Earl Grey Tea Macarons with Lemon & Honey Swiss Buttercream

Guys, you have no idea how long this post has been sat in my drafts- recently it's just been that hectic that I haven't had chance to get round to any type of blogging, or baking even. Can you believe that?? And then after all this time looking back at these photos I decide I'm not entirely happy with them so decide to go through another round of photo editing. And finally about 3 months later this post finally happens. 

On another note, I have a slight confession to make: I am hoarder. I hoard loads of stuff and sometimes it becomes a bit of an obsession. I've only just managed to clear out my entire collection of BBC Good Food and Woman & Home food magazines: ripping out and saving the recipe a that I want to try, filing and categorising them (which I've yet to get round to) and recycling the rest.

I say I'm going to try the recipes but I always end up searching online anyway. Truth is, I subscribe to these magazines mainly because of the food photography. I've always been interested in photography; I just find it so amazing how good lighting and a few props can make food look so good and appealing.

And then there are food blogs.

I follow loads of food blogs. My email inbox is, more often than not, filled with notifications of new posts on blogs I follow. Similar to my obsession with food magazines I admire the photography on and it inspires me to take better photos to post on my own blog. Now don't get me wrong- I don't have a fancy camera, or any fancy lenses and I'm definitely a long way off from getting to anywhere near the standard I wish to be but I recently find myself making more of an effort in trying to make my photos look pretty. Buying random props and stashing it in my bedroom (hello, flea market Thursdays!), painting pieces of pine board to act as my backgrounds, thinking about composition and lighting and shooting in RAW format (check me out!).

Hopefully I can look back in however many years time and think, wow, I've come a long way- those photos in the past look rubbish! Hey, I can only wish...

Now let's talk about these macarons... What can I say? Earl Grey tea with lemon, together with a drop of honey is so light and refreshing and this in the form of a macaron works so well. I often find macarons too sweet, but the light citrus in the buttercream together with the fragrant bergamot from the finely ground Earl Grey tea in the shells cut through the sweetness perfectly.

Yields around 32-38 shells, 16-19 small macarons


Macaron Shells
72g Egg Whites (from apprapprox. 2 eggs)
58g Ground almonds
115g Icing Sugar
36g Caster Sugar
1 heaped tsp Earl Grey tea leaves

  1. Prepare a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray. (I used 2 baking trays.) You may wish to draw circles on the baking parchment and then turning it over to use as a guide for piping the macarons later.
  2. Prepare a large piping bag fitted with a round nozzle (I used a 1cm round nozzle) and set aside.
  3. Blitz the ground almonds, icing sugar and earl grey tea leaves in a food processor and sift into a bowl. (You may need to do this in batches if you have a tiny food processor like mine!) If any larger pieces of almonds remain, blitz in the food processor again. Sift the mixture for the second time and set aside.
  4. In a squeaky clean bowl, free from grease/ water, whisk together the sugar and egg whites using an electric hand whisk on a medium speed for 1 minute.
  5. Turn the speed up to medium high and whisk for another minute.
  6. On high speed whisk the egg whites for another 30 seconds. At this point the meringue should be gloriously thick and shiny.
  7. Tip the sifted dry ingredients into the whipped egg whites and using a folding/pressing against the bowl movement, mix the dry ingredients until the batter looks like 'molten lava' and runs off the spatula in a thick, flowing ribbon when the spatula is lifted up. The ribbon of batter should incorporate into the rest of the batter within 30 seconds. Be careful to not overmix!! If it looks like a runny pancake batter, you have definitely overmixed and will need to start again...
  8. Fill the piping bag with the macaron batter and pipe approx. 1" wide circles onto the baking sheet or onto the pre-traced circles.
  9. After piping, take the tray and tap hard on the work surface, rotate the tray and tap hard again to dislodge any large air bubbles trapped in the batter.
  10. Leave the macarons to dry for 20-30mins, or until your finger doesn't stick to the tops when you lightly touch them.
  11. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Bake each tray of macarons separately for around 16-18mins, or until you can cleanly peel the parchment away from the macaron. I bake my macarons on the lower rack on fan forced so the tops don't brown too much. Every oven is different- you should know yours better than I do!
  12. Leave macarons to cool thoroughly, before piping one shell with buttercream and sandwiching it with another.
  13. Store filled macarons in an air tight container in the fridge- leave to mature for  day or two for flavours and texture to develop.

Honey & Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream*

75g Egg Whites
125g Caster Sugar
170g Butter, room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 tbsp runny honey
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

  1. Place egg whites and caster sugar in a squeaky clean heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir frequently with a whisk until the sugar has dissolved. (Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water, and keep whisking so the egg whites don't scramble!)
  2. Using an electric whisk, or pour into the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium high to stiff peaks and the bowl is cool to touch.
  3. Add butter, approximately a tablespoon at a time to the meringue and whisk on low until each addition is incorporatedTurn the speed up to medium high and keep whisking until the butter and meringue mixture come together into a silky smooth buttercream.
  4. Lastly add the vanilla extract, honey and lemon zest and mix to incorporate.
  5. Buttercream can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week, or a month in the freezer. To use let buttercream return to room temperature before re-whipping.

*This buttercream recipe will make more filling than you need. If you do not have any other uses for it, follow the instructions up until step 3, set aside approximately 200g for these macarons, freeze the rest of the buttercream before continuing to add the additional flavours.


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Interior designer & part time baker. Lover of architecture, design and all things cute.