Mad about New Macaron Flavours

Macarons with Pistachio Paste Buttercream & Praliné

Despite the laborious process that is macaron making, I can never stay away from these petite French confections for long. This time it was the glowing reviews on Pierre Herme’s Arabesque and Pistachio & Griottine macarons that I’d read on other food blogs that sent me off to the nearest supermarket for almonds, pistachios and apricots.

Apricot Macarons with Apricot Cream & Praliné

PH’s Arabesque macarons (based on the various descriptions I found) are supposed to be pistachio dusted macaron shells with apricot cream filling and pistachio praline. Not being a big fan of pistachios, I left out the pistachio on the shells and replaced the pistachio praline with almond & sesame praline.

Apricot Macarons with Apricot Cream & Praliné

The texture of the apricot macarons was amazing – chewy macaron shells with smooth apricot cream and crunchy, nutty praline. I’ll definitely be making these again. The only problem I had was that the macaron shells turned out somewhat on the flat side because I’d overmixed the batter.

Macarons with Pistachio Paste Buttercream & Praliné

The other PH macaron (pistachio & griottine) which I wanted to try recreating at home is supposed to be filled with pistachio paste and have an alcohol-soaked griottine in the centre.

I faced three problems in this quest. The first being that I had no idea how to make the smooth jade-green pistachio paste I’d seen in the few photographs of these macarons, so I improvised and made the pistachio paste with ½ cup of finely ground pistachios, ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar and a few tablespoons of water, which I then blended together with some buttercream.

Ingredients for Macaron Filling

The second challenge is that griottines in glass bottles are impossible to find here in Singapore. I’d only seen them on supermarket shelves in Germany. The only things remotely close to the small sour cherries over here are canned dark sweet pitted cherries in heavy syrup. I didn’t think that these syrup laden cherries would be a suitable replacement and went for a praline centre instead.

The last small problem I had was not knowing where to get powdered colouring (dark pink) for dusting the macaron shells and ended up using cocoa powder, which wasn’t the best replacement since it has a slightly bitter taste. [Latest Update: 13 May 2007] I’ve since been told that powdered colouring can be found at B-I-Y.

Various Combinations

As an experiment, I used dried apricot bits for the centre in some of the pistachio macarons. I preferred the nut praline version - it went very well with the pistachio filling. The version with the apricot bits was a little strange - the apricot flavour was too intense and didn’t go as well with the pistachio cream.

Inside my macarons

Taste-test conclusion: The apricot macaron with its apricot and praline centre is something I’d definitely make again. I really liked the pistachio macaron with its pistachio cream and praline centre as well. Next time I’d probably experiment with a cherry centre when cherries are in season.

Available for purchase: 1.5″ - 2″ macaron @ S$2.00 each (min purchase of 28, choice of 3 flavours per order of 28). Listing of flavours here or here. Gift box packaging available @ a nominal cost.

For details on how to place an order, please click here.

14 Responses to “Mad about New Macaron Flavours”

  1. maria~ Says:

    Duuude! Those macarrons look so exquisite and beautiful! I wanted to make some myself but I lack one key ingredient for my recipe: almond flour. What recipe did you use?

  2. Karen Says:

    Hi Maria, thank you! You can make your own almond flour by grinding whole blanched almonds with some confectioner’s sugar (to prevent the almonds from becoming a paste). I’ve tried a few recipes. The one at alacuisine.org is not bad. I came across a new one yesterday that is worth a shot here.

  3. Pam Says:

    Hi, in one of your previous posts, you made macarons with the recipe in “Chocolate Desserts”, but they are made using french meringue. Do you think macarons made using italian meringue would be better in terms of texture and taste? Thank you.

  4. Baci Says:

    Hi Karen,
    Your macarons look lovely - but then you already knew that I am sure… Wish I could take a bite of one… I am sure they would be heavenly. Sent you an email - just wondering have you ever come across macaron feet delfating when removed from the oven? I seem to have that problem now… any help would be appreciated.

  5. Karen Says:

    Pam: Based on my own experience, I would say that italian meringue gives more consistent results - the meringue is more stable than if you used the French method. Taste would be dependent on the proportion of your ingredients. Texture is more or less than same, provided the French meringue holds up. :)

    Baci: Thanks! Yes, I’ve encountered that problem before. You can try piping smaller rounds of batter ~ 1 inch. These seem to hold up a bit better. The downside is that it might lead to a huge air pocket at the top of the shell. Another possibility is that you might be overmixing your batter. Mine tends to spread a lot and have feet that deflate (even while still in the oven) if I overmix it. Hope this helps!

  6. Aunties HN Says:

    Well Done Karen! Would like to have some of your macarons.

  7. Karen Says:

    Hi Auntie HN, sure. Didn’t you think they were a little too sweet for your taste the last time I gave you some? :P I’ll make you some when I get back home. I am in KL at the moment.

  8. edith Says:

    Wow Karen, these looks awesome. Next time, you want someone to do taste test, I gladly be the one. heheheee..

  9. Karen Says:

    Thanks, Edith. I’d be happy to have you as a volunteer taste tester. :) I’d visited your blog previously - I wanted to try your curry bun recipe, but haven’t had time yet!

  10. Damian SIM Says:

    Hi,

    Griottines are actually available at Culina. I’d gotten one from their Orchard branch.

  11. Karen Says:

    Thanks for the lead, Damian! I’ve been wanting to check Culina out, just haven’t found the time to go yet. Now I’ve got a good reason to go there. :)

  12. Jo Says:

    HI karen
    jus read bout u lookin gfor Griottines , i got mine from crrefour =)
    HTHS

  13. Karen Says:

    Hi Jo, thanks! Hmm, I did check at Carrefour at Plaza Singapura previously, but couldn’t find them. Were they expensive? I saw them at Isetan at Lido, but it was a tiny bottle and very expensive.

  14. Jo Says:

    i find them pretty expensive.. but i tot they were special and i bought a bottle.. i will snap a poto and show u yea.. check it out at my blog later on k..
    i tink i paid like $9plus per bottle
    maybe u can guide me to how to use them properly so i do not waste them yeah

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