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Rainbow Macarons

During our visit to Paris in April, I took some time to get a little instruction on macarons at Le Cordon Bleu. They are the fancy French cousin to the American sandwich cookie.  The cookie part is just almond flour, powdered sugar, Italian meringue, egg whites, and a little food coloring that gives a fun indication of the filling. It is the filling that hosts the variety of flavors and not the shells.

They can be found filled with ganache, buttercream, jams, or jellies. The sky is your limit. I give you the basic recipe for the macaron “shell”, or “cookie” as well as a base ganache recipe that you can add any flavor. For example, with a green-shaded macaron, I use pistachio butter, for a red shade I’ll use lingonberry jam.

As a toast to Pride Month, I made a full rainbow of macarons. Here is what I came up with:

  • Red: Lingonberry
  • Orange: Grand Marnier
  • Yellow: Lemon Curd
  • Green: Pistachio
  • Blue: Blueberry
  • Purple: Chambord

Because this is baking so you’re going to want a scale. I am giving measurements in some new-fangled units of mass and volume found in the ye olde metric system.  

Note that a milliliter of water (volume) is equal to a gram of water (weight) so if you don’t have a graduated measuring cup with ml (Pyrex) just weigh it out.

You can use either liquid food coloring or gel. The liquid will give you a pastel hue. The gel, in a hefty amount, can get you the vibrant colors of the rainbow. Your call.

About wine, sweets are difficult to pair.

Read through the recipes, the first is for the macaron shells, the second for the ganache filling.

This makes 30 macarons. The macrons are best eaten a couple of days after assembly if you can wait that long. They will keep up to a week. These freeze nicely and will keep in the freezer for several months.

Ingredients

Equipment

Kitchen scale
Stand mixer
Saucepan
Sheet pans
Silpat or parchment paper
Pastry bag
#10 piping tip or equivalent

Ingredients for Macarons

100 g ground almonds
100 g powdered sugar
74 g egg whites (divided into two 37 g portions)
Food coloring, in the amount to your liking
110 g sugar (dividing into 100 g and 10 g portions)
35ml water

Ingredients for Ganache

120 ml whipping cream, divided
½ teaspoon powdered gelatin
85 g white chocolate chips
35 g flavoring; i.e. pistachio paste, lemon curd, berry jam, etc.

How To Make

1
Make the base. Sift together almond flour and powdered sugar. Mix with 37 g of egg whites.
2
Make the Italian meringue. In a small saucepot over low heat, add the 100g sugar and water and swirl to combine. Increase the heat and boil till the temperature reaches 245ºF. Remove from heat.
3
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk 37 g of egg whites on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and 10 g sugar, increase speed, and beat until soft peaks form.
4
With the mixer running, pour the heated sugar syrup in a thin stream over the beaten egg whites. Beat egg whites until they are stiff, glossy, and the temperature falls to 90ºF.
5
Make the macaron shells. Preheat the oven to 330ºF.
6
Fold meringue into the macaron base. Continue to fold until meringue loses volume and becomes smooth and shiny.
7
Using a pastry bag with piping tip #10, fill the bag with the mixture. Pipe macarons of 4 cm on a silicone mat or parchment paper. Leave to set for 10 minutes.
8
Bake in the oven at 330ºF for three minutes and then reduce heat to 295ºF for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool on a rack.
9
Make the ganache. In a small bowl mix powdered gelatin with 20 ml of whipping cream, let set 10 minutes.
10
Bring 100 ml of whipping cream to a boil. Remove from heat and add to the gelatin mixture. Add white chocolate and mix to melt. Add flavoring and combine. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Transfer to pastry bag.
11
Assemble. Match up pairs of macaron shells based on similar size.
12
Pipe about a teaspoon of ganache onto one and top with the other with a bit of a twist motion, like you are screwing on a lid.

2019 Napa Valley Red Wine

Our small production Napa Valley Red Wine is always a blend of Bordeaux varietals.

2021 Rosé

The 2021 Rosé is a vibrant, fuscia. It shows bold notes of wild strawberries, ruby red grapefruit, and Campari.