Anyway, I have been wanting to try and make pink coloured macarons for a while, ever since seeing a rainbow coloured display at Betty’s Tearooms at Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate. I also was keen to combine this with our rose water - Steenbergs organic rose blossom water – but I find macarons recipes really complex. For example, I found several recipes by Pierre Hermé, but while he is the master, it felt way too finickity for a country boy like me. So here’s how I made some pink rose macarons and by the end it had become almost as hard work as if I had followed those damn difficult recipes in the first place!
For the rose blossom filling:
62.5g/2.25oz good quality white chocolate, melted and left to cool a bit
62.5ml/2.25oz double cream
15g unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
1.5tsp Steenbergs Rose Blossom Water
For the batter:
125g/4.5oz ground almonds
125g/4.5oz icing sugar
1tsp red food colouring (see how I made it at end of the recipe)
2tsp Steenbergs organic rose blossom water
90g/3oz egg whites (somewhere around 3 eggs are needed)
125g/4.5oz Fairtrade caster sugar
Pre-heat oven to 180oC /350oF. Line two baking trays or sheets with baking parchment paper and get a pastry bag ready with a 2cm plain tip.
Start by making the rose flavoured filling. Melt the white chocolate bits in a mixing bowl over boiling water. Heat the double cream and when the cream is just about to boil, remove from the heat and add to the white chocolate, then stir until smooth. Add the butter and mix these through until completely smooth. Now add the Steenbergs organic rose blossom water and mix thoroughly. Cover the filling with clingfilm touching its surface and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
In a food processor, grind together the icing sugar and ground almonds until really fine and then sieve.
Put the egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat them with an electric mixer until they start to rise, then add the caster sugar in two parts, adding the Steenbergs rose blossom water and colouring with the second batch of caster sugar, and continue to whisk until the egg whites become stiff, firm and slightly glossy on the outside.
Carefully fold the dry ingredients in two parts into the beaten egg whites with a metal spoon or rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and the last streaks of egg mix disappear, stop mixing and scrape the batter into the pastry bag.
Carefully pipe out the batter into 3cm round evenly spaced every 3cm apart onto the parchment paper. Rap the baking tray three times on the counter top to flatten the macarons. Then bake for 15 – 18 minutes with the oven door kept slightly open held by wooden spoon. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then carefully detach and leave to cool completely.
To put the pink rose macarons together, pipe some of the rose blossom filling onto a macarons and then sandwich another similar shaped macaron on top, twist it slightly until the filling spills our a bit. Carry on until you have built all of the pink rose macarons.
Cover them and store in the fridge for about 24 hours before taking out of the fridge and serving at room temperature.
Note on colouring:
You could use carmine red food colouring or cochineal for the colouring if you wish. These are not natural colours or are derived from animals, so may not meet with your ethical viewpoints, however these macarons are much better coloured pink as that is part of their appeal. Here’s how I got around the issue, I made my own food colouring.
I took 1 teaspoon of organic beetroot powder and added 2 tablespoons of mineral water and mixed together. Leave for about 30 minutes, then filter through paper tea filter – I used one of our DIY tea bags or you could use a coffee filter. Unfortunately, it smells a bit of beetroot so I added rose blossom into the batter which isn’t really necessary, and the colour is more of a berry, but it looked better than off white and gets into the spirit of it all.
As I wrote earlier, making macarons is a bit like a complex chemical experiment and really feels a bit fussy at times, but these did taste delicious and sweet.