LAVENDER MACARONS

8 comments

I go through phases with these dainty treats.  Sometimes I want to make nothing else, thinking up different color and flavor combinations, and at other times, I want to have nothing to do with them.  Especially when they turn out to be epic failures...the kind that crack and burst in the oven and come out a sorry mess.  If I were to be honest, the failures in my case are often because of user error.  Flush with the memories of previous successes, I let my guard down and approach them with some hubris.  Fortunately, I can't stay away from them too long and always wait for occasions to make them again.  This time, for Mother's Day and as it happens, this space turning one :)


It was on Mother's Day last year that Joyfully Handmade, which was the private space where I shared all my crazy creations with friends and family became A Bit Wholesomely.  It was a result of complaints from my readers, all ten of them,  that they had to log in, couldn't share recipes with friends and so on that I decided after much hesitation to make the blog a public one.  And I must say, a decision I am very happy about.  Because my circle of friends who are now like family expanded in such a wonderful and enriching way.  I have met people who share the same love of food and a passion for photography.  Who think of food as nourishment, but also as bringing together of people, of memories and roots, and of discovery and joy.


Much like a new parent, in the initial days I fussed and fretted over the blog.  Obsessing over the name, designing and redesigning the logo, teaching myself some elementary html, fixating on colors and layout, checking my blog stats every few mins :) Over time, I have learnt to relax and blog for the sheer joy it brings me.  And so I am not sure how many people stop by, but to all of you who do, I want to thank each one of you in the most sincere way for indulging me and my rambles, and I hope you leave with something of use.  Your visit truly means a lot.


The recipe for these macarons is a bit laid back, with ingredients being measured rather than weighed and no aging of the egg whites.  And it has worked for me in all kinds of weather, including the dreaded humid and rainy days.  Having said that, the technique is still very important and if you try making these, do watch some videos online for tips on macaronage etc.  Also, do make a test batch before making a larger amount.  Like I said earlier, one should never take these for granted :)



Since I love the scent of lavender and happened to have some at home, I decided to flavor both the macarons and the ganache with it.  I used gel food colors diluted with almond extract and a new paintbrush to paint the macarons.  You don't have to be a painter to make these.  Just use your creativity and even simple splashes of color make a stunning impact.


So here's wishing everyone a very Happy Mother's Day and a big thank you again for stopping by!




Lavender Macarons

Print Recipe

(Makes approx 15 one and half inch macarons)

Shells:
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large egg-whites, room temperature
5 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp lavender
1/8 tsp egg-white powder
a little lavender food color (I used Wilton gel)
pastry bag and round tip

Filling:
4 oz white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp lavender

For the Shells:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.

Add the almond meal, powdered sugar and lavender into the bowl of a food processor and run it until everything is evenly mixed and and the lavender is also crushed.  Sift.  Save the leftover lavender and almond to add to the whipping cream later.

Put the egg-whites and egg-white powder in a large, grease-free bowl or in a KitchenAid bowl.  Start whipping them on low speed until they get frothy.  Increase the speed to medium and slowly start pouring in the granulated sugar, a tablespoon at a time.  After all the sugar has been added, add the food color, increase the speed to medium-high and whip until you get stiff peaks.

Add the sifted almond-sugar mixture and start mixing while breaking up some of the air by pressing the mixture against the sides of the bowl.  I know there are recipes that mention the number of strokes but I find it changes every time I make them.  Use them as a guide but pay attention to the how the batter looks.

When the mixture starts to flow like a ribbon, stop immediately and transfer to the pastry bag fitted with the tip.

Pipe equal sized rounds onto the parchment paper and let them rest for about 30-40 minutes until they form a skin.  Test by touching one lightly...it should not be tacky ...the finger should be dry.

While the macarons are resting, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  

Once the macarons have formed a skin, put the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Do not open the door of the oven.  The macarons should have hopefully formed feet and risen.

Check the oven after 12 minutes and if the bottoms look a very light brown, remove them from the oven.  If you leave them in for too long, they will get too brown and the color will dull.

Let them rest on the cookie sheet for about ten minutes after which you should be able to pick them off easily.  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Match the macarons by size to make a sandwich.

After they are completely cooled, fill them with a dollop of the ganache piped with a piping bag.

Let them rest overnight in the fridge for the flavors to mature.

Ganache:

Heat the whipping cream and lavender (including the leftover from the shells) until tiny bubbles form on the side of the pan.  Let this rest for a couple of hours or preferably overnight.

Chop the white chocolate into small pieces. 

Reheat the whipping cream until tiny bubbles form again and strain it into the chopped chocolate.

Let it rest for ten minutes and stir well.  Cool in refrigerator until it thickens.  I like to whip it a bit with a fork so that it gets fluffy.  Put into piping bag and pipe onto macaron shell.

Yum

8 comments:

  1. A very HAPPY BLOG ANNIVERSARY and HAPPY MOTHER's Day!!! So glad you decided to public with this and Yay to these gorgeous Macs. So very dainty and so beautifully painted. I am in love.
    I agree with how the phases go, I was get into that with these macs too, oh well, I might make one this week, you just inspired me to.
    Love and Hugs. Have the loveliest day! xx

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    1. Thank you so, so much, Asha !!! I hope you do make them...looking forward. Having seen some of the others you made, I know they will be beautiful! Happy Mother's Day to you again :)


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  2. like I said on instagram..am soo glad you made this blog public..was so taken in by it from the first time I saw it..the photographs, the recipes, the styling..love everything about it...to many many more Bina!!!

    as for these macarons..they elude me but hope remains Eternal!! :) hugs

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    1. Thank you so much, dearest Sarvani :) You were one of the first to leave a comment on the blog and I am so thankful for our friendship. I hope you do try making the macarons.....looking forward. Love and Hugs.

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  3. wow! I had no idea your blog was private all these time. Why hide such talent? These macarons are just perfect my friend :)

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    1. You are simply the sweetest, Kankana :) Thank you and it is special coming from such an amazing talent like you. Hugs.

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  4. Your presentation is so beautifull and you have done the paiinting so well.

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    1. Thank you very much :) Very kind of you!

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