocolate is completely melted add icing sugar and beat.
- Half the mixture and add two drops of rose water to one and lavender essence to the other.
- If you are using lavender flowers, put two lavender flowers into the heated cream and allow it to infuse for a few minutes (this is the method I used).
- Allow to cool, should be a smooth firm paste.
- Spoon or pipe a small amount of filling on one half of macaron and put another half on top.