Recently my daughter needed to make a French recipe to share with her French class at school. We decided to have a go at making macarons and I am so glad that we did. French style macaroons, or ‘macarons’ en français, are two delicate meringue style cookies sandwiched together with a rich buttercream or ganache. When you bite into a macaron the crisp exterior of the cookie gives way into a slightly chewy center that in turn gives way to a delectable cream filling. Delicieux.
I had never used rose water prior to this recipe. The buttercream recipe only calls for a quarter teaspoon and the smallest bottle sold at my supermarket was 300 ml! Holy Rose Water! Please, if you know of any other good recipes using rose water send them my way!
Please indulge me while I have a momentary flight of ideas:
Rose + Water= Titanic——>Sinking
Kills me everytime!
Back to the baking.
French Macarons With Raspberry-Rose Buttercream
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup sifted almond flour
3 large egg whites
2 Tbs plus 1/2 tsp sugar
16 oz frozen raspberries
1 cup plus 6 Tbs sugar, divided
2 large egg whites
10 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, softened
1/4 tsp rose water
1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.
2. Sift confectioners’ sugar and almond flour into a large bowl.
3. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites, sugar and a pinch of salt until medium peaks form. Add egg white mixture to almond mixture and fold to incorporate.
4. Working in two batches, fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch diameter plain pastry tip with batter. (Batter will be thin and will drip from bag). Pipe batter in 1 1/4 inch rounds on baking sheets, spacing one inch apart. (Cookies will spread slightly). Let rest on baking sheets at room temperature for 20 minutes.
5. Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven.
6. Preheat oven to 375℉.
7. Bake cookies 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325℉. Continue to bake cookies until puffed and golden on top, about 10 minutes, reversing sheets after 5 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets on rack. Carefully peel cookies from parchment.
(The cookies can be made one day ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.)
1. Bring raspberries and 1 cup sugar to boil in a large saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook until berries are soft, juices thicken, and mixture measures about 1 1/2 cups, stirring frequently, 7 to 9 minutes.
2. Measure 1/2 cup of raspberry mixture and strain into a small bowl. Cool strained jam and jam with seeds separately.
(The jams can be made one week ahead. Cover them separately and refrigerate)
3. Combine egg whites, 6 Tbs sugar and 1/4 tsp salt in bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water. Heat until candy thermometer inserted into mixture registers 140℉, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Using whisk attachment, beat egg white mixture at high speed until stiff meringue forms and mixture is at room temperature, 5 to 6 minutes.
5. With mixer running, add butter, 1 piece at a time, beating until each piece is incorporated before adding next. Beat in rose water. Add 3 Tbs seedless jam, 1 Tbs at a time. (If the buttercream should ever appear curdled, place bowl over medium heat and whisk to warm slightly for a few seconds, then remove from heat and beat again. Note: I never had any curdling and have no idea how common a problem that is.)
6. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Using 1/2 tsp jam with seeds for each, spread jam over flat side of half of macarons. (These are super delicate cookies. Handle very carefully or they crush.)
7. Spoon buttercream into pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch plain tip. Starting at outer edge of flat sides of remaining macarons, pipe buttercream over in spiral. (I had to hold the macaron in one hand and pipe with the other since the dang things would move all over the place if I tried to pipe the buttercream while they were sitting on the parchment.)
8. Gently press macarons, jam filled side down, onto buttercream coated macarons. Place on sheet. Cover and chill overnight.
(The macarons can be made 2 to 3 days ahead. Store in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving)
Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine. (They said they got about 3 dozen sandwiched macarons. Even when I realized, early on, that I was piping the cookies too big I still only ended up with about 24 sandwiched macarons.)
Here are a few French songs to get you in a macaron mood.
Lloyd Cole-Si Tu Dois Partir
Serge Gainsbourg-Sea, Sex And Sun
DeVotchKa-Viens Avec Moi