Our friends Ann and Becky sent us a huge bag of these beautiful enormous dry hibiscus flowers from Egypt. This is the best hibiscus tea we've ever tried – profound and intensive flavour, deep rubious colour and concentrated flowery acidulous taste. But it would be a sacrilege to use these gems for just making tea. Candied flowers, hibiscus jelly or reduction sound quite tempting too, but first of all we decided to use two of their main characteristics – nice deep colour and this flowery acidity - and made some hibiscus macarons.
Hibiscus tea contains 15-30% organic acids and this acidity combines in a perfect harmony with the sugary sweetness of the macaron shells. Besides it gives this completely natural purple colour.
Since the macaron shells are sourly sweet, they pair well with a rich cream as a butter-mascarpone one.
Hibiscus Macarons Recipe:
Makes... (these were so good that we ate a good amount of them before even pairing them and forgot how many they were)
Note: For the meringues we used the following proportions - 1,3 gr almonds / 2 gr sugar per every gram of egg whites.
All the ingredients were weighed out after dehydrating.
- 110 gr egg whites (3-days aged);
- 20 gr granulated sugar;
- 143 gr blanched almonds;
- 220 gr powdered sugar;
- 15 gr dry hibiscus flowers;
In a food processor grind the almonds till coarse semolina size. Add in the powdered sugar and grind finely. Add the hibiscus powder and pulse 2-3 times to blend. Sift the mix to remove any clumps.
In a large bowl begin beating the egg whites on a low speed. When they are foamy gradually add the granulated sugar. If necessary increase the speed to medium (but not high). Beat till glossy meringue.
Remove the beaters. Add the almonds/sugar mixture in two or three times and fold carefully until homogenous.
Line a baking pan with paper. Pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (we use № 7) and pipe about 2cm large rounds (we prefer even smaller “one bite” macarons) leaving 2cm space between them. Tap the pan on the counter several times to bring up any air bubbles.
Let the macarons rest for 30 – 45 minutes to form a skin. At the end they should not be tacky on touch.
Preheat the oven to 150º C. When the shells are no more tacky on touch, bake for around 10 minutes or until they seem done.
Remove from the paper and let cool on a wire rack. (If not using immediately, store the shells in an airtight container.)
Mascarpone-Butter Cream Recipe:
- 50 gr butter (room temperature);
- 100 gr powdered sugar;
- 150 gr mascarpone.
To assemble: Fill a pastry bag with the mascarpone-butter cream and couple the macaron shells with a good twist of cream. Store the macarons in an airtight container in the fridge. Let them rest for 24 hours before eating.