It’s no secret that I love macarons – in fact I dedicated an entire week to the art and craft of macaron recipes earlier this year – so it would be an understatement to say that I was excited to team up with my friend Anita Chu from the gorgeous baking blog Dessert First to photograph the preparation of a recipe she developed, lemon verbena macarons. Yum! Anita and I are synchronizing our posts today, so please click over to her post on making macarons to see her story behind this fabulous macaron recipe.
To give you a better idea on how to prepare macarons with the Italian meringue method, Anita and I photographed almost every step in the recipe. We hope that these pictures will guide you through making your own macarons, and if you have any questions, please leave either of us a comment!
Lemon Verbena Macaron Recipe
Recipe by Anita Chu
Yield: 24 macarons
- 200g almond meal or ground blanched almonds
- 200g confectioners’ sugar
- 200g sugar
- 50g water
- 150g egg whites, divided into two 75g portions
- Lemon verbena buttercream (recipe below)
- Stack two baking trays on top of each other. Line with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Process almond meal with confectioners’ sugar in a food processor. Sieve out any large bits of almond.
- Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat on medium until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Meanwhile, place 75g of egg whites in a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment.
- Continue cooking until the sugar syrup reaches 118 C/245 F. While the sugar is cooking, begin whisking the egg whites. They should reach stiff peaks by the time the syrup is at 245 F. If it whips too fast, turn down or turn off the mixer.
- Turn the mixer speed to low. Carefully pour the sugar syrup in a slow stream into the mixer.
- Turn the mixer speed to high and let the meringue for several minutes until it has cooled and appears glossy and firm.
- In a large bowl, combine the almond meal mixture with the remaining 75g of egg whites until partially combined.
- Scoop the meringue on top of the almond meal mixture. Using a spatula or dough scraper, carefully fold the meringue in, trying not to deflate it.
- The final batter should be thick and flow slowly like magma. Do not overmix.
- Scoop the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2” diameter plain tip.
- Pipe 1 1/2” rounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Let the sheets sit for about 20 minutes to let the shells harden.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160 C/320 F.
- Bake one set of macarons for 15 minutes, rotating once.
- Let tray cool for a few minutes before removing from the silicone mat. Let finish cooling on wire racks.
- Once macarons have completely cooled, sandwich them together with a tablespoon or so of lemon verbena buttercream. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Lemon Verbena Buttercream Frosting
Yield: about 1 cup of buttercream
- 100g sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 100 ml heavy cream
- 1/2 cup (3 g) lemon verbena leaves, washed and dried
- 250g white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Combine the sugar and egg whites in a medium heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water.
- Whisk the sugar mixture constantly over heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture looks smooth and shiny, about 3 minutes.
- Remove mixture from heat and pour into a stand mixer bowl. Whisk on medium speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture has cooled.
- Switch to the paddle attachment and with the speed on low, add the butter a few pieces at a time, beating until smooth.
- When all the butter has been added, beat the buttercream on medium-high speed for about 6-10 minutes until it is very thick and smooth.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the lemon verbena leaves with the cream.
- Heat on medium until warm. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for an hour.
Place chocolate into a bowl.
- Strain the leaves from the cream. Reheat the cream until it just comes to a boil.
- Slowly pour the cream over the chopped chocolate, stirring to dissolve the chocolate. Continue stirring gently until mixture is smooth. Allow to cool and thicken before using.
Anita took these three photos of the finished macarons. Aren’t they gorgeous?