Welcome to the White Whisk! Valentine’s day is quickly approaching and today I want to share with you this recipe for Earl Grey Rose Macarons. This flavor combination was inspired by Sofie’s Scoops Gelato in Olympia Washington and their “Olympia Fog” Gelato! (Yes, it was just as delicious as it sounds.) They also had a Cardamom Gelato which was heavenly!
The shells of these macarons are flavored with Earl Grey Tea, and then filled with a generous dollop of Earl Grey Rose Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Steeping the tea in the butter for the buttercream is the trick to filling these macs with iconic Earl Grey black tea bergamot flavor!
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Let’s start with the shells. If you’re new to making macarons, I highly recommend checking out my Basic French Macarons Recipe to read through the full process and gain knowledge on the key parts of the techniques needed to have a successful batch.
The main adjustment I made in the shell recipe was adding 6 grams (about 4 bags, or 4 tsp) of black tea into my sifted dry ingredients. I food processed them before sifting, but honestly the Bigelow Earl Grey Brand was already pretty finely ground so it didn’t make too much of a difference! Something I also did was SUBTRACT 3 grams from my almond flour, and another 3 grams from my powdered sugar to balance out the dry ingredient ratio. Macaronage the dry ingredients into your meringue as usual.
While the shells are resting, you’ll want to start your Swiss meringue buttercream! For the first step, you’ll need half of the butter and the Earl Grey tea. For the Bigelow brand this worked out to be 12 bags. I learned this technique from Tessa Huff when making her London Fog Cake from her cookbook Layered! (Still one of my favorite cook books to date.)
Melt half of your butter and earl grey tea in a small saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Once it reaches it’s boiling point, turn the heat down to maintain a very low simmer for 5 minutes, and stir semi frequently to prevent burning. Once the 5 minutes are up, remove it from heat and steep for another 5 minutes. Next, press the tea butter mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a shallow container, and set aside to cool to room temperature. You can also speed up the process by putting it in the fridge.
The small bits of tea add a pleasant speckling to your shells and buttercream bringing that tea flavor into the visual as well.
Next, you can make your Swiss meringue buttercream as usual, and add in your un-steeped butter, along with the room temperature earl grey butter. Once everything comes together and is looking light and fluffy, add in the rose water to finish it off. I picked up this bottle of Rose Water at a Sur La Table!
Once shells have cooled and baked, match each shell with a matching size partner. Using a Wilton 8B tip, pip a hefty dollop of the Black Tea Rose Swiss Meringue Buttercream on one shell, and sandwich the matching partner on top. Allow shells to mature in an airtight container in the fridge for 24 hours to allow the flavors and texture to fully develop.
Allow shells to mature in an airtight container in the fridge for 24 hours to allow the flavors and texture to fully develop. Enjoy!
Earl Grey Rose Macarons Frequently Asked Questions
Will adding the tea to my shells effect the structure?
I’ve found that by subtracting the gram amount of tea from my powdered sugar and almond flour helps balance out the ratio and prevent issues! This recipe calls for 6 grams of tea, so I subtract 3 grams from both by almond flour and powdered sugar.
Can I substitute any flavor of tea use in my shells?
Yes! I have yet to try it with more subtle flavors so I can’t speak to how strongly they come through, but as far as “working” in a macaron batter, you should be fine as long as the dry ingredient ratio remains the same.
Where can I find Rose Water?
This might be a tough one to find in grocery stores, but it’s available online and in some specialty cooking stores! I found mine in a Sur La Table.
Do the small bits of tea effect the texture of the shells and buttercream?
The small bits are somewhat noticeable as far as texture goes in the shells (not the buttercream), but it doesn’t make for an unpleasant experience!
Looking For More Valentine Macaron Ideas? Check Out These Recipes & Tutorials!
Earl Grey Rose Macarons
Earl Grey Macaron Shells
- 130 grams egg whites Approximately 4 Large Eggs, Use Scale
- 120 grams granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 197 grams almond flour
- 197 grams confectioner’s sugar
- 6 grams of Earl Grey Tea (about 4 bags)
- 1 drop Wilton Pink Gel Food Coloring
Earl Grey Rose Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 55 grams egg whites (2 oz, about two egg whites)
- 110 grams granulated sugar 4 oz
- 225 grams salted butter (divided) 8 oz
- 11 grams Earl Grey Tea (about 8 standard bags)
- 3/4-1 tsp rose water/extract
- 1 drop Wilton Pink Gel Food Coloring
Earl Grey Tea Macaron Shells
- Line 2 baking sheets with a silicone mat (circle template optional but recommended).
- Place a medium/large round piping tip in a large piping bag. Twist the bag right behind the tip and add a clip to seal off the opening. Place the bag tip down into either a clean tall cup with the edges folded over the rim to keep the bag open, or clip it into a bag holder.
