French Macarons are a slightly crisp and chewy confection made with egg whites, confectioners sugar, granulated sugar,Â almond flour and food coloring. Macarons are filled with ganache made of white chocolate, buttercreams or simply fruit preserves. Its name is derived from the Italian word maccarone or maccherone.
According to Wikipedia, “the history of the French Macaron has been predominantly a French confection, there has been much debate about its origins. Larousse Gastronomique cites the macaron as being created in 1791 in a convent near Cormery. Some have traced its French debut back to the arrival of Catherine de’ Medici’s Italian pastry chefs whom she brought with her in 1533 upon marryingÂ Henry II of France.
In the 1830s, macarons were served two-by-two with the addition of jams, liqueurs, and spices. The macaron as it is known today was called the “Gerbet” or the “Paris macaron” and was created in the early 20th Century by Pierre Desfontaines of the French patisserie Laduree, composed of two almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling.”
For my Pistachio French Macarons, I used Pierre Herme’s recipe. I posted the basic macaron shell recipe here, and color with your blend of green and yellow. Pierre suggests adding the coloring to the first batch of aged / liquified egg whites, then add to the almond flour and sugar. Continue with the rest of the macaron shell recipe. I choose to decorate my shells by chopping pistachio nuts and sprinkled onto the shells before baking.
For the Pistachio Ganache Filling
Delicious filling; be warned – you’ll be tempted to eat much of the filling!
- 300 grams liquid creme fraiche or whipping cream (35% fat)
- 300 grams Valrhona Ivoire couverture or white chocolate *(only use quality chocolate, otherwise, the ganache will not thicken. (On one occassion, I simply whipped up the ganache and filled the shells.)
- 45 grams pistachio paste
- 1 or 2 drops bitter almond essence (you may or may not choose to add)
Chop up the chocolate and melt it in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.
Bring the cream to a boil with the pasticho paste. Stir to blend and then pour it over the chocolate – a third – at a time. Blend for 10 minutes with a hand blender. Pour the ganache into a gratin dish. Press with plastic wrap over the surface of the ganache and set in the refrigerator for the ganache to thicken.
Spoon the ganache into a piping bag with a plain nozzle. Pipe a generous mound of ganache onto half of the shells then top with the remaining shells.
Store the macarons in the refrigerator for 24 hours and bring them back out 2 hours before serving.
I highly recommend that you get your own copy of Pierre Herme’s MACARONS. Â The book is packed with his signature recipes, gorgeous photos complete with vendor websites.
Stay tuned for my next macaron: CARROT AND ORANGE MACARON!