Saturday, 13 September 2014

Lavender&Lemon Macarons

Lavender&Lemon Macarons
 I really love lavender, tranquility and sophisticated aromatic, beautiful purple buds….that stunned me.
I always harvest lavender from my backyard and let them dry in the store room which is cool and dark place before using them. In summer time I used to make lavender lemonade drink to refresh and soothe for a hot day. After I found out that lavender and lemon are good friend, today I match them together again. I made lavender sugar by placing dried lavender in the caster sugar jar and leaving them for a few days to impart the lavender flavor into the macaron shells. I filled macarons with lemon curd (to get rid off some egg yolks).

To prepare egg whites or "liquefied" egg white by placing them in a glass container, cover with plastic wrap, cut a small slit on top and sit them in the fridge for several days to loose their elasticity, allowing them to whisk to a higher volume.

Lavender macaron shells
75 g. "liquefied" egg white in room temperature
50 g. lavender sugar (caster sugar)
135 g.  confectioners sugar
90 g. almond meal
 gel food coloring

Lemon curd
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbs lemon zest
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks lightly beaten
5 tbs butter

To make lemon curd, place sugar, butter, lemon zest and lemon juice into a sauce pan on medium heat , stirring constantly until sugar dissolves, remove from heat and whisk the egg yolks in, return to low heat and stirring until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon, remove from heat, set aside.

To make lavender macaron shells
Preheat the oven to 150C degree.
For more smooth surface of macaron shells, grind almond meal and confectioners sugar together then sift, set aside.

Whisk egg whites, caster sugar and gel food color with standard mixer-whisk until you reach stiff peaks, then gradually add almond meal and confectioners sugar mix, vigorously fold in together until combine and then you need to adjust the appropriate consistency by using baker scraper or flat spatula, press down from the centre to the side of the bowl and scrape the batter from the side of the bowl to the centre then press down again, repeat a few times until you have the right consistency. I just pipe the batter into the baking sheet. It should go flat in about a minute. I used to count when I fold the batter to not more than 50 times or it will over mix.
The consistency of macaron batter should not too runny or too thick, some said"flows like lava"
Line baking tray with baking paper, Pipe macaron batter onto the tray. Firm tap the tray 2-3 times against the workbench after piping to remove any air bubbles. I use a toothpick to coax the larger bubbles to pop. I place some lavender buds on top to remind the people for the ingredients and for decorations.
Let them dry for 30 mins-1 hour, gently tap the centre with your finger, the batter will not stick to your finger, if still not dry, leave it dry for longer.
 Bake for 8 mins then leave the oven door ajar then continue bake for another 5-7 mins.
Once the macaron shells cool, pipe lemon curd on one side of macaron shells, sandwich them together, leave them in the fridge for 1 day before serve.
The most romantic macarons ever for me so far.