March into Spring with Mimosa Macarons

This past week the weather in Paris has given us hope for Spring.  Morning frost has quickly surrendered to Azur skies, sweeter air and rays of sunshine are gradually pulling us out of any winter depressions starting to take hold.  Crocuses and electric yellow bushes of forsythia are suddenly announcing that Paris is marching into Spring.  OK, I can just hear you breaking into song with Ella Fitzgerald’s “I love Paris in the Springtime”…

forsythia bush

Forsythia giving their electric glow for Spring

With Antoine travelling for a while, there was less motivation to cook, however. Where’s the violin?   So I cheered myself up with a bright and cheery bunch of mimosa flowers (Acacia Dealbata).

Many of us know of a Mimosa as a Champagne cocktail mixed with fresh orange juice (in the UK we call it a Bucks Fizz).  I personally love a Grand Mimosa with a touch of Grand Marnier in there, too (that managed to cheer me up as well ;-)).   There’s even a Grandaddy Mimosa, adding rum and lemon juice… Now that sounds my kind of tipple!

In France, you may have heard of OEUFS MIMOSA: a classic, simple dish served as a starter and great for Easter and nothing to do with the flower or tree.  It’s basically hard boiled eggs, halved with the egg yolk scooped out and mixed with mayonnaise, crushed garlic and parsley then stuffed back into the egg cavity.  Sound familiar?  When I was little it wasn’t as posh as the French version.  Two hard-boiled egg halves were turned upside down and dolloped with Heinz salad cream and sprinkled with une touche de paprika. I loved it.

box mimosa macarons Jill

Anyone for a mimosa macaron?

Back to my bunch of mimosa flowers, though.  Little did I appreciate just how strong the mimosa scent was and the house smelled of its perfume for days, even though its ephemeral blossom had dried out so quickly.  I couldn’t believe how this simple bunch of yellow mini pompoms could also have such a postive mental effect.  There’s even a Mimosa Festival in the South of France which takes place mid to end February with spectacular mimosa floats.  Can you just imagine how that would smell?

Then I remembered that Ladurée had a beautiful mimosa macaron display in their Champs Elysées boutique window last year.  SO why not make some myself?  I’m now on a roll to make new flavours and experiment again!

mimosa macaron pompom Jill

Mimosa macarons: a touch of Paris in the Springtime

Surfing on I was excited to see they even had a mimosa aroma.  So I added a few drops to the macaron shells.

infusing mimosa

infusing mimosa for the buttercream filling

Using the tutti frutti macaron recipe (p.83) as a basis for the filling,  I instead infused some mimosa (a tiny branch) into the full cream milk for 10 minutes.  It was amazing how the milk turned bright yellow.  I then added a teaspoon of the aroma to the buttercream at the end.  The result?

bitten mimosa macaron

Crispy meringue on the outside, fondant in the middle

They were delicious and surprisingly subtle for such a strong-tasting buttercream.  After 24 hours, they had turned perfectly soft inside with the characteristic crispy meringue on the outside.

Bliss with a pot of Darjeeling tea, so not to overpower the flavour of the macaron.  I would double the amount of mimosa flowers used to infuse in the cream for next time but no more aroma – that was ok.  To make a macaron taste of the flavour, the filling does need to be pretty concentrated – but not too much that it’s like perfume.

pompom macaron mimosa Jill

Mimosa pompom macaron

Alas it’s the end of the short mimosa season, but there’s still time for you to give it a go!  Next year I must get to the mimosa festival, though.

Opera near Brentanos

Brentano’s bookstore is on the Avenue de l’Opera, Paris (see Events)

Before you go, I’m so excited to annouce my booksigning on Saturday 19th March at Brentano’s American Bookstore in Paris.  The next day is the Fête du macaron but as it’s a Sunday the bookstore will be closed.  So if you’re in Paris, start off the macaron weekend fun between 3-5pm on Saturday. Brentano’s is just next door to Pierre Hermé if you’re needing a macaron fix.  I look forward to seeing you next weekend!

39 replies
  1. Choclette
    Choclette says:

    Such beautiful spring coloured macarons. I didn’t know you could use mimosa as a flavouring. I love the way you use all these different things and don’t just rely on fake colourings. That yellow is so intense – the daffodils are all out here and are just that colour too.

