August 1, 2011

Blackberry and Strawberry Macarons

My cousin's hair salon, Hair Cuts Etc., celebrated its 10th anniversary over the weekend so she ordered some macarons for the party she was having.  Her only request was that they coordinate with the purple and dark pink color theme.  For the macaron flavors I decided to go with something fresh and fruity, blackberry and strawberry.

The last time I made macarons was back in February so I was definitely feeling a bit rusty.  Apparently the macaron gods could sense my trepidation because the first batch came out terrible - paper thin tops and they kept sticking to the baking sheet.  Ugh!  Into the compost bin they went.   You'd think that after making them for the past few years I'd know what I was doing.

Determined to not let another batch go to waste I kept at it.  Much to my relief the next trays came out as they should have.  Just goes to show that baking is as much about perseverance as it is about skill.

Blackberry Macarons (makes about 30)

90 gr egg whites (about 3) preferably aged 3-5 days in the fridge
30 gr granulated sugar
200 gr powdered sugar
110 gr almonds

a few drops of purple gel-based food coloring 

Filling: Blackberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream 

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Add the food coloring.  Do not over beat your meringue or it will be too dry. 

In a separate bowl sift the confectioner's sugar and almond flour.  Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like lava or a thick ribbon. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. 
Preheat the oven to 300F. 

Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes, depending on their size.  Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don't let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy.

Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer. To fill: pipe or spoon about 1 big tablespoon of butterceam in the center of one shell and top with another one. 

Blackberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

1 egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut in to 16 pieces
1/4 tsp vanilla extract 
1/4 cup seedless blackberry puree (I just blended fresh blackberries and strained out the seeds)

Add the egg, sugar and salt to the metal bowl of a standing mixer and whisk constantly over a pan of simmering water.  When the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch remove from the heat, about 3-4 minutes. 

Beat mixture in the stand mixer using the wire whisk attachment until it's a meringue.  It should look like marshmallow fluff and the bottom of the bowl should be cool.  

With the mixer still running add the butter, one piece at a time.  Once all the butter has been added continue beating until the buttercream is light and fluffy.  If at any time the buttercream looks curdled continue beating and it will come together.  Add the blackberry puree and mix until blended.

Strawberry Macarons

Use the same recipe as above, except use pink food coloring for the macarons.  For the filling substitute 1/4 cup seedless strawberry puree for the blackberry puree.


  1. Susanne8/03/2011

    You have to give me lessons in the art of making macarons one day.

  2. Anonymous8/06/2011

    The presentation looks amazing. I love those bowls of yours and I've been looking everywhere for them! Where did you get them? And the macarons! Wow, they look glossy and absolutely divine! I will definitely give this a go. In the method, you mentioned egg white powder, but I don't see it in the ingredients. I was wondering how much egg white powder I should be using.

  3. Oops, my bad! This recipe for macarons doesn't have egg white powder so I've deleted it from the recipe. Sorry about the confusion.

    The small white bowls are from IKEA.

  4. Beautiful macarons, the feet are perfect, well done!


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