I know I said previously that I would take a break from posting any more macaron recipes but I recently joined Mactweets a new blogroll for fellow macaron bakers. This month’s theme was Valentines and I was at bit of a loss for what to do. I’m single, gay and not really into valentines (im a bit of a cynic) and wasn’t really loving the theme. Originally I thought I could do an anti-valentines post but I couldn’t really think of anything other than liquorice (it being black!) but in the end I caved and thought I would go with the spirit of the theme and went all out romantic with a healthy sprinkling of pink with rose as the flavour. This post is also quite timely in that Pierre Herme has finally, after years of rumours, opened a shop in London. As of 5th February you can now buy his Macarons from a small concession in Selfridges on Oxford Street, and later this year he will be opening a fully-fledged store in Kensington. Just a shame I don’t live in London.
My brother paid a visit and finally got to taste Herme’s macarons for himself. He also found out that the Macaron book by Herme, previously only available in French, will soon be available in English (its due to be published in June). I also did a bit of experimentation with French v Italian meringue and with the oven temperature. I had found, with previous batches, that the feet of the macarons extended to the side too much, which is normally a sign of an oven turned up too high. I have found that using Herme’s Italian meringue recipe cooks, for me, best at about 140C for about 13 minutes. I haven’t made a French style meringue in a long time but sometimes im not in the mood for boiling sugar so I whipped up a batch using Veronica’s updated recipe. They were a disaster. An absolute failure. The batter ended up too runny so when they baked I ended up with one giant macaron, which looked liked bubble wrap, so ill be staying with my usual recipe for the moment. I filled these macarons with a raspberry pate-de-fruit but im not perfectly happy with that so wont post the recipe just yet.
Rose Macarons – Pierre Herme
300g Ground Almonds
300g Icing Sugar
110g Egg Whites, aged
5g Red Food Colouring
300g Granulated Sugar
110 Egg Whites, aged
200g Granulated Sugar
90g Egg Yolks
400g Butter, very soft
4g Rose Essence (I used rose water)
50g Rose Syrup (natco brand)
1. Mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together. Sieve into a large bowl. Mix the colouring into the first portion of egg whites and pour this onto the sugar/almond mixture but don’t mix in.
2. Pour the water and sugar into a saucepan and swirl together. Add the second portion of egg whites to a mixer fitted with the whisk. Cook the syrup to 118C. Once the mixture reaches 115C start the mixer on high. Once the syrup reaches 118C take straight of the heat and pour in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl continuing to whisk on high.
3. Continue to whisk the meringue on high until the side of the bowl is no longer hot. You still want it a little warm, around 50C. Add all of the meringue to the bowl with the almond sugar mixture.
4. Using a large spatula fold the mixture together until it starts to shine and forms a ribbon that stays visible for about 30 seconds.
5. Add the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe into alternating lines onto parchment lined baking sheets. Set aside for about 30 minutes or until the macarons have formed a skin that doesn’t stick to your finger.
6. Whilst the macarons are drying preheat your oven to 140C. Once ready bake the macarons for around 13 mintues. Remove the baking trays and immediately slide off the macarons and the parchment onto the work surface and let cool completely before removing the shells.
1. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and cook over medium heat to 120C. Whilst the syrup is coming to temperature add the eggs and egg yolks to the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk and whisk until the thicken and lighten in colour.
2. With the mixer still on slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl and continue to whisk until cooled.
3. Switch to the beater begin to beat in the butter at medium/high speed one or two pieces at a time. Once all the butter is beaten in and the buttercream is smooth beat in the rose syrup and essence.
I have got into the habit of blitzing the almond/icing sugar in a food processor for a short while, to try and make the store bought ground almond more finely ground.
If you overcook the syrup for the macarons you will end up with thick and hard shells so I always take the sugar off the heat one or two degrees early (it will reach the right temp off the heat).
If by the time you have piped one row you still have peaks, the batter needs more folding so put the batter back in the bowl and give a few (maybe 5) more folds.
If your butter isn’t warm enough your buttercream will look like scrambled eggs but persevere just beat on high for a couple of minutes until it smoothes out.