- If using a coarser Earl Grey blend, pulse in a food processor until it becomes a fine blend. If using a fine blend, skip the food processor and move to the next step.
- Using a kitchen scale, carefully weigh out and sift the confectioner’s sugar, Earl Grey Tea, and almond flour into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk well to fully blend the three together.
- Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar into a large mixing bowl, and begin beating with a whisk attachment using either a handheld mixer or a stand mixer for 2 minutes on a medium low speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 4).
- Turn up the mixer to a medium speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 6) and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add a small amount of pink food coloring.
- Turn mixer up to medium high speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 8) and beat for 3 more minutes, or until peaks are very stiff and the meringue clumps up in a ball in the center of the whisk. Test stiffness by removing whisk and pointing it upward. (See photo in Basic French Macarons post for reference) Once the peaks can hold their shape flipped upright, your meringue is ready.
- Pour half of your almond flour/tea/confectioner’s sugar mixture into the bowl with your meringue, and fold 15 times. One fold is scraping all the way around the edge of your batter in your bowl, and then dragging your spatula through the middle to knock out air. Be sure to scoop around the bottom of the bowl as well so you don’t miss any dry ingredients.
- Pour in the remaining powdered sugar, tea, and almond flour, and continue folding (approximately 30 more folds) until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overfold. Start checking your batter’s readiness every 5 folds or so at this point by scraping all batter down to the bottom of your bowl, and then wiggling your bowl back and forth several times. If the batter levels out with very few peaks and lines remaining, it should be ready.
- Pour batter into prepared piping bag, and twist the opening off. Hold your bag at the twist between your thumb and pointer finger. Remove the clip near the piping tip.
- Holding the piping bag straight up and down, apply pressure to begin piping your batter in the center of your circle templates, releasing pressure once you are a few millimeters short of your desired size. After you release pressure, use a small quick circular flick to release your tip from the piped macaron.
- Once you’ve piped a full tray, firmly bang the tray on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles and smooth out shells. Pop any remaining large bubbles with a toothpick or scribe tool. Repeat with the second tray.
- Begin preheating your oven to 300 degrees, using an oven thermometer to ensure accurate temperature readings.
- Set aside shells to dry until they form a skin and are no longer tacky to the touch. Once you can gently run a finger over your shells, they are ready to bake. Use a fan to speed up the process, rotating the tray every few minutes to ensure even drying. This usually takes 16-20 minutes for me with a fan. (Rest for a shorter amount of time if you deal with high humidity issues)
- Once shells are dry and the oven has fully preheated to 300, place one tray in the center of the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 18 minutes.
- Quickly open door to check the shell’s doneness by gently pressing on the side just above the feet to see if it’s firm. If it moves at all, bake for another 2 minutes.
- Check shells by performing the same test, pressing on the side. If they are still unstable, bake for one more minute, and check again. Repeat until shells are firm and do not budge, then remove from oven. Make sure oven is still at the correct temperature and then bake your second tray.
- Allow shells to cool completely, and the carefully remove from silicone mat or parchment paper by gently peeling them off.
Earl Grey Rose Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Melt half of the butter (4 oz) and all the tea together in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, simmer on lowest heat setting for 5 minutes, stirring semi frequently to avoid burning. Remove from heat and steep for another 5 minutes.
- Strain butter and tea through a fine mesh sieve into a shallow container, and set aside to cool to room temperature. Speed up the process by chilling in the fridge.
- Using a medium size sauce pot, bring an inch or so of water to a boil.
- In a medium heat safe metal or glass bowl that is large enough to rest on top of the sauce pot, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. (Use a kitchen aid mixing bowl and whisk attachment to save a dish later.)
- Place bowl on top of the pot with boiling water and continue whisking occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Check by rubbing a small amount of egg mixture between fingers to check for graininess. Keep cooking and whisking until mixture feels smooth and no grittiness remains.
- Remove bowl from heat, and use an electric mixer to whisk the mixture until a stiff glossy meringue forms.
- Once the meringue cools down a bit, add in the Earl Grey butter and the rest of the remaining butter (4 oz).
- Beat for another few minutes until the buttercream is light and fluffy, and the butter flavor becomes less prominent.
- Add in the pink food coloring and rose water, and whip until thoroughly combined. If desired, add 1/4 teaspoon of additional rose water (optional, based on preference).
- Match up each shell with a partner shell of equal size.
- Wait to fill macarons until all components are no longer warm. On one shell in each pair, pipe a dollop of Earl Grey rose Swiss meringue buttercream using a Wilton 8B. Hold the piping bag straight up and down from the shell, apply even pressure and slowly move upward with a slight twisting motion.
- Gently sandwich the matched shell on top.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for 24 hours to allow the macarons to “mature” and fully develop their flavor and texture. Eat within 3-4 days. Enjoy!