Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rosewater and Raspberry Macarons

Rosewater and Raspberry Macarons (03) by MeetaK  

A few days ago I was reading an article on The Wall Street Journal about macarons going mainstream. It seems that what once was reserved to indulge in at high-class French patisseries, macarons are becoming so popular that in France one can buy them at a popular American burger joint!

It does sound rather perverse – ordering a cheeseburger, fries and a macaron to go! Of course the French are not amused at the fact that macarons are being sold at several American outlets like Starbucks and Trader Joe’s thus being pumped into a mainstream unlike anything before.

Macarons for everybody! Well after thinking about it – why not? While I certainly am all for everyone having the opportunity to indulge in whatever the heart desires, I think there certainly is a difference whether you are sinking your teeth into a fresh delicate cherished Ladurée macaron or a mass produced macaron. Tastes differ. While some will turn up their noses at the macarons available readily at the local supermarket and only indulge in the up-scale pastries, there are others who are left cold and prefer the macarons available at supermarkets and bakeries.

I think it goes beyond that though. Walking into Ladurée is probably best compared to walking into Tiffany’s. You are paying for the experience, you expect the luxurious and want the best.

Rosewater and Raspberry Macarons (02) by MeetaK

Now do not get me wrong – believe me I am definitely not a macaron snob. I am the type of person who would buy myself a macaron if I was craving it with my Chai Latte at Starbucks (provided they tasted good) but would also pay the extra Euros to experience a macaron at Ladurée. There is a difference. Just like Jimmy Choos are Jimmy Choos and everything else – well – are just shoes!

Macarons seem to have travelled the globe and I was surprised to see them so abundantly available in Dubai too. I went on a tasting spree, trying them at Paul’s with my latte, at Bateel, known for it’s date delicacies and several patisseries at the Dubai Mall. Macarons adorned their shop windows in a kaleidoscope of colors. In one such patisserie (and I am kicking myself because I have misplaced the card I was given) I had a wonderful experience of tasting macarons in a way that I have never before. 

Update - The shop was:

Forrey & Galland

The Dubai Mall, Lower Ground Floor

+971 4 339 8850

www.forreygalland.com

Rosewater and Raspberry Macarons Diptych (01) by MeetaK

As I walked into the shop there was the incredible aura of Oriental charm mixed with French chic. Like in an expensive jewelry boutique, the macarons were encased in glass showcases. I slowly walked past, my hand brushing the glass, gazing at the colorful displays of macarons sparkling like precious gems. I stopped and looked a little closer and smiled. As the shop assistant came towards me I noticed he too seemed to be smiling at me. Without uttering a word I pointed at the ruby red macarons, tiny and delicate. He gently took one out of the showcase and placed it on a black velvet lined tray.

As I bit into it I was taken aback, fruity and nutty – Orient meets Paris. I looked at the assistant and gasped “Raspberry and tahini?” I think I surprised him – he was not expecting it but I had deciphered the flavor code. This seemed to be my ticket to get into the VIP lounge – a few red carpet colored stairs up and I was in a room lined with heavy red, green and gold fabric, in the middle a large circular sofa. I felt underdressed!

I looked down at Soeren who’s eyes were probably gleaming just like mine. Was this what Charlie was feeling when allowed into Mr. Wonka’s chocolate factory? We sat down and were brought a small tray with a variety of 4 macarons by the assistant. I took a small bite of each and passed the rest to Soeren. As I chatted with the assistant he told me about all the flavors offered in the shop. My questions seemed to intrigue him and soon we were exchanging dialogue without realizing that an hour had passed.

Pink Roses (01) MeetaK

As we walked out again reality sucked me in and walking away from the shop I looked back one last time and patted the small velvet box lined with four delicate macarons.

I’ll cherish this experience and its all because macarons have gained on immense popularity that such extravagant high-end Parisian treats are available in the far-away desserts of Dubai.

Rosewater and Raspberry Macarons (01) by MeetaK

I took an idea from that experience and brought it back to my blog, along with a few ingredients for these macarons. Rosewater and dried rose petals – a taste of orient – perfume the macaron shells subtly and ripe raspberry jam scented with a hint of rosewater adds a fruity, floral and sweet note.

March 20 celebrates macarons in Le Jour du Macarons – Macaron Day. While I do not need a specific day to bite into a macaron, my motivation to create new flavor combination comes from Mactweets, a monthly event that encourages us to make and perfect our macaron making skills. This month its all about Spring Fling and flowers. Flowers have been playing a big role in my life lately and I’ve been enjoying every little detail too.

