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Earlier this year I shared the news of my impending nuptials – and the plan for my French macaron wedding favors.  Coordinating with the colours of the wedding (emerald green, aqua and lavender), a wave of flavour suggestions were made.

And quickly, my macaron trials were on!

1. Champagne Macarons
2. Liquorice Macarons
3. Blueberry Macarons
4. Matcha Tea Macarons

But the ultimate winner?  Champagne Macarons, bien sûr.

Now after all the planning, the big day has arrived.  This image is just a sneak peek of day.  Mr Mélanger and I are now enjoying our honeymoon.

I will return in October and share a few more images of the wedding preparation and the big day.

Plus, I will be raring to go with caramel.  With a 3-1 vote, it is the clear victor for my next monthly baking theme!  Thank you everyone for your choices.  Having a serious weakness for chocolate, I was totally surprised with the outcome – but I am really excited about the challenge.

A bientôt!

{ Image } ::  Mr Mélanger & Julia
Location @ Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm
Photography shot by Sarah Sculley of Sculley Design

Matcha Tea Macarons

Until recently, when I thought of green tea I would never have thought of macarons.  This flavour macaron was one of the suggestions for my upcoming wedding favors.

The tea flavour is mild.  You taste it but do not immediately put your finger on what it is.  Once you are told it is green tea, you instantly distinguish it.  The pairing with the dark chocolate ganache is spot on.  The bitterness of the tea harmonises impeccably with the bitterness of the chocolate.  The creamy ganache and sweet almond macaron shells round out the flavour.  The matcha tea powder produces an attractive coloured shell, and the sprinkling of tea powder on top of the shells before baking provides a lovely finish.

My friend E is not a tea or coffee drinker, yet enjoyed taste-testing these macarons – though admitedly, I did load up one or two with extra ganache as a compensatory measure, just in case.

So far I have trialed champagne, blueberry, liquorice and now matcha macarons for  my wedding favors.

The versatility of the macaron as a vehicle for practically any flavour and  colour combination is becoming more apparent with each new batch of macarons I make.  The ability to create your own macaron, to personalise something as your very own is extraordinary.  By the end, I hope to find my own signature petit four.  Until then, I will trial a few more macaron flavours before the big day. 

{ Matcha tea macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
2 teaspoons of matcha tea powder
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, and add the matcha tea powder.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.
Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Chocolate ganache }

* Ingredients *

120g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

* Directions *

Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.  Pour over the chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir.  Let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken.

Blueberry macarons

Blueberry was thrown into the suggestion box as a macaron flavour to trial for my upcoming wedding.  I am not sure if I have ever seen a blueberry macaron before.

Thinking about it now, a blueberry macaron would have been perfect to include during my recent Finnish baking month.  Berries feature strongly in Finnish baking – particularly blueberries.  I am still happy with my ‘Finnish inspired’ cardamom and coffee macarons, but a blueberry and cardamom macaron would have been a lovely complement, too.

This blueberry macaron is sans cardamom.  It consists of an almond macaron shell sandwiched together with a simple blueberry cream.  I am fond of the colour of these macarons.  Though I must admit, I think I need to purchase food colour powder as I sometimes find it difficult to reach the exact colour I want with liquids.

I will be shortly testing a new macaron recipe, but for now, the last few macaron trials have been with my ongoing tried and tested version.

{ Blueberry macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Red and blue food colouring
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the food colouring to make a purple colour.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.
Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Blueberry cream }

* Ingredients *

120g white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
½ cup blueberries

* Directions *

Heat cream and blueberries until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.  Let cool and rest for about an hour.  Gently puree the berry and cream mixture.  Reheat the cream gently and pour over the chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir.  Let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken.

Champagne macarons

About a month ago I mentioned I was getting married soon.  And for the wedding, I wanted to make some macaron favors.  I was so overwhelmed by the lovely suggestions, so much in fact I did not know where to begin my trials.

But given it is a wedding, there was one very obvious starting point.  Champagne macarons.

The lovely Kerrin at MyKugelhopf made this particular suggestion.

I was not quite sure how to inject the Champagne flavour into this macaron initially.  But I quickly decided the flavour needed to go into the filling.  I was not prepared to experiment with the basic macaron shell that I can almost bake without too many hiccups.

I had a little look around for ‘Champagne Cream’ recipes but only really came across the savoury variety.  I then remembered my impromptu filling for my lavender macarons – lavender infused cream mixed into white chocolate.  I essentially copied the same idea here.

Overall, the flavour is subtle.  The champagne is not too overbearing.  The colour is also lovely being so neutral.  Verdict?  They are definitely on the short-list for the big day!

{ Champagne macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Dust lightly with icing sugar.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with Champagne cream.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Champagne cream }

* Ingredients *

120g white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
¼ cup Champagne (sparkling wine)

* Directions *

Heat cream and Champagne until bubbles slowly form around the edge of the pan.  Let cool and rest for about an hour.  Reheat the cream gently and pour over the chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir.  Let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken.