French Macarons – for better or for worse, we’ve all heard of them! Small, almond meringues sandwiched with a creamy filling.
I have a confession to make, well, actually 2!
1. I am not a big fan, there I’ve said it – but I do almost always make them when I entertain because the guests love them!
2. I have never had a macaron flop, disaster, panic, catastrophe, debacle, fail – you get the picture!
For those of you who’ve never tried them, in their original form, they have a smooth, slightly crusty top with a chewy inside. These days, there isn’t a flavour that hasn’t been experimented with when it comes to these meringues – even chilli ones!
Today’s version, Rose Macarons, is a basic almond meringue, coloured pink and sandwiched with a Rose Buttercream. I’ve tried flavouring the meringue with rose flavour but I think the flavoured cream is certainly the better option. Look out for more flavoured recipes using this basic combination.
This is the recipe that I’ve been using for quite a while now for not just these Rose Macarons but quite a few other flavoured ones too.. The addition of the caster/granulated sugar is to combat that characteristic sickly sweetness of the macaron that I’m just not a fan off. The cream of tartar is to help the meringue.
Piping bag is a must to pipe out the little circles, I usually don’t bother with a nozzle but that’s up to you.
Leave the piped out macarons to rest for 30 minutes before baking them. This is a must as it allows the slight crust and the “feet” to develop. The “feet” are that characteristic wrinkly bit at the bottom of each macaron half.
I have experimented with various times, starting from 15 minutes to 2 hours, the only difference I noticed, which was very slight, is that 15 minutes produced “feet” that were just marginally less pronounced.
We don’t subscribe to the kitchen environment playing a part in the success of a macaron. We have made them in the different seasons, when there’s been pasta bubbling away on the stove and in a “dry” kitchen.
At the risk of sounding patronising, tell yourself it’s a walk in the park and it will be!
I ground my own nuts, if you use shop bought which is handier and quicker, make sure that they don’t smell stale.
Rose macarons, a basic meringue mix, coloured pink and sandwiched with rose flavoured buttercream icing.
- 120g icing sugar
- 150g ground almonds
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 50g caster (or granulated) sugar
- pink food colouring paste
- half portion rose flavoured buttercream icing
- piping bag fitted with a half inch piping nozzle (although as you can see, I didn't bother here & still got perfect circles)
- large baking sheets
- Place the icing sugar and ground almonds into a large bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. I have never bothered sifting them.
- Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl or stand mixer and beat on high speed until soft peaks form.
- Add the sugar and continue beating on high until you get stiff peaks.
- Then add the food colouring and beat for 20 seconds more just to spread the colour.
- Fold in a third of the almond and icing sugar mix, followed by the rest in two more additions until everything is just combined. Don't over mix.
- Fill the piping bag halfway with the macaron mixture. Best way to do this is by placing the piping bag over a narrow-ish glass, fitting the bag over the sides of the glass, then just place spoonfuls of the macaron meringue in the bag.
- Pipe out little rounds, bearing in mind that you will be sandwiching two of them together. So, you will need an even total and will end up with half of what you pipe out.
- Tap the baking sheet gently to remove any trapped air bubbles.
- Leave out for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 160˚C/325˚F.
- Bake the macarons for about 10 - 12 minutes, don't let them brown.
- Let them cool completely then, fill them with the Rose Buttercream.
Prep time above doesn't include resting time. Best eaten within a few hours of filling although they will keep in the fridge, covered, for 2 days but serve at room temperature. Unfilled macarons should be fine in the fridge for 5 days. Can be frozen for up to 1 month. You can of course fill the macarons up with any flavoured icing. Check out the Buttercream Icing Page for more ideas.