Note: If you are making macarons for the first time please read my comprehensive collection of macaron tips. All the way from the prep work to removing macarons from the baking paper, you’ll find valuable tips and tricks for perfect macaron making.

Rosewater and Raspberry Macarons

Printable version of recipe here

Ingredients

For the macaron shells

Recipe for macaron shells adapted from Ottolenghi - The Cookbook

110g icing sugar
60g almonds, very finely ground
60g egg whites, (about 2 eggs) aged for either 5 days in the fridge, then for 24 hours at room temperature or a little over 24 hours on the countertop
40g castor sugar
1 teaspoons rosewater
1/2 teaspoon dried rose petals
a few drops of red food coloring

For the raspberry rosewater jam

Makes 2 x 350g jars

500g raspberries, fresh or frozen
600g fine sugar
2 teaspoons rosewater

Method

For the macaron shells

  1. Prepare your baking tray and baking sheets with a stencil of circles. Draw circles on some baking paper using a (mathematical) compass about 2 cm in diameter. Then place some white parchment paper on the baking tray and flip the baking paper back around. Or use this macaron template.

  2. In a large mixing bowl mix the egg whites with an electric hand beater (alternatively you can use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) until it is thick and frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and rosewater, whisking all the while, until the mixture turns into a thick glossy meringue. The consistency of the macaron batter should be similar to hair mousse or shaving foam. Make sure the meringue is not over-beaten or else it will be too dry.

  3. In a food processor pulse together icing sugar, dried rose petals and almonds until the nuts and flowers are finely ground and powdery. Sift the mixture 2 or 3 times to make sure there are no lumps.

  4. Place the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the meringue in three portions, giving it a quick fold using the macronnage technique described in my macaron tips section. Add a few drops of red food coloring to get the desired color tone. Fold the mixture a few times to break the air. Continue until you get a smooth and supple mixture, thick in consistency so that when you lift the spatula it flows back in thick ribbons. Test a small amount on a plate – should the tops fall back and flatten by themselves then it is ready, if not give it a few more folds. 

  5. Fill a piping bag with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (2 cm in diameter) on your prepared baking paper. Leave the macarons to rest and dry for about 15 to 30 minutes.

  6. In the meantime preheat the the oven to 150 degrees C. When the macarons are ready bake the shells for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Use a flat offset spatula to gently remove the shells from the baking paper and allow to cool further on a rack.

For the raspberry rosewater jam

  1. Place raspberries in a saucepan and heat slowly, then gently bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat then add sugar and rosewater. Stir mixture until the sugar has dissolved.

  2. Turn up heat to bring the mixture back to a boil and boil for approx. 10 minutes. The mixture should thicken considerably.

  3. Remove form heat and skim off any bubbles on the top then ladle into sterilized jars and seal. Store in cool dark place for up to 3-4 weeks.

Assembling the macarons

Using two spoons place dollops of the raspberry rosewater jam on one of the shells and gently cover with another shell. Do not press. Continue to do this until you have used up all of the filling and shells.

Storing Macarons
If you are not going to be using them right away you can store the shells in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

They freeze well too but it is recommended to freeze them unfilled. To fill them take the shells out of the freezer 48 hours prior to serving and without defrosting fill them. This way the flavors will be allowed to blend as they thaw.

Macarons taste best the next day. Prepare and fill them, then keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. This allows the flavors to intermingle with each other. Enjoy them at room temperature the next day.

 


Verdict

Rosewater and Raspberry Macarons (04) by MeetaK 

The light perfume of roses lingers in the air when the box opens promising flavors of far away Orient and fruity raspberry brings on the yearning of Spring. An ethereal combination coming together in a delectable bite. Gaining on popularity? I hope so because only this way can we have the pleasure of indulging in such exquisite treats.

Monthly Mingle Reminder

Don’t forget that I am celebrating four years of What’s For Lunch, Honey? with lots of bubbly. So, I am really looking forward to having you all over for this party. I’ve already gotten a few sparkling champagne creations and hope to see yours too.

Party deadline is March 16th. Hope you’ll make it

 

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Have you all heard the latest? Food Blogger Connect 2010 is now open for registration! London will be rocking this June with the hottest food blogger event in Europe. We’ve got a fantastic line-up of incredible speakers and the itinerary promises fun, networking and a lot of great presentations. Don’t wait any longer to register – tickets are going like hot cakes! Looking forward to seeing you all there!

