Friday, 6 April 2012

Pistachio & raspberry macarons (PH's Montebello)


I guess it's about time for another try of Pierre Hermé's macaron recipes. =D  This time, I really wanted to try one with a jelly insert.  The Montebello macaron caught my eye for its contrasting colours and the pairing of pistachios and raspberry flavors sounded so intriguing.


I was initially a little hesitant about the recipe after realizing how much colouring I had to add for the red shells - 11g worth compared to 3g for the green shells! I've never used up so much colouring on a single batch of macarons much less for half a batch.  Then I thought - its PH so I just need to trust it.  On hindsight I had nothing to worry about coz the red shells couldn't have turned out any better! 

The tanginess of the raspberry jelly really adds a lovely twist to the pistachio ganache.  Who would have thought pistachios and raspberry could pair so well?


There was a little hiccup was when I tried sprinkling some crushed pistachios on some of the green shells.  For some reason the ones with sprinkled crushed pistachios all had cracked tops whilst those without were fine, yet they all came from the same batch of batter.  Strange?

Have a good Easter everyone!

Recipe below makes about 72 macarons, adapted from Pierre Hermé's "Macarons"

Raspberry jelly:
300g fresh raspberries
60g caster sugar
2 pcs gelatin leaves

Soak gelatin leaves in cold water.  Puree raspberries and sugar together, then strain to remove pips.  Heat puree to about 45C and add gelatin leaves, stiring to incorporate.  Pour into gratin dish lined with clingflim to a depth of about 4mm.  Leave to cool 1 hr in room temperature then in freezer for 2 hours. Cut jelly into 1.5cm squares and return to freezer while working on the rest of the macarons.

Macaron shells:
Green shells:
150g ground almonds
150g icing sugar
55g aged egg whites
1g yellow food colouring
2g green food colouring

Red shells:
150g ground almonds
150g icing sugar
55g aged egg whites
11g raspberry red food colouring

Italian meringue:
- 300g caster sugar
- 76g mineral water
- 110g aged egg whites
- 1.5 tsp egg white powder (added to second portion of egg whites.  PH doesn't use egg white powder in his recipes in the book but he recommends using egg whites that have been aged for at least a few days.  I tend to add egg white powder to my egg whites if I didn't have the chance to age them enough.  It helps to strengthen the protein bonds that form when you whisk the whites and gives the same effect as using aged egg whites.)

For the shells, sift together icing sugar & ground almonds in a large bowl. Stir respective food colouring into egg whites, then pour mixture into icing sugar & ground almonds but do not stir.
To make italian meringue, bring water & caster sugar to boil at 118C.  At 115C, start whisking second portion of egg whites (with egg white powder, if applicable).  When sugar syrup reaches 118C, pour it over egg whites, whisking continuously till meringue to cools to 50C.  Separate meringue into 2 equal batches and fold each batch separately into red and green/yellow ground almond-icing sugar mixture.  Spoon each batch of batter into separate piping bag fitted with plain nozzle.
Pipe rounds of batter about 3.5cm in diameter, spacing them 2cm apart on lined baking trays.  Rap baking trays on work surface covered with kitchen cloth. 

PH's instructions are to leave shells to stand for at least 30 minutes until they form a skin, then bake them in fan oven for 12 minutes at 180C.  From past experience this doesn't always work for me under Hong Kong's weather conditions, so instead I dry the piped batter for 15 minutes in the oven at 65C, then without removing the macarons, increase the temperature to 150C and bake for 14 to 15 minutes.  Either way, during the last 4 minutes of baking open and close the oven door twice to let out steam.  Once out of the oven, slide shells on to cooling rack and allow to cool completely before removing from silicon mat / parchment.

Pistachio ganache:
225g whipping cream
225g white chocolate
35g pistachios

Blend pistachios with whipping cream in electric food processer.  Melt chocolate.  Bring cream & pistachios to boil and pour it over the chocolate in batches.  Stir till smooth. Pour ganache into gratin dish and press clingfilm over the surface of ganache.  Set aside in fridge for ganache to thicken.

Assembly: 
Spoon ganache into piping bag fitted with plain nozzle.  Pipe a generous mould on either the red or green shells and lightly press a cube of raspberry jelly into the centre.  Pipe a dot of ganache on top then cover with another shell of different colour.  Store macarons for 24 hours in fridge and bring out 2 hours before serving.

3 comments:

  1. These are seriously beautiful! Ive never tried making macarons myself, but my 'easter egg' this year was in fact some gorgeous macarons as I am a huge fan. Yet I have yet to see any as vibrant as this in real life, beauttiffull!

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  2. Oh my goodness! simply gorgeous! ty for saying hi.. i will definately drop by again while i'm in Bali! cant wait to try out some of the recipes here!

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    1. thanks rima. btw, i love your blog!!

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