Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lavender Macarons with Mango curd buttercream

There was a family gathering over at my sister's place last weekend. My mum and sis prepared lots of delicious food for everyone. To thank the generous host and hostess, I decided to bake something nice for everyone to enjoy. Since both my sister and her husband loves cheesecakes, I decided to make a simple no-bake light mango cheesecake that day. Since the cheesecake looks kind of plain on it's own, the idea of decorating it with some macarons came to mind. (Plus its AB macaron theme this month, hehe) As I didn't want to bake the usual flavors, I went with something slightly more "exotic"...Lavender Macarons! I bet some of you are going..."Ewww....potpourri flavor?! I know I know, it does sound a little unconventional, but since I did make lavender butter cookies before and they turned out wonderful, so I thought...why not?
To match the flavor with the cheesecake, I filled the macarons with mango curd buttercream. Eh...why not just mango curd, why with buttercream? Well, long story short, the curd was a little runny and it just didn't hold well in the macs. Why? Don't really know...even after I cooked it much longer then suggested. :P However the mango curd's taste was fabulous, a great recipe I got from Smitten Kitchen. Check out her link if you are interested to make the curd.
For the no-bake cheesecake recipe, please kindly refer to my previous post. As for the mac recipe, here it is:

Ingredients for Lavender Macaron Shells: (makes about 20 cookies)

100g almond meal (I ground mine from whole blanched and toasted almonds)
100g icing sugar
1 heaping tbsp lavender (I chopped mine into even finer bits)
38g fresh egg whites (about 2 egg whites)
pinch of salt
some violet food coloring (optional-I used Wilton's violet food coloring gel, a little goes a long way)

80g caster sugar
20ml water

38g aged egg whites (about 2 egg whites)
  • In a blender, finely ground the almond powder and confectioner's sugar together till powdery like. Then pour it into a bowl and add in the lavender bits . Then mix in the egg white and salt. Stir and mix well. Mixture will be thick.

  • In a saucepan placed over medium fire, heat up the sugar and water. Once the sugar has all melted, place your candy thermometer in and monitor it till it reaches ~108C. Once it reaches 108C, beat the egg white at high speed till it reaches soft peaks, which by then the temperature should be close to 118C.

  • Slowly drizzle the sugar syrup into the egg white while the mixer is still at medium speed. Once all the syrup is in, continue to beat till the meringue is glossy.

  • Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the almond meal mixture. Since the almond mixture is thick, you'll need to stir harder to incorporate it well. Repeat the other 2 portions and fold in gently.

  • Scoop the batter into a piping bag with an 10mm nozzle. Pipe out on a baking tray lined with baking parchment paper. Let rest for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 150C with fan off.

  • After 10 minutes, bake the cookies in the oven for 14mins.

  • After baking, remove from oven and let cool completely before peeling off.

Note: You can dry the mac shells a little by using your oven if that day happens to be a humid/rainy day. Preheat oven to 80C, off oven and place piped mac shells in. When the shells are no longer sticky to your finger's touch, they are good to bake. Else wait for another 5 minutes to let it dry up a little further.

I was really happy my family loved this cake...and the macs. ;) Although most of them have no clue what flavor the mac was, they just happily chomp it down (before I can tell them), lol! I guess the mango flavoring might have been a little overpowering over the lavender, since I did only add 1 tbsp. I have reduce the sugar for this recipe and thank goodness it still turned out fine. *phew!!*  So the macs were not overly sweet, just to my liking. ;) However, the violet color didn't quite show...should add a wee but more coloring next time. :P

  

To my surprise, I actually like the faint flowery scent in the mac. No, not potpourri feel at all...just a sweet scent at the background to compliment the nutty flavor of the almond. :) If I would have filled it with plain vanilla buttercream, it's flowery scent would have stand out even more. But overall, I was really happy I tried something new! Being a little adventurous never hurts ya?


I am happy to submit my post to this month's Aspiring Bakers #17: March Macaron Madness! (Mar 2012) hosted by Alan of Travellingfoodies.

Thanks Alan for hosting!


Okay, will end this post here. Thanks for staying with me!

29 comments:

Jo said...

BB, these are gorgeous looking macs. I have made lavender ones before and the taste is really refreshing. Don't mind a few of yours esp with the mango curd. Yummy!

hanushi said...

Wow!! I love your macarons!!! :)

ICook4Fun said...

Lovely cake Bee Bee. We baked the same color macarons. I too used very little of the color as I want to get some shocking color.

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝 said...

macaron对我来说太难了
我唯有用眼睛吃你的~~

Ann@Anncoo Journal said...

BeeBee, your cake is very beautiful with the macarons at the sides. Looks so good that I wish to have a bite :)

mr. pineapple man said...

You have the most amazing desserts!

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more said...

I've never eaten anything with lavender in it. I'm so curious.

Mixing ur curd with BC is a very good idea.
The other day, my macs with passionfruit curd all got soggy. They "aged" immediately. LOL.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

sweet purple and very nice creation!

Joyce @ Chunky Cooky said...

The macs are really gorgeous !! And they makes the cake stand out very well !

lena said...

Bee2, always perfect looking macarons, i would think your mangocurd buttercream would taste delicious with the macs. Like wendy said, our macs get soft very easily, lucky that me and my family members finished them all the next day!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Jo! You should have just drop by my place, you are only 5mibs from my house!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks hanushi!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Gert, I presume you meant don't want to have a shocking color, hehe. Yes yes, I was very cautious about adding the color.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝,你真的应该尝试一下做看看。我当初也很怕失败,不过想了也只不过是一两粒蛋而以,没什么可惜的。要克服它!嘻嘻。

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Ann!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Mrs Pineapple man!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Lol! I know what you mean! Chill them la...will be at the right texture again.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Sonia!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Really? Haha, thanks Joyce!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

I guess that's why good things are meant to enjoyed immediately and fast, lol! Thanks Lena!

Swee San @ The Sweet Spot said...

gorgeous..! good job on the macarons

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Swee San!

Quay Po Cooks said...

You so talented my dear. Both cake and macarons are to die for.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks so much Lucy! But i still have much to learn. ;)

Zoe said...

What an elegant flavour for macarons! Lavender sounds so beautiful.

Christy said...

Macaroons are always so adorable, and lavender flavor sounds heavenly!:)

said...

This looks delicious!

Charmaine said...

Hi there, would like to ask, what if i want to make plain vanilla macaroons? I've read through your lavender and chocolate macaroons, both the flavourings were dry ingredients i.e chopped lavender/ cocoa powder. Is there any method where I can use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean? Hope to hear from you soon, love your blog! :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

If you want to make vanilla macs, I suggest using a pod of vanilla versus the liquid version. It'll be much more fragrant, totally worth it. Just scrape out the beans and add into the batter. Thanks for your support!