They’re trendy, they’re delicious, they’re even gluten-free. They are little works of art!
And you know what? They’re tricky.
I’ve had macarons on my Kitchen Bucket List for ages now. I must admit, they got on there because of their food-blooger-popularity. I figured it would be supremely fun to give them a go. Plus, anything I like to eat is something I’d like to make in the kitchen!
Luckily, my favourite foodie friend (Louise from Pâté chinois et Cie) came to my rescue! We decided we’d have a go at them together — our philosophy was that two heads are better than one, and we had great success working together!
Louise suggested lavender macarons, and as it’s my favourite flavour, I was totally sold. So we lined up the lavender buds, the lavender food colouring (paste) and the essential oil.
And what filling to pair it with? Why, white chocolate and lemon ganache, of course! Yummm. Louise is a genius.
We learned a lot from watching this video (it’s in French, so if you don’t understand, just watch to see the consistency of everything and to see that you have to beat the egg whites for WAY longer than you may have believed possible):
And so, our little version of a macaron tutorial follows in the recipe below.
Lavender Macarons with White Chocolate & Lemon Ganache
Yields 2-3 dozen macarons
- 185g icing sugar
- 140g ground almonds
- 93g egg whites (whites of 3 large eggs)
- a good pinch of cream of tartar
- 65g granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. lavender food colour paste
- 4 drops of food-grade lavender essential oil
- 1 handful edible dried lavender buds
White Chocolate & Lemon Ganache
- 250g whipping cream (35% fat)
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 300g white chocolate
- 35g butter
To make the macaron shells: In a food processor, blitz the icing sugar and ground almonds into a fine powder. Sift and set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar until the eggs become foamy.
Add half of the granulated sugar and beat well. Add the food colouring, essential oil, and the other half of the sugar. Beat until the egg whites are very firm (even longer than you think!)
Add half of the almond-icing sugar mixture to the egg whites, and fold well with a spatula.
Add the remainder of the almond-icing sugar mix and “macaroner” — which means to fold in just until the mixture is combined and has the consistency of shiny cake batter.
Preheat the oven to 300F.
Fill a piping bag with the batter, and pipe small dots of batter onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper.
Lightly tap the bottom of the baking sheet to even out the dots. Top each dot with a couple of lavender buds.
Bake at 300F for 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, then gently move the shells from the baking sheet onto a plate.
To make the ganache (while the macaron shells are baking, or ahead of time): In a small pot, heat the cream (without bringing to a boil) and the lemon zest. Pour the lemon cream over the white chocolate and whip with a whisk or a blender to combine well. Let cool and add the butter. Whisk or blend to combine and pop into the fridge to cool.
To assemble the macarons: Spread a layer of ganache over the inside of a macaron shell. Top with another shell to make a little sandwich.
Eat with delight, store any you’ll eat within the week in the fridge, and freeze the rest. They freeze exceptionally well!
Want to see what Louise had to say about our experience (and practice your French?) — read her blog post about our macarons!