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to do. to see. to hear. to love

 Now, I am no professional baker…but that does not stop me from trying. I recently attempted french macaroons using the fresh edible lavender I acquired.  They did not turn out as pretty as the store bought ones, however I brought them to a dinner party and they were a hit! They have their own rustic charm!

I used a Martha Stewart recipe, as I love all Martha Stewart recipes!

1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar

1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds

 6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)

 Pinch of salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

  1. To make the macarons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners’ sugar mixture until completely incorporated. THIS IS WHERE I ADDED THE LAVENDER TO THE DRY INGREDIENTS AND THE FOOD COLORING TO THE EGG WHITES.

  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macarons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.

  3. Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macarons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macarons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

  4. To fill the macarons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macarons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macarons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

    Recipe for buttercream:

    3 large egg whites

    1 cup sugar

    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar. Set mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat mixture, whisking often, until it feels warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes.Transfer bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until mixture is stiff and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Add butter, one piece at a time, and continue mixing until butter is thoroughly incorporated. The filling can be kept, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before stirring.

    Variations:

    1. To make hazelnut-honey filling: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of macaron filling with 1/3 cup finely ground hazelnuts and 2 tablespoons good-quality honey.

      trials and tribulations:

      temperature of oven is key…must really watch. the browner macaroons in photo were the ones that cooked longer.

      don’t let your egg whites unfluff!

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