  2. Spinneys Cauldron
    Spinneys Cauldron says:

    Ah. no my hedge doesnt look like that!! If I submerged mine in buttermilk it would still look like little tiny petals yours looks cluster flowery .. ok gardening books out!!! What a lovely post Jill & divine inspired macarons. Here’s a big hug, a cheery cheers & a toast to much playtime whilst the cats away . . ooh the joys of his return 🙂

  3. Manu
    Manu says:

    No way!!! I cannot believe it! I have never eaten anything mimosa flavored. These macarons must taste divine. And they look so pretty too. I love the smell of mimosa, it’s a common flower in Italy too… reminds of spring. I can’t believe we both cooked something with flowers at the same time! hhehehehe

  4. Emma
    Emma says:

    How amazing, I was just wondering today whether there was anything I could do with my enormous hedge of Forsythia (aka Mimosa de Paris!) I really wasn’t sure if they were safe to consume though and couldn’t find any reasurrance in my foraging guides! Shall have to make some now! 🙂

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Emma, be careful. Mimosa is not the same as Forsythia. I started talking about Forsythia for the colours and spring – THEN on to Mimosa, which is the same colour but completely different. Please don’t confuse the two. Mimosa you can infuse but not (as far as I know) forsythia.

  5. eizel
    eizel says:

    Luv this shade for the season – I was looking for recipes that would incorporate wonderful colors like yellow… this is now bookmarked 🙂

  6. Ivy
    Ivy says:

    Greece is full of these trees. I didn’t know they were called mimozas and that their flowers are edible. This is very interesting and I have to look it up. The macarons sound amazing.

  7. Brandie
    Brandie says:

    Can I get a Granddaddy Mimosa with that too. I’m pretty sure it would make me a VERY happy lady and forget the my child is growing up far too quickly! 🙂
    Along with tasting so amazing – they just look so absolutely beautiful. Stunningly beautiful. Now ship me a plate PLEASE!!

  8. Chef Dennis
    Chef Dennis says:

    hi Jill
    Oh springtime in Paris, what a lovely thought! It makes me think of Gene Kelly, the Eiffel Tower and all those beautiful flowers all over the city!
    Now I’ll fly right over if you promise to meet me at De Gaulle with a plate of those macaroons! And perhaps the grandaddy mimosa or two!

  9. Liz
    Liz says:

    I’m a big fan of grand mimosas, too (never knew there was an official name!). And I’d be happy to have one of your gorgeous macarons to accompany my drink 🙂

  10. Becky
    Becky says:

    Your post of Spring in Paris, gives up hope of Spring in IL sometime, not in the immediate future However, I can experience your Spring vicarously, nibble om Mimmosa Macrons, and sip champagne. Your macroms are gorgeous.

  11. anh
    anh says:

    I have only seen mimosa in photos and heard about them in poems and songs. They are so beautiful, and you are really so talented to make mimosa macarons.

  12. Pauline
    Pauline says:

    These look wonderful, it makes us all feel better to see spring yellow wether daffodils or mimosa (must try ALL your champagne variations ! )
    I would love to try these too. Yes I also remember the English eggs, that made me smile 🙂

  13. thoma
    thoma says:

    jeez wht do i say?? lemme think…thanks a bunch and more than a bunch for bringing us this lovely mimosian post to read, drool and drool and drool…

    hope you’ll have a good time at the signing…

    i read you last response…made me laugh…yea the endless mindful dribble on macarons may miff your kids…but it’s not even fair…it’s like showing a piece of cake and not offering!!

    looking fwd to your next…

  14. Natalie
    Natalie says:

    Our mimosas aren’t out here yet but it won’t be long. The almond blossom is just disappearing so the mimosa is next, thanks for the preview I’m excited now!! Just wish it would stop raining for an hour so I can get out there!! Your macaroons look so pretty, they need one of those fluffy yellow chicks next to them for the full spring effect!!

  15. Kim - Liv Life
    Kim - Liv Life says:

    Ahhh… Mimosa!! I was curious after you posted your pic on Facebook and my guess wasn’t even close.
    My girlfriend and her husband are visiting Paris this week and I’ve been enjoying her blog about her visit, combined with your descriptions of the start of the Parisian Spring I’m most definitely envious!!



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