lavender macarons

Hello macarons!  This is only the second time I've made macarons since these raspberry macarons I blogged about last year.  They're a bit of a specialty dessert...and frankly I was a bit nervous to make them again.  Ha!  I knew that I needed a special occasion to motivate myself to make them again, and the opportunity came last month!

So......I've been internet/instagram friends with Amy from Constellation Inspiration for a long time now, and I FINALLY gathered the courage to ask if she'd be interested in a baking date.  She said "YES!", we started brainstorming ideas, and boom...we got together!  

I won't lie, I was pretty nervous about driving into Van and having a sleepover with a somewhat stranger (yes...a sleepover.  we went all in...haha), but from the moment we met it felt as though we had been friends forever.  We instantly bonded while flipping through cookbooks, browsing our favourite food blogs, eating doughnuts, and baking of course!  Seriously though, Amy is the sweetest, and I love having a new friend who doesn't mind talking about cake and doughnuts 99% of the time, understands #foodbloggerproblems, and who inspires my own creativity!

Anywho.....we created a beautifully whimsical spread comprising of an earl grey lavender layer cake topped with lavender macarons (inspired by the lovely Linda Lomelino!), cupcakes topped with mini macarons, and flowers galore.  Keep scrolling to see the final photos below, and be sure to hop on over to Amy's blog to see the full spread and cake recipe!

Amy had also invited her photographer friend Victor over to take photos, and it was such a fun experience to be on the other side of the lens during a food shoot for once!  Victor was so awesome, his photos turned out breathtakingly gorgeous, and the three of us were laughing the whole time.  #squadgoalsachieved

So, without further ado, here is the macaron recipe!  And I'm sorry (not sorry) for all of the photos!  I couldn't bring myself to cut any more. Ha!


Lavender Macarons 

recipe: slightly adapted from Linda Lomelino - Basic Macarons

Directions:

1) Grind the ground almonds further by using a food processor/blender. *Careful not to grind them too much, or for too long at a time, otherwise you'll end up with almond butter!

2)  Use a sifter to get rid of any large pieces that are left over.  Now you can measure out 100 grams and set aside.

3)  Use a sifter to mix the ground almonds together with the powdered sugar.  Repeat 2 more times.

4)  In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on high until the eggs start to foam.  Then, slowly add your granulated sugar and food colouring, and continue mixing until the mixture becomes quite stiff. (If you hold the bowl upside down, it shouldn't be able to slide out!)

5)  Gently fold the dry almond/sugar mixture in using a spatula.  It's hard to explain what the consistency should be like, but often it's described as "lava".  Place a blog on your parchment or silpat, and see if it slowly flattens.  Then you're good to go!  If it flattens too much and runs everywhere than you've mixed it too much.  If it's too stiff and doesn't flatten at all, then fold it a bit more!

6)  Fill a large piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip (or just cut the piping bag) and pipe the macarons onto baking sheets.  Sprinkle on a few pieces of dried lavender onto half of the macarons right away.  Remember that the shells will “flatten” once you’ve piped, so don’t make them too big. About 1" diameter is enough.

7)  Let them set for 60 minutes to form a dry skin.  *This is important since letting them sit out is what helps the feet to form.

8)  Preheat oven to 150 degrees C (this is 300 degrees Fahrenheit). Bake for about 11-13 minutes. You can test if they are done by touching the tip of a macaron, if it “wobbles” they are not done. Let cool completely, then fill and sandwich together with a macaron of matching size. Store in airtight container in the fridge, preferably for a day or two before eating.

Ingredients:

100 grams blanched, ground almonds (grind more than 100 grams!)

200 grams powdered sugar

110 grams egg whites (around 3 egg whites, depends on the size of your eggs.) *it's very important to let your eggs age at least 1 day, and for them to be at room temperature before you start baking - don't skip this step!

50 grams granulated sugar

purple food colouring (optional)


Lavender Buttercream

recipe: Kelsey Siemens

Directions:

In a very small saucepan, heat cream on medium high and add dried lavender to steep for 5 minutes.

Strain out lavender and allow cream to cool.

Mix together icing sugar, butter, and 2 tablespoons of cream.  Add more cream if necessary to achieve a nice piping consistency. 

Place buttercream icing into a piping bag and pipe onto macarons.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container until eating.  These are great the next day or two!

Ingredients:

3 cups icing sugar

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/4 cup cream

1 tsp dried lavender


The three of us seriously had so much fun!  I can't believe that I've only known Amy and Victor for such a short time, and I can't wait to create pretty things together again SOON!

Photos of macarons on wood table by me.
All other photos by the very talented: Victor Yuen

Now, please head over to Amy's blog to see MORE cake photos and to find the cake recipe too!  And give her a follow on instagram (@constellationinspiration) for more drool-worthy creations!

-Kelsey

P.S.  ALSO.......Amy and I are getting together next week to bake another cake, and Victor will be there too lending us his mad photography skills.  I can't wait!