More macarons from WFLH:

Lebkuchen Spice Macarons with Quince Jam and Candied Ginger Spiced Chai Latte and Salted Caramel Macarons Pistachio and Lemon Cream Macarons

 


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2010 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

72 comments :

  1. Meeta they are simply gorgeous. After two mac fails in teh last two days and one day more to try them out before I leave on vacation, I am hopeful mine might at least have feet and domed tops. To look as pretty as yours, they never will but I can always dream!!!

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  2. Gorgeous Meeta! Even though I'm not a fan of rosewater, I know how good they are in macarons.

    I was also reading about how macarons have gone mainstream and how the French are disgusted by it - so funny. Why can't we all have macarons? All day, every day, I say =)

    I'm making mine over the weekend and hope I can still enter them into your monthly mingle xxx

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  3. Only one word can be used to describe your macarons: Beautiful! They look stunning Meeta... I love the flavour of rosewater and what a great idea to use it in this sweet treat!

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  4. Do you know, Meeta, this is the most beautiful post I've ever seen. The photos are beautiful, the recipe looks fabulous, and what a great story! Imagine being presented a macaron on a velvet tray. I love it! Thank you very much.

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  5. Do you know, Meeta, this is the most beautiful post I've ever seen. The photos are beautiful, the recipe looks fabulous, and what a great story! Imagine being presented a macaron on a velvet tray. I love it! Thank you very much.

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  6. Hi Meeta,

    I read the article on WSJ and was thinking about you and your various macaron recipes. I am a terrible baker (well I haven't baked anything even remotely edible, so calling myself a baker is a stretch), so I live vicariously through your recipes !

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  7. They're simply gorgeous, honey. I especially love the second shot, they look so perfect in the box with the roses by them. You might actually be making me kind of want to make some, although if you hadn't heard, A. gave the dogs both bowls of egg whites from the fridge the other day instead of the one bowl that was for them (he blanched when I told him how many egg whites that was total - 9) so probably not. And I agree about tastes not being the same for all, although I'm a bit frightened at how a mass-produced macaron is made (then again, Ladurée's perfect macs have preservatives etc... in them, I actually don't like them very much compared to PHs or other places). xxoo

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  8. I saw this post over on Twitter and had to come check it out. I can practically smell the wonderful aroma through your gorgeous photos.

    I've read someone who wrote that macaroons are the new cupcake. Oh no!

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  9. Meeta all I can seriously do here and scroll up and down and soak in the absolutely stunning pictures.

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  10. Beautiful. I can't say more. Would you believe that I've never tasted any macarons other than few pieces from my first macarons disaster attempt? They are really getting very popular. I wonder if next year's FBC might include a macaron workshop! :) You would do a great teacher!

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  11. A refined flavor combination! Those macarons are perfect! So pretty that they could be in the window of the best pâtisserie in Paris!

    cheers,

    Rosa

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  12. I am yearning trips to both Paris and Dubai after reading this...! I love the photos with the rosebuds too. Lovely pink macarons, and I like the pink speckled effect on the shells too.

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  13. Meeta your macarons are simply beautiful!

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  14. Utterly gorgeous Meeta ... just very very beautifully done. Yes macarons are taking over the lesser world, and Mowie's right... why can't we all have them? Still trying to find my feet this time. Love that you did with yours. PERFECT!

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  15. What a beautiful presentation! The macarons look amazing and your photos are incredible. What an interesting combination to sue rosewater and fruit.
    I ate at Pauls in Dubai, and bought what seemed to be the world's most expensive choc-chip cookie. I wish I had spotted the macarons....

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  16. Wowow i think this is the best Mac you have made till now. They just look so so perfect. I was not planning to do this month, but after seeing your I am tempted to give the a try. BEAUTIFUL.

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  17. That sounds like you had an incredible experience in Dubai Meeta. That must have been special indeed, as are you gorgeous rosewater macarons! Beautiful!!

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  18. These are so romantic and beautiful! :) Really lovely meeta.

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  19. Waow, what a beautiful post: beautiful pictures,text and these macarons looks sooo perfect and yummy...
    Congratulations for mastering the art of macarons! I made a few attempts, which were far, very far from looking like macarons :-(
    Raspberry and rose water or roses is one of my favourite combination, too.

