My first tell-tale signs that Spring is approaching... is when my lavender bushes starts to flower as soon as the weather warms up. I am so thrilled to spot the tiny purplish buds hiding within the greyish green leaves...
Spring has always been my favourite season... I love waking up to sounds of birds chirping... then having a walk round the garden to admire and breathe in the fragrance of the early Lavender bloomers...
Everything comes to life...
Spring... reminded me of a friendship between 2 teenage girls that lived in 2 different parts of the world. One in Canada and the other in Malaysia. They would write to each other, exchanged cards and photos. Good old days...the art of communication...using pens, papers, envelopes and stamps ... and oh!!! and Mr Postman too ...
They were "Penpals" for years until one left to UK to pursue her dreams... she lost contact with her Canadian penpal ...
Then one day, she received a message in her Facebook message box...
Are you the same person, who I was a penpal with in the 1970’s and 1980’s? I lived in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and the girl I correspond with was from Malaysia?
The Canadian Penpal was cleaning out her stuff and stumbled upon a box from her teenage years... and found a letter from her Malaysian penpal... she still remembers her Malaysian friend!!! ....
Lavender Macarons Recipe (Love Food cookbook)
80g egg whites
65g lavender sugar
80g almond meal
140g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
dried lavender seeds
115g soft Philadelphia cream cheese
2 tablespoon lavender sugar
to make lavender sugar
1 cup of caster sugar
2 tablespoon of edible lavender
Preparation~ 2 weeks ahead ~ wrap lavender in muslin cloth, secure with kitchen string. Pour caster sugar in an airtight container, and place the lavender sachet in the container. Give it a good shake everyday.
~ 3 days before making macarons ~ separate egg white from yolk. Refrigerate.
- Egg white at room temperature
- Pulse Almond meal with icicng sugar for 5 minutes. Sieve. Set aside.
- Mix the egg white and castor sugar in a heatproof bowl.
- Making sure that the bowl will snuggly fit the pot, bring the water to boil then lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
- Place the bowl on top of the pot, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the simmering water... aka double boil method.
- Whisk the egg white mixture until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature reads50-55C on the sugar thermometer.
- Transfer the egg mixture into the mixing bowl with the balloon attachment.
- Add lemon juice.
- Whisk on medium speed until soft peak or 'shaving foam' consistency.
- Add in food colouring.
- Using a flexible silicon spatula, fold in sieved almond into the meringue one third at a time. And start counting the strokes.
- Continue to fold until all dry ingredients are fully incorporated and it forms a shiny batter with a thick, ribbon like consistency...
- Pour the mixture into a piping bag fitted with 10mm nozzle, and pipe onto prepared baking sheets.Sprinkle with lavender.
- Leave the tray at room temperature for 30 minutes or more until the macarons surface are 'drier' to touch.
- Pre heat oven to 150C and bake each tray for 15-20 minutes depending on the oven.
- Cool for 10 minutes then carefully peel off the baking sheet.
- Leave to cool completely before piping in the filling
- Filling~ beat the cream cheese and lavender sugar until smooth. Piped the filling onto the shells.
- Macarons tasted better...after an overnight refrigeration