Rosewater and Raspberry Macarons

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 reaspberried 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.

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