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  20. wow your macarons look perfection :O)

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  21. thank you so much for all the lovely feedback. glad you liked the pictures and the macarons. i'm still a beginner but am having so much fun discovering the grand flavor combinations. anything seems possible.

    i did not specify in my post but the macarons from paul were rather dry and i did not like them. while i really love laduree macarons - PH has it down to perfection so it's a toss up of the two for me. in dubai i was amazed to find macarons with a very high quality taste and ingredients. besides the ones at paul's i have never tried any of the other mass produced macarons.

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  22. I am actually so glad that macarons have become more accessible now. But having said that - there's nothing like a really really good one from Laduree or Pierre Herme right? I think yours looks as pretty as those - and am sure tastes as good too!

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  23. You really are the Macron Goddess ! How very perfect each and every one of those is. Perfection ! I bet you could give Piere Herme a run for his money with such gorgeous combinations. Absolutely stunning pictures.

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  24. awwww they are gorgeous! I recently had some rose flavoured macarons and loved them!

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  25. You really are the Macron Goddess ! How very perfect each and every one of those is. Perfection ! I bet you could give Piere Herme a run for his money with such gorgeous combinations. Absolutely stunning pictures.

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  26. Oh, Meeta, stunning! You do win the crown this month! And I'll bet the flavors are as wonderful as they are pretty.

    I love your story. But I must say that sell macarons where they will, not all macarons are equal! As you say, one must search out the best, the delicate, crispy on the outside, moist and tender inside with gorgeous flavors. And your macs, my dear, inspire me!

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  27. Your macarons are perfect as always and these ones are especially pretty!

    Love the story of the macaron store in Dubai...enchanting!

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  28. You never cease to amaze me with the combinations of gorgeous, delicate flavors for your macs! awesome photos.

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  29. Utterly elegant and beautiful. I love them!

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  30. beautiful cookies!
    If ever there was a cookie that I LOVED with all my heart it is the raspberry macaron.
    I live relatively close to an authentic patisserie, and its a miracle i'm not a cow or diabetic. because i have zero self control when it comes to these wonderful cookies.

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  31. Meeta,
    Thank you so much for visiting my little blog. I've signed up to get your feed in my Google reader so that I can read all of your new posts. :)

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  32. I was in Dubai not too long ago ... how did I miss seeing macarons?!! But really, could they have been better than the ones YOU make Meeta? I think not. Especially these rose & raspberry ones. *Swoon*

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  33. Aha! So that's what happened with the rosewater! :)) Gorgeous..

    Love the barrels of dried flowers!! Oh I wish I could lay my hands on some!!

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  34. Meeta you've become the macaron queen. this is the icing on the cake. gorgeous colour and stunning pairing.

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  35. Macs are gorgeous Meeta, Each pic seems like a fairytale to me...I have never had macaroons in my life , now I feel like I am really missing something...

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  36. I love the delicate flavors of these ones. :-) So pretty and fresh and lovely. :-)

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  37. another masterful post here - in photography, story telling, recipes and styling. just wonderful. you had me above at "date delicacies," my favorite ingredient. but oooh, please tell me you are going to get that raspberry tahini macaron recipe ??

    that encounter sounds so fabulous - love those unexpected moments in travel, meeting people, bonus conversations and tastes... so enriching. and bet i would have loved those macarons too !

    yours are stunning here !

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  38. They may be mainstream in America now but macaroons have yet to come to the Caribbean. I have never tasted had one. More's the pity they look delicious.

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  39. Meeta
    I am as always dazzled by your artistic photos; I was also captivated by your story! I became enamored with macarons after my first visit at Ladurée, then my friend Anne-Marie (pastry chef in Paris) told me the ones at Gérard Mulot were better! I remember too Pierre Hermé's pastry shop has velours covering and the pastries are presented like pieces of jewelery; maybe this is where the Dubai store got the idea!

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  40. I just found your blog, and I am so glad! These are beautiful and I am DYING to try them! You should take orders. I have never eaten a Macaroon. I know, I know!!

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  41. They definitely look good and delicious! However, I'm not sure about the rose petals part. When I encountered having to eat rose-flavored chocolate, it was on Valentines Day a few years back. It was a gift of chocolates and other trinkets stuck in a box full of rose petals. I couldn't eat them. I felt like I was eating the flower itself. You made me interested in trying these though. They look really good, and maybe I'd be adventurous enough to make them and get over my "phobia" of eating anything with roses near them. Keep up the good work on the pictures and the overall creativity!

