I am not very adventurous. Have I mentioned that?
I like what I like and it can take a bit of peer pressure or strong coaxing for me to try something new. I just, I don’t like trying something only to fail or be disappointed. I like what is predictable and expected.
So when we were at my favorite break-time kitchen palace… aka Sur La Table… and we found the Lavender essence, I thought nothing of it. Thankfully, coaxing happened and then, macarons. Floral macarons.
I can count on one hand how many times I’ve tried to eat anything floral. When I was a kid, my dad grew nasturtiums and he promised they were edible. What he didn’t tell me was that they tasted like peppery booty. So gross. I also tried sugared violets once. Once.
Needless to say, this was going to be a major test. But since any excuse to make macarons is one I gladly will make… I took a leap of faith and whipped up a few batches of everyone’s favorite treat. Basic step by stops can be found here.
Even the pups were on board with my experimenting mess-ups “fall” on the floor and they are so good at playing clean-up.
I thought I had put out enough egg whites for four batches, but it turned out I had to nix Lemon at the end. Oh well, just something to try the next time.
The weather didn’t really work in my favor and my meringue was a little finicky. I over-whipped the first batch, under-whipped the second, and just stopped caring by the third. Lesson: if you measure right and fold in your dry well, the batter can be a little forgiving. Just a little.
I used one of the ganache recipes from my class that was destined for this project. A white chocolate and rose water ganache. It would be perfect!!
After mixing and baking and whipping up the first ganache, I become suddenly lazy and retrieved ready-made frosting to make this a quicker process. There’s no shame in it. Hell, there’s a whole Food Network TV show about mixing things made from scratch and using pre-made things. I basically am one degree south of Ina Garten… or something.
Let me be the first to say this: the lavender batch? By far, my most favorite experiment ever. Oh my word. They are soothing and simple and absolutely a delight to stuff in my face. I couldn’t get enough. I had to snap photos and then immediately pack them up or else I was afraid they wouldn’t last the night. Seriously, folks. Go to the store, invest in a good Lavender extract and make a batch. You will not regret it.
The rose water ganache? Maybe if I had tried it before the Lavender I would fee differently, but as it stands. They are all going to work to be eaten by others. Not my kind of flavor.
I did something different with the coffee this time. Rather than using food coloring and then dusting the wet macarons with espresso, I went heavy on the powder when I folded the dry with the egg whites and let that be the coloring. It worked quite well and gave a really nice, strong coffee flavor. This went well with the dark fudge “ganache” I used.
Friends, I could make this cookie every day. Well, once a week maybe? It is a time-consuming task at time. But I can’t think of a better way to spend a free morning.
White Chocolate-Rose Ganache
Yield: 1 Cup
1/2 cup heavy cream
16 oz white chocolate
1 oz (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3 teaspoons rose water, plus more as needed
In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium-high heat to a simmer. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and pour hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute.
Slowly stir chocolate mixture with a silicone spatula to combine. Add butter and rose water, whisking mixture until smooth. Taste and add more rose water as desired. Let cool, stirring every 10 minutes. Once ganache cools, pipe between two macarons.