Monday, January 17, 2011

Vanilla-Lavender Macarons: Step Away from the Food Coloring

Are you an observant person? If so, you may have noticed something when I posted about my visit from Leigh and the raspberry-goat cheese buttercream macarons that I made for her.

Not her awesome glasses. Well, maybe those. But more importantly: weren’t there ALSO purple macarons? Go check it out.

What the heck was that about? Did I withhold a recipe from you? Only temporarily, as I now present: Vanilla- Lavender Macarons.

Ingredients for Shells (as adapted from Tartlette)

1 2/3 cups powdered sugar

¾ cup almond flour

3 egg whites

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Few drops purple food coloring

Blend the powdered sugar and almond flour in a food processor until very finely ground, set aside. Whip the egg whitess until foamy, then continue whipping while slowly adding the granulated sugar.

Finally, add a few drops of purple food coloring.

Or, shall I say, a few too many. I was going for a subtle lavender shade. Instead, I got neon purple. Score.

Once you screw up your meringue color, go ahead and keep on going, because the macarons will still be tasty. Carefully fold the meringues and almond-powdered sugar mixture in fewer than 50 strokes, taking care to scrape the bottom of the bowl on the strokes.

Still. Really. Purple.

Pipe the mixture in rounds about 1 ½” in diameter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Have I mentioned yet how purple they were? Even with coloring difficulties, feet can still be achieved. Let the piped rounds sit for 45 minutes, bake at 280° F, for 20 minutes.

Well, they were still purple. But they had feet. Yes, very bright purple feet, but feet nonetheless.

Now to make some matching filling.

Lavender-Vanilla Ganache Filling Ingredients

6 ounces chopped white chocolate (Callebaut)

¼ cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons lavender extract

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

Few drops purple food coloring.

The white chocolate started out nice and subdued. This needed to change.

Heat the cream to a simmer, then pour over white chocolate. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, then stir until combined; add lavender, vanilla and food coloring.

Ah, that’s better. NOW we have something that can go between those macaron shells.

I promise they taste great. That lavender vanilla combination in a white chocolate base is a winner – remember that custard and that tart? You should try these.

Just take it easy on the purple food coloring, OK? Trust me on that, too.

Have you ever used too much food coloring in something? How bright was it?

21 comments:

  1. I sort of have the opposite problem - I am scared to put in too much food coloring, so I put in just enough that the batter looks like the color I want, but then the color fades during baking and I wonder why I even bother to try to use food coloring.

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  2. Man those look awesome even if they are a little extra purple. I need a KitchenAid mixer SO BAD.

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  3. Those look and sound AMAZING!
    I've never made macaroons before, though....where do you buy almond flour?
    Oh and my favorite color is purple! =P

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  4. Whoa...those are very...purple? Blue? Well, vibrant! I've used a lot of red food coloring in my cupcakes, but I liked the way it looked. At least you won't lose these in a crowd. ^_^

    Do you have any tips when it comes to making ganache? My first stab at it came out soupy and I had been looking for something with a little higher viscosity; pourable, but not runny. Does that mean I used too much cream? Or didn't let it cool enough maybe?

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  5. Prince would SO approve. They look awesome!! One of the first macarons I tried was lavender, and I loved it. It was also my first lavender-flavored experience. Must make these. Am now obsessed with these freaking cookies.

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  6. Well done for getting those perfect little feet! I have such a strange relationship with lavender, for while I detest it as an air-freshener/perfume/etc, I love it in sweet things :) I'll probably just make your ganache one day :P

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  7. Whew, those babies look bright but gorgeous!

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  8. I once made red velvet cupcakes that were so red, they looked like something that should be swimming in tropical waters.

    I think these are really pretty, however. They're very bold, but think of how often we see intensely-colored macarons. People have come to expect it!

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  9. @Alina @ Duty Free Foodie I was hoping this would fade. I mean, look at it...Maybe we should collaborate, and then we'd wind up with reasonable colors.

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  10. @Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin You don't have a KitchenAid mixer? This is a necessity. Next to a food processor for mashed cauliflower.

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  11. @fitchocoholic You can get almond flour at most grocery stores (look in gluten-free baking products). Or make your own - just grind up almonds in a food processor.

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  12. @Mary at n00bcakesCouple of tips: for bittersweet chocolate, go one ounce of chocolate to one ounce of cream. Decrease the cream for milk chocolate, decrease it a lot for white chocolate. Best practice is to heat the cream and then pour it over chopped chocolate; let it sit 1-2 minutes and THEN stir.

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  13. @Jessica @ bake me away! Prince! I'd never thought of that. I love lavender, too (duh).

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  14. @Jess@atasteofconfidence Thanks! Believe it or not, they're even more blinding in person.

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  15. @SaraHence I am scared of making red velvet cake. I did a blue velvet cake, and was so intent on covering up the cocoa powder color that I got this intense indigo/green color...oh dear.

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  16. Amazing macarons!!! I will have to give it a try. Where do you get your lavender extract in the DC area?

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