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  42. These macarons are just perfect, Meeta. Think you're becoming quite a macaron queen yourself. :)
    Love the oriental flavours in these.

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  43. I just took a macaron class yesterday and have egg white on the counter... Yours look heavenly and I love rose water - great idea! I will deefinitely try this!

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  44. These macarons looks so cute! I've never tried to make macarons. Too scared I guess.
    What gorgeous photographs!
    Magda

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  45. I love the last but one photo- the lowermost macaron on the right licks its chops because they are soo mouthwatering.

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  46. thank you all so much fro all your feedback!

    i do admit that i am not much of a floral type of person - but these were very subtly flavored and the raspberry jam complemented it perfectly.

    hope you have fun making these!

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  47. These macarons sound absolutely magical! One of these days I'll get into macaron making and try this recipe!

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  48. beautiful pairing, and those macs look really inviting! Rose ahs a quality that makes everything look attractive:)

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  49. Gorgeous as always Meeta.What delightful flavours :-)

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  50. Rose is one of my favorite flavor when it comes to Macarons... Your look magnifiques... and I agree with Rosa, they'd be worth showing up in any patisserie in France!

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  51. wondeful work of art, Meeta, you are a total artist! well done, cheers from london

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  52. Meeta, what a magical adventure!The art of flavor pairing is endlesly fascinating. I am offically in love with rose petals in everything. :-)Can't wait to try these. Your photos are stunning! ...Susan

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  53. hey meeta ,
    lovely post as always. It made me wanting to taste macarons more than ever! I live in dubai and i spend almost all my time surfing blogs =) when macaron mania hit i guess i can say i almost tried every store selling macarons there is - Pauls, chocoa , French Bakery. Sigh. But nothing really seems to taste that good!!! Almost too sweet somehow.
    Anyway , if you dont mind could you please tell me where this secret macaron Boudoir was? Was it in Dubai mall? cause i think i have a faint recollection of seeing some brightly coloured jewels down there...

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  54. Ah, you know, I think these macarons would fit right in at Laduree. Decadence and elegance rolled into one. I LOVE the taste of raspberries - wish they grew here.

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  55. Oh Meeta - too gorgeous! And how I wished I could have been with you in the macaron VIP room ;-) Paris Hilton, eat your heart out! I am not a macaron snob as such, but I do find that unless the flavours are pretty complex (think Pierre Herme's olive oil and vanilla, or Campari and pamlemousse), I get bored with them very fast - so I'd rather pay top dollar for something truly unusual!

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  56. Wow.. so pretty macarons!!! I really love the colour, so light and sweet! You are so talented!!

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  57. Hi Meeta
    Beautiful!
    A few days ago the front cover of delicious. magazine April issue's colourful macaroons invited me to buy a copy. I will be trying this receipe for an Easter treat. I will post on my new blog on how I got on and can only wish they will turn out half as gorgeous as yours! All your photography looks delicious!

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  58. Brilliant!! Just brilliant! Dont know whether I like the macarons or the photographs more....!!

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  59. Thanks for sharing this post! This is really great! I never thought of using rosewater when cooking. LOL. Thanks a lot. This is really new to my eyes.

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  60. You are a goddess. I'm not worthy to read your blog. Just reading the instructions/ingredients for this epicurian ditty has transported me away from my office and home to my kitchen. Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday -- I'll be bakin' my butt off.

    The Kitchen Diva

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  61. Meeta those look amazing! If only I can get my husband to appreciate when I attempt stuff like that :)

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  62. A goddess?? oh my! thanks @Kitchen Diva but i usually do not feel like a goddess hahaha! appreciate all your comments and excited to know that the flavors in these macarons have hit all the right tastebuds! hugs!

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  63. Ahhhh, happy days! These are absolutely wonderful!

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  64. Your photographs and your macs are absolutely beautiful.

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  65. Hi Meeta, I think the shop you went to was Forrey & Galland in Dubai Mall. I too went there and the service is the same. They make every customer who walks in through the door feel so special. Their rose macaroons are divine and they also have a rose chocolate which is almost too good to eat!! :) Your pictures look delicious too!!

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  66. Meeta -

    Any suggestions for the left over yolks? (Aside from custards and creme brule, I'm out of ideas...)

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  67. Hey

    The macarons look so pink and beautiful like a piece of art. I had my first attempt at making macarons today but they didn't turn out so well. :{ Any idea why the egg white mixture was so watery and not thick after I added in the rosewater and sugar.

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta