Lemon macarons with lavender buttercream

As all my friends and followers know, I make a LOT of macarons, and cannot be persuaded to make them by the French method. Since that's the way most bloggers I read make them, I make no apologies for posting another variation on my basic recipe.
If you have failed in the past, and haven't tried the Italian meringue method, give it a try. By its very nature, Italian meringue is more stable, and so have more chance of success. Downside? You won't get the shine you achieve with the French method, but adding meringue powder to you mixture helps if that's essential to you.
My recipe also appears in earlier blogs, but it is so short, it can be repeated here. Put 125g ground almonds and 125g of icing sugar in the processor and blitz until the sound changes and the mixture clings to the side. Empty this into a bowl and stir in 40g of egg white. You should use digital scales. For my lemon ones, pictured, I added the grated zest of one organic lemon and some Wilton's lemon paste colouring, for added yellowness! Set this aside.it is a stiff paste.
To make the Italian meringue whisk 50g of egg white ( at room temperature) to soft peaks.set aside. In a small non stick saucepan measure 115g of caster sugar and 30ml of water and heat till it forms a sugar syrup.
Sugar syrup for Italian meringue

When the sugar syrup reaches 115°C ( for American readers all digital thermometers will allow to switch between F and C) remove from heat and add to the whisked 50g of egg white. Hand held electric whisk works perfectly.it will take a while for the meringue to become stiff so that the bowl can be turned upside down. Don't lose patience.

The macaronage stage is where you add this Italian meringue to the coloured/flavoured paste which has been set aside. Fold in until smooth. No need to be precious about this, you will achieve a lovely smooth piping consistency.

Pipe onto baking parchment set on baking trays. Use a 1/2″ nozzle or just snip the end off the piping bag. Use disposable ones- so much more hygienic.

'Resting' time on parchment

Leave the shells for enough time to develop a 'skin' – they shouldn't be tacky to the touch. It won't be less than 20 but it does depend on humidity and heat in your kitchen. I find when I rest them in Arizona they seem to rest in double quick time, but I can't offer the science behind why that might be.

Cook at 325°F/160°C for 12-15 minutes. Leave on the parchment for a few minutes. I usually leave them to sit on tray while second batch is cooking , then they will come off easily.

Cake stand found at Gilbert market

I filled these with Swiss buttercream, coloured with Wilton's violet paste and a few drops of lavender extract. If you short of time and don't have to worry about transporting them in warm conditions, whip up and colour double cream and or mascarpone.

A really neat way to give new life to odd pretty plates, as in the one above,is to stick them onto a suitable dish which will turn your plate into a unique cake stand. So simple, no drilling holes in crockery, and you can make the stand multi tier.

Suitable dish to turn a plate into a cake stand.

Do let me know if you have any queries on this technique. They are so worth the effort.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. zoealexis says:

    The lemon with the lavender sounds fantastic! Such pretty colors!


    1. vannillarock says:

      thank you! i do love this colour combination and so do my friends. i often make lavender shells and vannilla or mascarpone filling.pistachio shells and purple filling is also stand out gorgeous.


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