Earl Grey Macaron with Lemon or Lavender Buttercream Filling

The French Macaron has a cult following now-a-days! It didn’t when I first fell in love with them in New York 12 years ago, but for some reason, people still call them Macaroons. Go figure!

Due to the famed difficulty of properly preparing these cookies, French pastry chefs would (and still do!) display them in their windows to show off their talent. See, a Macaron is not a Macaron without “Le pied” or the foot. Le pied is that fuzzy bit at the base of each cookie where the dough seems like it is escaping the beautiful dome above. That is exactly what is happening. The cookies are piped onto parchment and left for 10 minutes to form a crust. As the cookie bakes, the air expands and pushes some almond dough out to create the foot. When I first started making these 10 years ago, I read that you must smack the cookie sheet against the counter before letting the crust form. I have, without question, been following this advice and will require you to do the same!

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Earl Grey Macaron with Lavender and Lemon filling – we served the Lemon on the top tier and Lavender on the bottom since they are bit tough to identify without the traditional food coloring.

The one thing I don’t love about the delicious almond pastry is all of the food coloring that goes into making those beautiful displays! For the most part, the different flavors come from the filling, but the shells themselves are generally just food coloring. I try to avoid food coloring, so I have been doing crazy experiments with alternative ways to flavor and color Macaron. Let me tell you, adding raspberry jam does not work! Do not add any liquid to your merengue, bad things happen. However, dry flavors like ground lavender, rosemary, rose petal, or Earl Grey tea do wonders!

I pair the tea flavored shells with lemon and lavender buttercream. If you want to serve with just one of the two, double the recipe!

This recipe makes about 80 Macaron if they are all perfect, but for me it tends to make somewhere around 65-70 after I toss (shove in my mouth) the cracked and disfigured ones.

Make them a day ahead and store in the fridge between layers of parchment to let the flavors blend. You can store them for at least 3 days in the fridge. I heard they can last a week in the fridge or a month in the freezer, but we have never had any last that long.

Earl Grey Macaron

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Earl Grey Macaron served with Earl Grey tea from Fortnum and Mason on vintage Limoges china from France!

3 cups confectioners sugar
2 2/3 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup full leaf Earl Grey Tea, I used Fortnum and Mason
6 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment (or measure 3 sheets of parchment for your cookie sheet). Using a pencil, draw 1 1/4 inch rounds 1/2 inch apart on your cookie sheet. I used the smallest of my biscuit rounds as a tool, bottle caps work too. You need about 160 rounds.
  3. Mix confectioners sugar, almonds, and tea leaves together and grind in a food processor until smooth. If chunks are formed, break them apart with your fingers in a bowl.
  4. Whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
  5. Carefully add the sugar and whisk until smooth and shiny (refer to photo).
  6. Fold half of the almond mixture into the merengue.
  7. Carefully fold the second half into the merengue.
  8. Fill pastry bag with thickest round piping attachment. Pipe into pre-drawn circles, one cookie sheet at a time.
  9. Whack the cookie sheet against the counter and leave uncovered for 10 minutes to allow a shell to form. Do not skip this step!
  10. Bake for 15 minutes and slide off of cookie sheet onto cooling rack.
  11. To assemble, sandwich about 1/4-1/2 tsp buttercream between each set of shells. Store in an airtight container between layers of parchment in the fridge. Bring out at least an hour before serving.

Lavender Buttercream

1 1/2 tsp dried lavender flowers
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
7 tbsp butter, softened

  1. Grind lavender flowers with the sugar in a food processor.
  2. Beat butter with lavender sugar.

Lemon Buttercream

Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1/4 lemon or a few drops of lemon extract
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
7 tbsp butter, softened

  1. Beat butter with sugar and lemon zest.
  2. Add either lemon juice or extract depending on how hot it is when you will be serving. I add juice if it is below 70 degrees and extract if above.

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Total cooking time: with the piping and filling, about 3 hours, makes 60-80 Macaron

11 Comments Add yours

  1. chefkreso says:

    Lavender buttercream filling sounds amazing, I have to try it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Let me know how it goes! I like it, and most of my friends love it, a few insist it tastes like soap….can’t please everyone šŸ™‚

    Like

  3. I love earl grey desserts…. Been wanting to make this for a really long time now. Must master the macaron first šŸ˜¦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have found this recipe to be pretty fool proof! A few crack and end up misshapen, but I end up with a solid batch each time! Just don’t skip the step allowing the crusts to harden a bit.

      Like

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