Monday, August 18, 2014

Macaron Monday: Thyme French Macarons with Lemon Thyme Buttercream

One of my favorite herbs I bought for the first time this year is lemon thyme. Fresh thyme scented with lemon. It's just gorgeous. 

I can't get enough of  putting it in salads, adding it to scrambled eggs, mixing it into softened butter in addition to infusing sugar, syrup, salt, oil and vinegar with it's bright herby flavor. 

For this lovely, delicious french macaron flavor, I used thyme sugar in the shells, replacing the plain white granulated sugar.  The buttercream was flavored with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon thyme leaves. 

These flavors worked well together to create a sexy, unusual flavored French macaron. My favorite kind.

Thyme French Macarons with
Lemon Thyme Buttercream

For the thyme French macrons:

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 thyme infused/flavored sugar (recipe below)
  • 200 grams of powdered sugar 
  • 110 Grams of almond flour*
  • Pinch of cream of tarter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: A dab of green food color (I used Wilton's Moss Green paste 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 thyme 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. 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. If adding food coloring, fold it in. 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.

For the Lemon Thyme Buttercream:

  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon thyme leaves
  • Place butter, 2 cups of the powdered sugar, milk, lemon juice in a mixer and cream together.
  • 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.
  • Mix in the lemon zest, thyme leaves.
  • Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and fill the shells with the buttercream.

For the homemade thyme Sugar :

  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh thyme washed and dried throughly.
  • In a jar alternately layer the sugar and thyme until the jar is full.
  • Tightly seal with lid and store in a cool dark place. The sugar should be ready to use in 3 days.

1 comment:

  1. You really should publish a book of all your unusual and wonderful (and yes, sexy) macarons.


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