Pierre Herme

Raspberry Ispahan Macarons

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I’ve definitely got the hang of making macarons – look at these beauties!  I took my inspiration from Pierre Herme’s Ispahan macarons but, instead of rose cream, I made a raspberry buttercream.  And can I just say, they are delicious.  I even managed to make a couple of normal (baby) macarons with the leftover mixture 🙂

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This recipe makes three big (roughly 7-8cm) macarons, and two normal (2cm) macarons.

For the macarons:
– 128g icing sugar
– 90g ground almonds
– 2 egg whites
– 50g granulated sugar

For the raspberry buttercream:
– 45g butter
– 95g icing sugar
– 1 tbsp milk
– 1 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder

For decoration:
– 200g raspberries

Blitz the ground almonds and icing sugar in a blender until they’re fine.  Sieve into a bowl and set aside.

Put the egg whites in a separate bowl and whisk until foamy.  Add half of the granulated sugar and whisk for another minute, before adding the rest of the sugar.  Whisk to soft peaks and then add the food colouring (I use gel food colouring, as it doesn’t change the texture of the macarons.  However, the red food colouring I have is really bright and I can’t seem to find a darker one.  If anyone knows, please tell me!).  Once the food colouring has been added, whisk to stiff peaks.

Carefully fold in half of the almond mixture, taking care not to remove the air that’s been whisked in.  Fold in the rest of the almond mixture.  Fold the mixture a bit more, until it starts to drop off of the spatula, like a ribbon (I keep meaning to take a video of this point, for reference, but I don’t remember until after the macarons have been piped out).

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain piping tip and pipe onto baking sheets lined with baking paper.  You’ll want to pipe circles roughly 7-8cm wide, with at least 3cm between them (to stop them potentially running together).  Bang the trays against your work surface, twice on each side, to remove any bubbles in the macarons (admittedly, I forgot to do this for these ones but, thankfully, it didn’t seem to affect them too much – although, my baby macarons split a little bit!).  Leave to sit for at least 30 minutes, so they can form a skin – sitting them in front of a fan helps.

Heat the oven to 150C (preferably a non-fan oven.  If you only have a fan oven, set it to 130-140C and keep an eye on them).  Cook the macarons for 10 minutes, turn the tray, and cook for a further 8-10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and run a little water under the baking paper (don’t soak it!).  Leave for a few minutes, before removing from the paper and letting cool completely on a wire rack.

While the macarons are cooling, make the buttercream.  Beat the butter until soft and add the icing sugar.  I like to mix the icing sugar in by hand, as using a mixture causes a mini icing sugar explosion (seriously, it will go everywhere).  Add the tablespoon of milk and the raspberry powder and mix together.

To assemble the macarons, pair the similar sizes of macaron shells together.  Pipe some buttercream in the centre of half of the shells (about an inch wide), and place raspberries around the buttercream.  Top with the other half of the macaron shells and ta-da!  Gorgeous macarons!

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