Cherry Blossoms are blooming everywhere right now! There is something airy, dreamy and beautiful about the blossoms, that make them so gorgeous. I will have to get a couple of plants to plant in our backyard so by next Spring I can see the blooms in my own yard! I am loving all the yellow wildflowers everywhere too, it’s just so pretty and makes up for all the winter cold months and the rain! I am very intrigued by the cherry blossoms! They make beautiful desserts! Last year I made a cherry blossom lemon roll cake which turned out so beautiful. It had a raspberry buttercream inside. The cherry blossom was pipped on the baking tray first, baked for 5 minutes, and then the cake layer was piped on it. I was stoked with the result! The link for the lemon cake roll is here.
This year, I wanted to do something more dramatic, something more visually pleasing. I found out that you can get pickled dried cherry blossoms and sakura leaf powder from an online Japanese store. The store also has cherry blossom jam! The bottle is super adorable and the color is a dreamy pale pink. The store link is here. I also bought the cherry blossom extract from a Japanese seller on Amazon. The extract smells absolutely wonderful. I have linked it here. I wonder if one can make their own cherry blossom extract similar to vanilla extract with cherry blossoms and alcohol. I must do my research so I can make the cherry blossom extract. So that is the flavor profile I went with. I actually put sakura(cherry blossom in Japanese) leaf powder that is more flavorful than the flowers themselves in the macaron shell, along with the cherry blossom extract.
For removing the salt pickling from the cherry blossoms, you put them in cold water in a bowl, and let the pickled cherry blossoms for an hour. Gently remove each flower, rinse them, and squeeze out the water and lay them on a paper towel. Do the same for the remaining flowers. Pat them dry with another paper towel and let them dry overnight. For the buttercream, I used cherry blossom extract, as well as finely chopped cherry blossoms in the buttercream. I piped the buttercream in dollops on the macaron ring, and put the jam in the center. I put homemade strawberry jam for some of them!
We used royal icing to decorate the tops. I made a slightly stiff royal icing. I used the Wilton Royal Icing from their website. I had to add a little bit more water, since the icing was way too stiff to pipe. The icing was divided into 3 bowls, and I used Americolor Fuschia, Deep Pink to create the 2 shades of pink and Brown for the branches. My kids and I had a blast pipping the branches and cherry blossoms on the macaron. I gave them their own shells and they did their own decorations and buttercream pipping and ate their own macarons!
My 9 year old has a mind of her own – loads of thoughts, opinions and suggestions always! I love seeing her creative thinking process, and how she works on her little craft projects on weekends. It is fascinating to watch. Whenever I am brainstorming a recipe, or an idea, she has to chime in with her suggestions. Quite a few of my decorating ideas stem from her input! It is really cute to hear! While we were shooting these macs one weekend, and I got the cherry blossom branches(hoping no passer-by noticed me!), she said to put the macs as if they were cherry blossoms on the tree, and show a couple ‘flying away’ with a few flowers around it! So I listened to her and I love the idea and how it turned out! All credit goes to the cutie! 🙂
As for the macarons, I have tips on making successful macarons in the recipe section. If you have any questions regarding making macarons, please feel free to let me know and I will be happy to answer all your questions. I have gone through my fair share of loads of bad macarons, and it has taken be a long time to get to this stage, so any help that I can give would be useful for you.