[Life in pink - Pierre Hermé's Rose macarons]

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Adapted from Pierre Hermé’s PH10

I think one of the best secrets for incredible food is bright and eye-catching colours; at least in the patisserie realm.
You’re not so sure?
Check Ladurée‘s religieuse, Fauchon‘s éclairs or Hermé‘s truffles. Don’t they look yummy?

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I do love black and white photos but I believe that colour photography enhances the deliciousness of food.
However some people can even make food look scrumptious in b&w.
But to tell the truth, when I look at black and white food pictures, my eyes do their best to retrieve the colours.
Though, it seems that simple objects (like vegetables or fruits) benefits from black and white; in contrast elaborated dishes can’t go without colour (at least in my mind). I’m afraid to say that even if this quiche looks mouth-watering, a colour picture would have made it twice as good.There is something I particularly fancy about colour in food: when the colour leads your senses somewhere the taste definitely isn’t. Imagine a red religieuse. You think strawberry. I say tomato. Another good example is the crème brûlée I recently made. Green! You think Matcha. I say Guimauve.
Here are the consequences of the trendy cuisine.
But sometimes it can be a disappointment; the reality being far from what you expected.
That’s why I have to admit I also like colours to be more classic: chocolate brown for chocolat or purple for violette.

I love to describe a colour tone by adding a food adjective (like pistache for pistachio green) because it shows how much food and colour are related.
One of the best example remains rose.
Rose is both a colour [pink] and a flower [rose].

You might have noticed I am a big pink lover: from life in general to food (one of my pictures was even said to have an Alice in Wonderland look).
So when I saw this recipe for Rose Macarons in my favourite Pâtisserie cookbook, I had to make it.

Macarons à la rose
Macarons are quite tricky. When making them you should really take care to the following few points:
1. Blitz in a food processor the almonds and icing sugar for a good minute.
2. Sieve the almond/icing sugar powder twice.
3. Bring the syrup (used for the Italian meringue) to at least 120°C.
4. Continue whisking the meringue until it’s almost cold.
5. Watch the oven temperature – too hot and the macarons will crack (I recommend 160°C).
I followed all these steps and after a almost disaster, I finally came up with my almost perfect macarons.
You should have seen me, jumping, shouting and singing in the kitchen. Anyway it’s been one of the best food moments of my life.

These macarons are luscious. I love the combination of almond and rose, filling the house and hearts with a delicious Mediterranean scent.

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I didn’t have any rose syrup and essence on hand so I used a 50g of
Confit de Rose instead.
A great add-on would be to sprinkle the ganache with bits of Rose Nougat.

Macarons à la rose

makes 500g

for la crème à la rose
100g couverture white chocolate, melted
100g double cream
10g rose syrup
1g rose essence

Bring the cream to the boil and mix in the melted white chocolate, rose syrup and essence.
Pour the mixture into an airtight tin and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

for le tant-pour-tant
125g almond powder
125g icing sugar

Blitz in a food processor and sieve.

for le macaron à la rose
125g caster sugar
31g water
47g “aged” egg whites
pink food colouring (fanny: I felt I was cheating here but I do so wanted to get the Alice in Wonderland look)
250g tant-pour-tant
43g fresh egg whites

Preheat the oven to 160°C.
In a sauce pan, put the sugar and water and bring to 120°C.
When the syrup reaches 114°C, start whisking the aged egg whites and when the syrup is ready (=120°C), pour it over the egg whites and continu whisking until cold.
The meringue should be thick and glossy.
Add the food colouring until it reaches the colour you want (fanny: I find that once baked, the macarons were paler, so if you want a brighter colour you should add a little extra food colouring).
Mix in the tant-pour-tant and the fresh egg whites.
The mixture should be still firm, but softer and very glossy.
Pipe the batter small rounds (2cm) onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes (oven door maintained open with a wooden spoon).
Let cool for 2 minutes then carefully detach the macarons from the baking mat and set aside.
Continue until there is no mixture left.

for le montage des macarons
Pair the macarons of the same size and pipe the ganache onto one the macarons.
Sandwich and refrigerate for at least 24h before eating.