Hey there macaron lovers, do you feel like you’ve made all the macarons possible? Well I bet you haven’t tried my Lavender French Macarons.
These little macarons are sure to be a crowd pleaser at your next afternoon soirée. They are a floral twist on a classic dessert, and a great activity when you feel the need to mix up your baking.
Macarons are known to be a little tricky to make. If you feel a little unsure about having a crack, check out my blog post for how to make perfect macarons at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What equipment will I need?
Let’s start off with the list of equipment you’ll need to make these Lavender French Macarons (or any French macarons for that matter).
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- Scales: The most accurate method of measuring your ingredients is to measure them by weight using kitchen scales.
- Electric mixer: Doesn’t need to be a stand mixer, a hand held mixer will do the job just fine.
- Food processer
- The right sized sieve
- Piping Bag & tips: To help create even sized and shaped macaron cookies.
What is culinary lavender?
Can I use lavender essence/extract instead?
I personally haven’t tried this, but I imagine that as long as it is food grade essence or extract you can replace the culinary lavender with lavender essence/extract.
Do be careful to add only a little at a time. These liquids will be very concentrated so you may only need the tiniest amount in your ganache.
Lavender desserts are delicious, but if you use too much lavender, they will taste like soap.
How to do I decorate my macarons?
I love a decorated macaron. Not only do they look cute and a bit special, adding decorations is a great way to hide any imperfections in the macaron shell. A quick Pinterest search will unearth a million and one ideas to decorate your macarons.
For these dainty little macarons, I decided to go the extra mile and hand paint the shells. The paint is made by mixing a little gel good colouring with vodka, and then applied using a food safe paintbrush (like this). It is important to use vodka or another clear alcohol to dilute the gel food colour. The alcohol with evaporate quickly, allowing the paint to dry fast.
What's the best way to store my macarons?
Once they have been assembled with a filling, macarons should be stored in the fridge. They will actually be at their best 24 hours after being assembled, so this is a great recipe to make the day before a party.
When stored in the fridge macarons will last for a week, and they can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Best practice to freeze macarons is to place un decorated macarons in a single layer in an airtight container. When you’re ready to eat them, move from the freezer to the fridge and allow to thaw for 24 hours before eating.
It’s best to let your macarons defrost in the container they have been frozen in. This way any condensation that forms will fall on the container, not the macarons. If condensation forms on the macarons they can get soggy.
I recommend freezing undecorated macarons, as the condensation caused by defrosting the macarons may cause the dye in your decorations to bleed.
- electric mixer
- Food processer
- A fine mesh sieve
- piping bags and tips
- dash vinegar or lemon juice
- 100 grams Aged Egg Whites Room Temperature
- 140 grams Powdered Sugar
- 150 grams Almond Flour
- 90 grams Caster Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- 5 grams Vanilla Extract
Lavender White Chocolate Ganache
- 160 grams White Chocolate
- 40 grams Cream
- 1/2 teaspoon Culinary Lavender
The Day Before Baking: Age Your Egg Whites
- First step is to age your egg whites. Separate egg whites from egg yolk. Place egg whites in a clean airtight container (that has been wiped down with a little vinegar or lemon juice) and store in the fridge overnight.
- Place cream, white chocolate and culinary lavender in a plastic microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 20 seconds.
- Stir to combine. The chocolate should melt and combine with cream to form a ganache.
- If needed microwave for a further 10 seconds and stir again. Repeat this process until the mixture combines to form a ganache.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to cool.
When You're Ready to Start Baking: Prepare Your Equipment
- When your ready to make the macaron batter, remove egg whites from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature while you prepare the equipment & dry ingredients.
- Next prepare your baking tray & piping bag. Line baking tray with baking paper or a silicone mat, then put the baking tray to the side. Next place piping tip into your piping bag, and snip off the tip and also place this to the side.
- Wipe down a fresh bowl and your electric mixer with vinegar to remove any possible traces of oil.
Make Macaron Cookies
- Place the icing sugar and almond flour in a food processer and blitz for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a fine mesh sieve and gently sift the mixture into a bowl. Discard any pieces of almond flour that do not pass through the sieve. If you are discarding a lot of almond flour weigh the amount that is being discarded and replace with the same amount of finely sifted almond flour.
- Place egg whites the bowl that was cleaned with vinegar/lemon juice and begin to whip on low speed using your electric mixer.
- Once the eggs start to look frothy, add cream of tartar.
- Continue mixing until eggs look foamy, then gradually add caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition until all the sugar has been incorporated.
- Turn the mixer up to medium-high and continue to whip the meringue until it reaches soft peaks.
- Add vanilla extract and continue whipping the meringue until it reaches stiff peaks.
- Once you have reached stiff peak stage it is time to combine the almond flour/icing sugar with your meringue. You want to do this while keeping as much air in the meringue as possible. Best method to achieve this is to add half the almond flour to your meringue and gently fold in - aka use your spatula to scrape around the outside of the bowl until this first batch of almond flour has been mixed in). Then, fold in remaining almond flour using the same technique.
- Now it's time to add the food colouring and perform the macaronage. In this stage we are trying to remove some of the air from the meringue. To do this use your spatula to gently press the batter into the sides of the bowl. Continue doing this until your batter reaches the consistency of hot lava. Check out my blog post on how to make the perfect macarons at home for more information about how to perfect the macaronage.
- Once your batter is at hot lava stage, transfer it to your prepared piping bag.
- Place a dap of macaron batter in between the baking paper and tray in each corner to hold the baking paper in place, then pipe batter onto your prepared baking tray.
- Bang the whole tray on the counter a couple of times. This will help the macarons to flatten out and encourage any air bubbles to rise to the surface.
- Using a toothpick, locate any air bubbles and pierce. Then use the toothpick to flatten out the surface of the macaron once again.
- Rest the macaron cookies by leaving the trays on the bench until the tops of the macarons feel dry to touch. The amount of time this takes will depend on the weather in your area. Where I am in Melbourne, it takes about 20mins. You'll know the macarons are ready to bake if they feel smooth and dry to touch.
- Preheat oven to 110 degrees. Transfer the tray of macarons to the oven. Bake at 110 degrees Celsius for 18 minutes (or a little longer if you are using a silicone mat instead of baking paper). You will know when the macarons are cooked because they will peel easily off the baking paper.
- Place on a wire rack to cool.
- Once cool, sort through macaron cookies to match them up into similar size/shaped pairs.
- Check ganache is still soft, if it is too firm to pipe place the bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it slightly then transfer to a piping bag.
- Pipe a circle of white chocolate ganache on the underside of one cookie.
- Spoon a dab of cranberry sauce into the center of the circle, then place the second macaron cookie on top (like a sandwich).
- Place in the fridge overnight to ripen.
Have you have tried this recipe? Leave a rating and review and let me know in the comments below.
Better yet, take a photo and post it to instagram. Don’t forget to tag me and use the hashtag #theniftybaker