One of the best perks about being a UN spouse is meeting all the other spouses from other countries. One lovely lady recently returned from a visit to her home country of Romania and gifted me with this beautiful potent jar of rose preserves.
My first thought (of course) was macaron filling. Since I started my macaron making adventures, I rarely think of putting anything delectable that comes in a jar on toast, I always think mac-filling.
The preserves themselves were too watery to use full strength so I mixed them with some leftover vanilla butter cream.
For the last weeks, I've had a bad run of macaron making, 6 failed batches in the last weeks. At first I blamed it on the weather but I was starting to believe I was losing my mactouch.
These lovelies broke the spell. Finally! I used some pomegranate powder which added a pleasant tangy flavor to the shells. In combination with the rose buttercream, the result was a wonderful tangy sweet flowery flavored mac.
I gifted them to an ex-colleague who invited me over for brunch. Last I heard she was savoring them, parceling them out two at a time to enjoy.
Pomegranate Macarons with
Rose Vanilla Buttercream Filling
For the pomegranate Macaron Shells:
- 90 grams of egg whites - aged at least 2 days. Let them sit out on the counter uncovered.
- 25-50 grams of fine granulated sugar
- 200 grams of powdered sugar (minus 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons ground dehydrated pomegranate powder
- 110 Grams of almond flour*
- Pinch of cream of tarter
- Pinch of salt
- Red powdered food coloring - optional
*You can buy almond flour that has been ground with or without the skin. I use the later (blanched). The former looks really nice if you are not coloring the shells. You can also grind your own almond flour by putting whole or sliced almonds in a food processor or blender. If you do, make sure you throw a little of the powdered sugar in to prevent the almonds from forming a paste.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.
- Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together or pulse them together briefly in a food processor. Make sure there are no large pieces.
- Remove and discard two tablespoons of the mixture and whisk in the 2 tablespoons of the pomegranate powder and set aside.
- Whip the egg whites. When they start to get foamy, slowly add the sugar. Continue whipping until you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing slides out. Add the pinches of salt and cream of tartar.
- Add the powdered sugar/almond/pomegranate mixture to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. Add the powdered color midway through the folding process. The batter should have a "flowing like lava" consistency. Make a peak of the batter and if it does not disappear after 5-7 seconds, keep folding. If it's running all over the place, you will probably have to start over.
- Place a pastry bag fitted with a round shaped tip in a tall water and and fold the edges down around the glass.
- Fill the pastry bag with the macaron batter, twist the open top to secure and pipe circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a Silpat.
- Let the macarons dry for about a half hour or until they harden.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place the macarons on the middle rack in the oven. I keep the oven door propped open with a dish towel or wooden spoon.
- I place another empty baking sheet on top to prevent the shells from becoming toasted and discolored.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- When checking them after 10 minutes or so, if the ones in the back of the sheet seem to be cooking faster that the ones in front, flip the tray around.
- To test to see if they are done, peel the baking paper or silpat back, if the shell comes off easily, they are done.
- If you do have a problem with the shells sticking to the surface when removed from the oven, lift up the baking paper and pour a bit of water underneath. this will steam them off the paper.
- Transfer to a baking rack and let cool completely before matching up the shells into pairs according to size and then fill.
For the Rose Vanilla Buttercream:
- 1 stick butter at room temperature
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon rose preserves
- Place the butter, 2 cups of the powdered sugar and the cream in a mixer and cream together.
- Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Add the rest of the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until combined. If the mixture is too liquid, add more powdered sugar.
- Mix in the rose preserves.
- Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and fill the shells with the buttercream.