Today I get the honour of celebrating a lovely bride-to-be, and that deserves to be done in style!
A little wedding celebration for two with my darling bride and myself, the matron of honour, complete with French Macarons with Rosewater Buttercream dusted with edible pink glitter!
French macarons have become incredibly poplar lately becoming the new epitome of a luxurious patisserie, and are notoriously finicky to make. Every time I try a new recipe or switch up a variable (this is the third home oven I’ve had) is always a bit nerve wracking. But even if the end product has been a hit or miss, it’s always been a great learning experience. Whether that be learning the pros and cons of convection vs convention oven, what the proper consistency you look for during the macaronage (the process of mixing the meringue and almond mixture together), or trouble shooting when you don’t know why the macaron has cracked/won’t come off the parchment/is hollow/doesn’t have feet. I love the details and this sometimes fussy cookie makes me look a little harder at its nuances.
I’ve done a far share of research over the years and using what I know- and more importantly what others know- about the best way to make macarons I decided to try a new recipe and test my luck (on a another new oven too… Yikes). I figured it was fitting for this celebration; weddings are exciting and challenging, you need a lot of help, and need a lot of research to get the final, beautiful end result.
And these little French beauties came out perfectly! A lovely pink colour, frilly little ruffled feet, a crisp on the outside and wonderfully chewy inside. The rosewater is a beautiful flavouring and one of my absolute favourites. If a scent could embody luxury and nature and fond memories, it’s rosewater. The smell will always remind me of my husband buying me bouquets of roses for no reason at all (which for me happens to be the best reason).The extract perfectly blends the French elegance of this patisserie with its aromatic flavouring.
Rosewater French Macarons
Yield: 12-24 cookies, depending on size piped
Ingredients:For French Macarons (adapted from Entertaining with Beth):
- 1 cups sifted almond meal
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 3 egg whites, room temperature*
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Gel food colouring of choice*
For Buttercream Filling:
- 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 4 cupa powdered sugar
- 1 & 1/2 tsp Rosewater extract
Instructions: (My instructions are as detailed as possible, so don’t be intimidated by the length!)
For French Macarons:
- Assemble all ingredients and tools needed before starting. Preheat oven to 300 degrees with the oven rack in the middle. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper, and if desired draw 1 inch or 2 inch rounds on the backside of the paper to make piping easier. Place a piping bag with a large round tip attached into a tall cup or vase, to make pouring the batter into the piping bag easier.
- Combine sifted almond meal and powdered sugar together in a bowl, making sure there are no large pieces of meal in the mixutre. The tops of the macarons will not be smooth if there are larger almond pieces still in the batter so it is important to sift thoroughly. Set aside.
- With the whisk attachment beat the room temperature egg whites in stand mixer on medium high speed until white and opaque. Add in cream of tartar, salt, and slowly add in sugar. Add in the gel food colouring, taking it a few shades beyond the desired colour as they will lighter when baking. The eggs whites/meringue need to reach the hard peak stage. This means if you were to pull out your whisk, the point the meringue makes would be stiff and not flop if you were to move the whisk around. Make sure to scrap down the sides of the bowl with a spatula so all of the egg whites are being whisked.
- Grab a seat (personal preference but this does take a few minutes and a strong arm) and combine a third of the almond mixture to the meringue.
- Macaronage: Fold (don’t stir) the almond mixture into the meringue with a spatula, going around the bowl then cutting through the middle of the batter.Keep doing this until combined. Add in the next third and repeat, then the last third and repeat. Once combined, you want to pull the batter up against the side of the bowl, then scrap the side of the bowl to fold it back together. You do this to remove some of the air, but you don’t want to over fold and have it turn too liquid. This can take between 60-80 folds, but another great way to gauge the proper consistency is by seeing it (here is a video of one bakers macaronage). You want it a lava-like consistency: not solid or plunking, but not dripping like honey. This step is the hardest and is really all about practice.
- Pour batter into the piping bag, twisting the top of the bag so your batter does not leak while piping.
- By eye or using the circles you drew on the parchment, pipe circles onto the parchment paper in 2 inch rounds, leaving 2 inches between each cookie.
- Firmly holding the pan with your thumbs holding the parchment paper in place, hit the pan on the counter hard, at least 3 times starting from at least a foot higher than the counter. Turn the pan and repeat. This will release the air bubbles and take away any peaks made by piping.
- Leave macarons to rest for minimum of 30 minutes. The tops of the cookies needs to dry out slightly, and you can tell when they are done by touching the top. If some of the batter sticks to your finger, they need more time or need to be moved to a less humid place. If you touch them and they are dry enough not to leave batter on your finger, they are ready. This step is crucial; if you skip it your cookies will bake/spread out and won’t have feet, instead of baking up and having feet.
- Place macarons in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. I personally put one pan in at a time, even though I can fit two. I also do not turn the pan halfway through baking. Even heat is a factor with baking macarons. My larger macarons were ready at 20 minutes exactly, my smaller ones were ready at 18 minutes. Underbaked macarons will stick to the parchment paper so be sure to give them the time they need (I say this out of experience!)
- When done, transfer to a wire rack to cool and feel proud of your pretty little macarons.
For the Buttercream:
- Whip butter in stand mixer on medium high speed until pale, about 5 – 7 minutes.
- Turn off mixer and add in 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, then turn the mixer on slow. Slowly increase speed as sugar is incorporated. Repeat until all the powdered sugar in mixed in.
- Add in rosewater extract and gel food colouring if desired, beat until combined.
- Attached favourite tip into piping bag (I used the 1M Wilton star tip) and fill with buttercream
- Take two similar size and shaped macaron shells and pipe icing onto one side, them place the other cookie half on top.
- Optional: Roll sides in sprinkles, paint on lustre dust on the macaron top to add some sparkle, or spread a very thin layer of icing on macaron top and dip in sprinkles.
*If you need your eggs to get to room temperature fast, place eggs in a bowl of temperate water for 5 – 8 minutes.
*If you do not have gel food colouring I would recommend you leave the colouring out completely. Adding in liquid food colouring can add in too much moisture and can cause problems with the macarons.
*Tip: French Macarons are best when left until the next day, but this batch was best once cooled, as the chewy texture was slightly lost and the tops had become slightly too fragile.
(Maybe and hopefully the longest recipe I write, but hopefully it was detailed enough to let you get a better understanding of how I made these. If you have any questions I’m happy to help out, just leave me a reply below)
This batch is one of many more to come (I am matron of honour in my sister’s wedding too so there will be at least one more little celebration!) and I already dreaming up more little ruffled marvels!
But for now it’s time for wedding planning, champagne, and a few well deserves treats for the bride and I!
Happy macaronaging everyone!