You didn't think I was going to miss out on making lilac flavor macarons did you? Nahh. This post was inevitable for Lilacpalooza. Most of you know my love of making wacky flavored French macarons as well as my wee obsession with sometimes dressing them up.
I had to try lilac flavor in mac making and was very happy with the result, even if the feet did not turn out so pretty in this batch. When something smells and tastes like lilac, one tends to forget about unsightly feet.
The original plan was to add lilac blossoms to the shells right after piping them but I chickened out for two reasons. One was I didn't know how they would affect the shells growing their feet and the other was I was afraid if the blossoms burned, the shells would be ruined. Next time I will suck it up and try the flowers on the shells. Also I made some lilac sugar after these were finished. Next time I would swap the lilac version for the regular granulated sugar in the shell recipe below.
So for this batch the lilac color is in the shells and the flavor is in the lilac buttercream accentuated with homemade lilac syrup and fresh lilac blossoms. The lilac flavor is delicate but it's another unusual macaron recipe to add to the Mad Hausfrau recipe files.
For the Shells:
Use a kitchen scale for precise measurements.
- 90 grams of egg whites - aged at least 2 days. Let them sit out on the counter uncovered.
- 25-50 grams of fine granulated sugar
- 200 grams of powdered sugar
- 110 Grams of almond flour*
- Pinch of cream of tarter
- Pinch of salt
- Lavender powdered food coloring
*You can buy almond flour that has been ground with or without the skin. I use the later (blanched). The former looks really nice if you are not coloring the shells. You can also grind your own almond flour by putting whole or sliced almonds in a food processor or blender. If you do, make sure you throw a little of the powdered sugar in to prevent the almonds from forming a paste.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.
- Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together or pulse them together briefly in a food processor. Make sure there are no large pieces.
- Whip the egg whites. When they start to get foamy, slowly add the sugar. Continue whipping until you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing slides out. Add the pinches of salt and cream of tartar.
- Add the powdered sugar/almond mixture along with a smidgen of the powdered food coloring to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. Add more powdered coloring if the shade is not deep enough to your liking. The batter should have a "flowing like lava" consistency. Make a peak of the batter and if it does not disappear after 5-7 seconds, keep folding. If it's running all over the place, you will probably have to start over.
- Place a pastry bag fitted with a round shaped tip in a tall water and and fold the edges down around the glass.
- Fill the pastry bag with the macaron batter, twist the open top to secure and pipe circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a Silpat.
- Let the macarons dry for about a half hour or until they harden.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place the macarons on the middle rack in the oven. I keep the oven door propped open with a dish towel or wooden spoon.
- I place another empty baking sheet on top to prevent the shells from becoming toasted and discolored.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- When checking them after 10 minutes or so, if the ones in the back of the sheet seem to be cooking faster that the ones in front, flip the tray around.
- To test to see if they are done, peel the baking paper or silpat back, if the shell comes off easily, they are done.
- If you do have a problem with the shells sticking to the surface when removed from the oven, lift up the baking paper and pour a bit of water underneath. this will steam them off the paper.
- Transfer to a baking rack and let cool completely.
- Match up the shells into pairs according to size and fill.
For the Lilac Syrup:
- 1 stick butter softened
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup lilac syrup (recipe follows)
- 1/2 cup lilac blossoms rinsed and patted dry
- Place butter, 2 cups of the sugar and the syrup in the mixer and beat until combined.
- Add the remaining sugar one cup at a time.When the buttercream is smooth, briefly beat in the lilac blossoms.
- Transfer to a disposable pastry bag and fill the macarons.
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- One cup Water
- 1+1/2 cups fresh lilac blossoms
- A few drops of purple food coloring (optional)
- Rinse the lilac blossoms well and gently pat dry with paper towels.
- Place the f lowers sugar and water together in a saucepan and heat on low.
- when mixture starts to boil turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Stir in the food coloring if desired
- Remove from heat, strain out the flowers and let cool completely.
- Place in sealed jar and store in a cool dark place.