This is one recipe I’ve been excited about for ages. I looooooooooove love love love LOVE rose-flavored things. My first experience with the flavor was sweet, cold gelato, and I’ve been infatuated ever since. It’s definitely not a taste for everyone, but I feel like a princess or pixie, daintily snacking on flowers. (My favorite perfume is rose too–go figure!) But, rosewater isn’t readily available around here (few things are–I live in the middle of nowhere, we just got a Trader Joe’s late last year), and since I was out of a job til recently, I didn’t want to spend the money on shipping. But for Christmas, I got all sorts of fun kitchen goodies! Rosewater, lavender extract, chocolate extract, all manner of sprinkles–eeeeeeeeeeee! Santa was so good to me. And so these were finally realized. They’re sweet, floral, and pair marvelously with the chocolate, though you may want to put a thinner layer than I did so the rose isn’t overwhelmed.
Macarons are another thing that have scared me for a while. Measuring by weight, and the list of borderline magic tricks to make them work… But if you know what you’re doing, they’re really not hard! I measured by volume and they ended up just fine. I’ve also made them on humid or rainy days without trouble. Just make sure they bake thoroughly–this is one time you’ll want to err on the side of overbaking, rather than under. In both senses, actually. Shells will break, I’m telling you now, so be prepared with more than you need. And if they’re not cooked through, the insides will fall out on the cookie sheet–gah! So frustrating. You also want to make sure they’re fully cooled before trying to take them off.
Feel free to fill the cookies with whatever you like–strawberry jam sounds delicious with roses!
Rose macarons with chocolate ganache
6 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar (superfine is generally used, but I’ve always used granulated sugar for meringue without trouble)
3 cups powdered/confectioner’s/icing sugar
2 1/4 cup almond meal (you can buy it at Trader Joe’s, or grind your own in a food processor from slivered almonds)
3 tsp rosewater
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
food coloring (if desired)
To start with, preheat the oven to 375 F and line a cookie sheet with a silpat (I got three for Christmas! Looooooove it) or parchment paper. Next, whip your egg whites with the whisk attachment of a Kitchenaid on medium high (about a 6) til foamy. When it’s nice and frothy, add the cream of tartar, and continue to beat for a minute or two. Gradually add the sugar, and when it’s all in there, turn it up to a 7 or 8. Whip into stiff, lush peaks.
Sift in your almond meal and powdered sugar, and add your coloring, rosewater, and vanilla bean paste or extract now. Fold the mixture together, but there’s no need to be gentle–we’re trying to deflate the batter a bit. You want it to be thick, but if you drop a ribbon of batter into the bowl, it should disappear within ten or so seconds. Otherwise, your shells will turn out bumpy.
Pipe dollar coin sized circles onto your baking sheet. You can also make nickel-sized baby ones, or pretty shapes, pretty much anything you want! Once they’re piped, let the sheets sit for at least 45 minutes to an hour. This creates the “feet” on the bottom of the macaron.
Put the sheets in to bake with the oven door cracked (put a wooden spoon in the door to hold it open just a bit), and immediately decrease the temperature to 325 F. Bake 10-15 minutes, checking for browning on the tops. If you see it, take them out, but they’ll be done in the middle even without browning. Let sit until completely cool, and make your ganache.
Dark chocolate ganache
8 oz semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream
Chop (or I usually run it through the food processor) your chocolate finely and place in a heat-safe bowl. Heat cream on the stove on medium til simmering, watching carefully to see that it doesn’t boil over–it’ll escalate more quickly than you think. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and stir til smooth.
Wait a bit for it to thicken, and then fill and sandwich macaron shells. Enjoy!
You’ll notice I don’t have a recipe for the white chocolate ganache–I tried to replace the semisweet chocolate with white chocolate chips in the above recipe. Don’t do that. It went badly. Oh well, live and learn!