Sunday, June 7, 2015

Rose Macarons

Getting the perfect amount of rose water in the buttercream filling of these Rose Macarons is the real challenge in making them. You want the rose flavor to be distinguishable but you also want it to be fresh and light and not taste like a mouthful of perfume. Done correctly, the flavor is wonderful.

It's also essential that you be sure to use culinary rose water which most commonly used in Persian and Middle Eastern sweets can be found in ethnic markets and some grocery stores. I've tried a few brands and my favorite is Cortas.

These pretty macarons are for my dear friend Iris' graduation celebration. I hope she likes them.

Here's the recipe:
Rose Macarons
180g ground almonds, sifted
270g powdered sugar, sifted
150g egg whites, aged 2 to 4 days in the fridge and then brought to room temperature
100g granulated sugar
Pink food coloring

Line four heavy baking sheets with good quality parchment paper and set aside. Also, set aside two pastry bags for the piping of the macarons.

Sift together your ground almonds with the powdered sugar and set aside.

Whisk the egg whites (at room temperature) to glossy firm peaks adding the granulated sugar gradually in four parts. Add the coloring which lightens after baking so tint them a bit darker than how you want them to turn out.

Incorporate the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites using a large rubber scraper.  Mix well. 

Fold the mixture with the rubber scraper by pulling down the sides and flipping the mixture over. Do this until you have a smooth mixture that falls like a “ribbon” off the scraper.

Transfer the mixture into the two piping bags. Use rubber bands to close the piping bags. Clip the tip of the bags, one at a time, and pipe small quarter sized rounds, leaving 1-inch of space between each because they spread as they set.

Leave to set for about 30 minutes or until the top has formed a crust and is not sticky to the touch.
The piped macarons resting before baking.
While they are setting, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. A convection oven is preferable. Bake one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 9 to 12 minutes or until the cookie is firm, matte and doesn't wobble when touched.

Leave on the baking tray until cool then lift them all off the parchment carefully. You may need to use a thin knife to help lift them off.

Sort into pairs and fill with Rose Buttercream.

Rose Buttercream
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons rose water

In a stand mixer combine the butter, sugar and sea salt. Whip until smooth and light, this takes about 5 minutes. Add the rose water, 1 1/2 teaspoons at first and then taste and add more if desired.

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