April 30, 2014

Key Lime & Orange Blossom Macarons for the Macaron Challenge!


Last month I received a wonderful email from Patty at Sucre, the New Orleans bakery known for their outstanding macarons. They invited me, along with 11 other bloggers, to participate in a macaron baking challenge. All month long a group of us will be sharing our own riff on Sucre’s top secret macaron recipe on our blogs and everyone can vote on their favorites. The top three finalists will have their recipe made by Chef Tariq and a winner will be chosen. While I don’t typically participate in contests like this I couldn’t resist this one. I adore baking and have always wanted to improve my macaron making skills so I immediately accepted the challenge.

I chose to make Key Lime & Orange Blossom macarons in honor of spring. I love citrus and floral flavor combinations and I had just picked up a fresh bottle of Key Lime extract at Southern Season in Charleston. Since the recipe we were provided was essentially a blank slate I felt comfortable using oils and zests to flavor it up.

To commence my experiment I flavored the cookie dough with a little Key Lime extract and fresh lemon zest. I added just enough to give the cookie a little zing, but not so much that it was overpowering. Then I made the buttercream using the creamiest butter I could find and flavoring it with Orange Blossom Extract. Both of the extracts I used were completely natural and imparted the most beautiful flavors to the cookie. The sweet cookies had crisp exteriors with rich, chewy interiors. The buttercream was silky and smooth and was so light it was almost like whipped cream.

Learning more about macaron making was a lot of fun and I know my fellow contestants enjoyed it as well. Check out all of their brilliant creations here:

The Voting Page: CLICK HERE

Official Sucré Macaron Challengers!

I hope you are compelled to participate and vote for your favorite macaron. This contest was such an enjoyable way to kick-off spring. Using the recipe from Sucre was very helpful in my quest for improving my macaron making skills. After I make them a few more times I’ll share some of my personal tips and tricks for helping you make the best macarons at home. Happy macaron-baking!