Lavender & Lemon Curd Macarons

mac attack

Ah, the humble macaron. Any cook with an oven and some egg whites has no doubt given these beasts a go. They are the stuff of legend, notoriously temperamental and fiddly, and they come with more rules than the average board game: Age the egg whites, don’t age the egg whites, double sift and toast the almond meal, don’t toast the almond meal…. You’d be forgiven for seeing a recipe for macarons and thinking you’ve probably got better things to do, like clean the toilet or change the cat litter.

But don’t be dismayed, if I can bake a macaron then you can too! All you need is to find a recipe that you can work with and practice, practice, practice. The shells that don’t work out so well still taste delicious, you can break them up and eat with ice cream or cream in a sort of ad hoc Eton Mess, or just fill them as though they worked perfectly and enjoy the sweet almondy goodness anyway – feet or not, they taste fantastic.

I’m not going to give you a recipe here today because I’m in no way skilled enough to describe the method to you confidently. What I will do is suggest a couple of tried and true recipes that I’ve followed and strongly encourage you to have a crack yourself. The first place I would start is with the Macaron tutorial over at Tartelette, if this recipe works for you then go for it. If you’re like me and need less words and more pictures (hey, I’m a visual person!) then you can’t go wrong with the very handy I<3 Macarons by Hisako Ogita. Since purchasing this book I’ve not had a bad batch (touch wood), it seems the secret is the number of times you stir your batter; stir too few times and you won’t get the infamous ‘feet’, stir too many and your macarons won’t rise.

If you’re cool with making macarons and are looking for a new flavour combo then read on…. To make lavender shells I simply ground a half teaspoon of dried lavender flowers in the mortar and mixed them in with the almond meal before running it all through the food processor with the icing sugar. I mixed in some violet food colouring with the meringue and sprinkled some flower heads on the shells straight after piping so that they set with the flowers on the top. To fill I simply made up another batch of lemon curd and piped it into the shells once they had cooled completely. They tasted so good it was difficult to stop at one!

8 Comments

  • b.k says:

    Oh my god. Amazing.

  • Courtney says:

    Hiya Erin
    Cant wait to try making these!

    Am thinking of purchasing the ‘I love Macarons’ book by Hisako Ogita that you’ve mentioned above.. but wondered if the link you’ve included is to the version that’s in Japanese?

    I’ve done a little search around and found mentions of a ‘Japanese version’ where the red cover was depicted.

    I found this earlier version too, which definitely looks in english: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6512640-i-love-macarons

    I’m sure you wouldn’t reference a book in the wrong language, but I just wanted to double check before I buy!! (The red cover design you’ve linked to is much cuter in my opinion!)

    🙂 Thanks

    • Erin B says:

      Hey Courtney,

      That’s a very good question! I’d assumed because fishpond was an Australian company that it would be an English version of the book but now I’m not so sure. It doesn’t really say anything on the website either which is annoying.

      The copy I have has the same cover as the one in the link you’ve posted, I got it from Mary Martin’s on the Parade in Norwood. Perhaps it’s worthwhile dropping the fishpond guys a line to check?

      Sorry for the confusion!

  • Courtney says:

    All good, thanks Erin.
    Will let you know how I go ! 🙂

  • I dream of being able to make macarons but have never been brave enough to try – I feel like my baking always turns out so rustic and these need to be perfect!

    • Erin B says:

      Hehe, they are a bit fiddly and I’ve certainly had my share of disasters, but the upshot is that when they don’t turn out as planned they are still delicious!

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