New flavor – Blackberry lavender macarons! 🙂 Got quite excited about the floral themed macarons and it took a while to narrow down the ideas to create these. Chanced upon these cupcakes which were really gorgeous also! The lavender blackberry flavor was inspired by those cupcakes, and the flavor profile of the macarons were inspired by these.
The blackberry lavender buttercream turned out really delicious! 🙂 Used Cupcake Jemma’s vanilla buttercream recipe as the base (it goes well with macarons! And even though it’s American buttercream based using icing sugar, when whipped up properly it is not heavy and in fact has a light texture from all the air incorporated nicely. Check out her video for the technique that she goes through. For the flavorings, ahh I’m now a huge fan of freeze dried fruits because of how much flavoring we can pack into these buttercream without changing the texture! 🙂 I found these from the Fresh As brand from phoon huat – these are a bit pricey as they’re imported from New Zealand, but love how they’re 100% natural fruits that are frozen, vacuumed and freeze-dried, creating intensely flavoured yet delicate flavoring powders. Store it in the fridge to keep it fresh, and prevent clumping especially if you live in a humid country like Singapore!
The lavender infused milk then incorporates a floral / botanical scent, that also provides a fresh, interesting layer to the tartness of the blackberry and the natural almond sweetness from the macaron shells.
To be honest I wish I have more time to make macarons haha and experiment with flavors.. the possibilities of these tea / floral flavors are really endless. Hopefully more to come 🙂
Makes 30 macarons
|Basic Macaron Shell adapted from How To Cook That
165 cup icing sugar
4 tablespoons milk
Blackberry Lavender Buttercream
75g unsalted butter, soft
|To make Lavender-infused Milk
Combine milk and lavender in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours to infuse the milk with lavender flavor. Before making the buttercream, strain the lavender from the milk and set the lavender milk aside.
To make Blackberry Macaron Shells
Preheat oven to 320F (160 degrees Celsius). Use a thermometer to be exactly precise. (I usually start to preheat the oven while I wait for macarons to dry)
Sift together the icing sugar and almond meal using a coarse sieve (if you use a fine sieve the almond meal will not go through). Discard any gritty bits of almond meal that do not go through.
Beat together the egg whites and caster sugar on high speed until they are stiff enough that you can turn the bowl upside down without them falling out. Beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add the almond icing sugar mixture and fold in using a rubber spatula. Add in the burgundy / purple / pink food coloring.
Keep gently folding until the mixture looks like lava, it should have some movement but not be runny. While you are folding periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the spatula to make sure everything is mixed uniformly.
Allow to dry until a shell has formed around the macarons, and then place in the oven. Bake at 160 deg C until a foot has formed and the shells are crisp. This took roughly 10 minutes. Try not to open the oven during the cooking process as this will cause a drop in oven temp and may make your macarons hollow.
Cool and then gently peel off the baking paper (if you can’t do this easily the shells are not done yet) and pair similar sized shells. Sometimes I like to flip the macarons over to prevent hollows as it cools (not sure how effective it actually is but no harm)
To make Blackberry Lavender Buttercream
Follow Cupcake Jemma’s Buttercream Masterclass’s technique! I made a modified portion size (using 75g butter + 170g icing sugar) but it was still a bit too much for this portion of macarons (if you want you can cut the proportions even more, or just leave the extra for other desserts). Bring buttercream to room temperature until perfectly soft.
Place the butter to a mixer and beat for 2-3 minutes on a medium speed. The butter should now look very pale (edging on white) and be fluffy.
Add half the icing sugar to the bowl with the butter and start the mixer on a low speed. Once its incorporated turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 2-3 minutes. Add the last half of the icing sugar and again start on slow, then once mixed together, increase speed to medium and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Turn down to a low speed and add the milk, freeze dried blackberry powder, and vanilla extract. Turn back up to a high speed for 1-2 minutes.
Pair together similar sized macaron shells (cooled), and pipe ganache in between. Sandwich and enjoy! Place in the fridge for at least 24 hours overnight to let the flavors blend and mature, and to soften the macaron shell – crucial step! Enjoy 🙂