Things are blooming on our PA property. The forsythia, tulips, lily of the valley, pussy willow, crocus and hyacinths are all storming our gardens. It's wonderful to see after this treacherous winter. Although I enjoy all of those beautiful plants, admittedly I squealed like a girl when I saw these eenie weenie daffodils. They also reminded me I had powdered daffodil flavor in my pantry yet to try out.
In honor of Earth Day tomorrow I am going to make an attempt to plant some seedlings on our NYC terrace. Admittedly, I am a little hesitant as there was snowfall in PA and in NYC less than a week ago.
To celebrate all the new and repeat visitors in our gardens and because Earth Day is upon us I made these mini daffodil flavored French macarons inspired by tiny daffodils.
What does a daffodil taste like? Hard to describe. It's definitely flowery, a little perfume like. Interestingly pleasant an spring-like is the best I can do.
Stronger than the jasmine flavor I used before, these macarons definitely did not need another flavor layer so I went with good old boring vanilla buttercream and tinted the frosting a spring green.
Flower flavored French macarons for Earth Day. Perfect.
Daffodil Flavored French Macarons
For the Daffodil French macaron 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
- 1/4 teaspoon Daffodil flavor powder
- 110 Grams of almond flour*
- Pinch of cream of tarter
- Pinch of salt
- Yellow paste food coloring (optional)
*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 to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. Add the Daffodil flavor and yellow food coloring if you like. 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 before matching up the shells into pairs according to size and then fill.
For the Green vanilla buttercream:
- 1 stick butter at room temperature
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Green paste food coloring (optional)
- Place the butter, 2 cups of the powdered sugar and the milk in a mixer and cream together.
- Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Add the rest of the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until combined. If the mixture is too liquid, add more powdered sugar.
- Tint the frosting with the green food coloring (optional)
- Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and pipe some buttercream on a macaron shell.