French “Satine” Macarons

Pierre Herme’s French “Satine” Macaron Recipe

Pierre Herme Satine French MacaronThe Moulin Rouge film starring Nicole Kidman is one of my favorites -it a  classic Parisian flair of colorful sets and razzle dazzle glamour.  Romantic characters that include Satine played by Nicole Kidman, gives one a glimpse as to why renown French pastry chef Pierre Herme named one of his prized French Macarons after “Satine.”

Since January 2012 I have been making and perfecting my French Macarons.   I started with a basic book “Macarons”  by Annie Rigg.  I quickly progress and fervently studied  another cookbook,  Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home by Kathryn Gordon and Anne E. McBride.  I even attended a class with the author at the Atlanta Cooking school.  After a 3 or 4 average attempts with their recipes, (they do have fabulous sweet and savory fillings), I wanted to try Pierre Herme’s recipes.

So, I splurged and ordered Pierre Herme’s book MACARONS.  It was recently translated from French into English – I was thrilled.

After about six weeks, Pierre Herme’s MACARONS arrived –  from France.  It’s a beautiful book with stunning photos and detailed instructions for his signature recipes; Pistachio Macarons, Raspberry Macarons with white chocolate ganache and White Truffle Macaron.  I was already somewhat familiar with his basic French Macaron recipe having found it on a food blog.  It’s a perfect recipe!  My macarons have come out of the oven nearly perfect, every time.  If you’re new with making Italian meringue, as it requires bringing water and sugar to a boiling temperature of 250 F degrees, you might be more comfortable trying Annie Rigg’s or Kathryn Gordon’s recipes that feature the French method.

Pierre Herme’s Satine Macarons are quite special.

As the recipe starts by making orange and passion fruit jelly which requires “gelatin leaves” – never heard of them?   I hadn’t either.  Luckily a quick search on ordered through Amazon.  It’s my understanding that chefs prefer working with gelatin leaves rather than the old stand-by of KNOX gelatin powder as the jelly comes out more clear.   I found this easy enough to master and within an hour, I was carefully placing my dish of orange passion fruit into the freezer.  Here’s the recipe: (I use an electronic scale to measure the perfect amount)

SATINE MACARONPassion fruit, orange and cream cheese

For the orange and passion fruit jelly

  • 7 passion fruits (for 150 grams of juice)  * I substituted 150 grams of orange juice
  • 85 grams of quality orange marmalade
  • 120 grams of water
  • 10 grams sugar
  • 3 gelatine leaves (2g each)

Soak the gelatin leaves in water to soften, about 15 minutes.   Bring the orange or passion juice (150 grams) to a boil with the orange marmalade, sugar and water, stirring constantly.   Add the drained gelatin and stir.  Pour into a gratin dish lined with clingfilm to a depth of 4 mm.  Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour and then move to the freezer for 2 hours.  Turn out the jelly and cut it into 1.5 cm squares and return to the freezer.

For the white macaron shells:  Pierre Herme uses titanium oxide which I have never found in the US, but did find Wilton’s White White food coloring.  I will use it next time as I wanted to experiment and save a little time by using one color.  If you are ready to try two colors, simply divide this macaron shell recipe in half.

Macaron Shells

  • 300 grams ground almonds or almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 300 grams confectioners sugar
  • 110 grams ‘liquefied’ egg whites (liquefy by first measuring the grams, cover with clingwrap – pierce a few times and set in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.)
  • +
  • 300 grams sugar
  • 75 grams water
  • 110 grams ‘liquefied egg whites’

Sift or place in food processor the confectioner sugar and almond flour – pulse a few times to blend – pour into a large bowl.  Add your food coloring to the first batch of 110g  liquefied  egg whites and pour over the confectioner sugar and almond flour, but do not stir.

Using your electric mixer, whip your second batch of  liquefied  egg whites while you simultaneously bring the water and sugar to a boil until it reaches 250F and slowly pour into your now stiff egg whites until soft, glossy peaks form. (Visualize Italian meringue).  Allow the meringue to cool and then fold into the almond/egg whites – you want to fold until shiny and lava like.

Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.

Pipe quarter size rounds onto a sheet pan lined with parchment or Silpat liners (I use both and either works good).Pierre Herme Satine French Macaron Recipes

Rap the baking sheets a few times on the counter to remove potential air bubbles.  Let dry out for about 30 minutes until a skin forms.   When you touch the macaron and it is no longer sticky.

Preheat your oven, I use a TruConvection oven and set it at 290 F.   If you are using a Pirerre Herme French Macaron recipeconventional oven, 325F (you’ll need to experiment with your oven a few tries, but you do not want to brown your macarons.) Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Take out of the oven and slide the shells onto a work surface to cool.


For the Buttercream Creamcheese Filling

  • 100 grams sugar
  • 30 grams water
  • 75 grams whole eggs
  • 45 grams whole egg yolk
  • 165 grams very soft butter
  • 375 grams Philadelphia cream cheese

In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil.  When it boils, clean the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush. Heat the suger syrup to 250F.

In a bowl, whishk the eggs and yolks until they lighten in color.  Pour in the hot sugar at 250F and continue whisking to obtain a smooth cream.

Weigh out 250 grams butter cream and whisk with the cream cheese.  Spoon the cream into a piping bag with a plain nozzle.   Pipe mounds of cream on to the white (or orange) shells.  Gently press a fruit jelly square into the center and dot each one with a little cream.  Top them with the remaining Satine shells.

PIerre Herme Satine French Macaron

The center of a French Satine Macaron (Pierre Herme photo)

Store the macarons in the refrigerator for 24 hours and bring back out immediately before eating.


Pierre Herme’s MACARONS book is simply the best if you want to explore the most unique macarons.  I highly recommend it. I know I’ll be trying more of his signature macarons again – I have my eye on his Osetra Caviar and Walnut Brandy Macaron. Simply decadent!