Rose and strawberry flavors are some of my favorite and they come together beautifully in this French Macaron.This batch was donated to a local benefit last weekend. I had been thinking a lot about what flavors to make, revisiting creations I had made before. The final delivery contained three different flavors. Besides these, I made a batch of Jasmine and one of Chocolate with chocolate ginger buttercream filling.
The problem was the day was humid. Humidity and making French macarons are a recipe for disaster. The chocolate ones I had to make twice because I was doing so many other tasks in the kitchen at the same time, I forgot to ad the granualated white sugar to the egg whites and ened up with cracked shells with no feet.
In general, the shells for all the macarons turned out to be extremely delicate and crushed easily. I covered them with disco dust to hide imperfections before delivering them.
For the rose strawberry version, I added rose extract and pink coloring to the shells. The contents of a jar of strawberry preserves were briefly run through a food processor to smooth out any lumps and smeared between the shells. The fragrant floral essence of the shells balanced beautifully with the sweet seasonal strawberry filling. The trick is not to use too much filling to leave room for the rose flavor.
Rose French Macarons with Strawberry Filling
Use a kitchen scale for precise measurements.
- 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
- 1 teaspoon rose flavored extract
- 110 Grams of almond flour*
- Pinch of cream of tarter
- Pinch of salt
- pink food coloring
- Strawberry jelly or preserves**
*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.
**I used preserves but ran them through a food processor to smooth out any lumps to make the spreading them on the shells easier.
- 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.
- 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 to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. Add the rose extract and pink food coloring. 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 with strawberry jelly or your choice of filling.