Mad about Macarons : Berry and Vanilla

Mad about Macarons? Well, not really, to be perfectly honest. Of course, when in Paris, B and I scoffed cholesterol-defying amounts of croissants, baguettes, brie and macarons, but back home, I can think of other things I’d rather be girding my hips with, than sugary macarons.

Mad about Macarons is an event by Couture Cupcakes; a celebration of macarons in their many colours and flavours. A boon surely, for all the many macaron-obsessed people out there – and there are many.

Even though I’m not always enamoured by them, I do appreciate the love and the art involved in creating macarons – from the clever flavour combinations (Pierre Hermes’ raspberry, rose and lychee-flavoured Ispahan comes immediately to mind, or Helene’s exotic sounding cherry blossom and hibiscus numbers. Even something as deceptively simple a flavour as salted butter caramel) to that perfect pastel hue and the crisp outer shell with the melting interior.

So when I recently saw Aran’s exquisite pink peppercorn macarons, I was intrigued. Her recipe is quite similar to the one I normally use, except that the ratios differ a little and she uses powdered egg white – something I had never used before. They were interesting enough variations to get me searching for some egg white powder to purchase. I wanted to make my macarons green tea flavoured, but I was running out of green tea powder, so I made them pink instead, with strawberry powder sprinkled over the top of each macaron (they darkened considerably in the oven, but the ‘roasting’ they got, actually helped draw out the strawberry flavour without being bitter). After they were baked, I sandwiched them with some berry jam and small scoops of vanilla bean ice-cream.

I haven’t come to any conclusion about the egg white powder yet. The macarons turned out really well, but that could just be due to the sum of their parts, thanks to Aran’s recipe. I might have to try this again in the near future, this time without the powder, to see if I can discern any difference.

Tempted? You can find the original recipe on Aran’s blog.


  1. bowb said,

    May 26, 2008 @ 6:59 pm

    O.M.G. i want it!

  2. Lorraine E said,

    May 26, 2008 @ 7:37 pm

    I’ve never tried macarons with icecream or sorbet inside. I think this situation should be rectified immediately!

  3. Aran said,

    May 26, 2008 @ 8:10 pm

    They look wonderful! And I love that last photo. I am so happy to see someone using this recipe… If you try it without the egg white powder they might turn out as well. What the egg white powder does is it ensures that there is a stable meringue. Sometimes the egg whites are not aged enough so they have more moisture than is good for the macarons. The powder adds more egg white solid matter, that’s all. I got this trick from Sebastien Cannone from the French Pastry School in Chicago and it works wonders for me and this is the recipe I always use. Fabulous!

  4. Y said,

    May 26, 2008 @ 8:33 pm

    Bowb: Maybe they should start selling something like this instead of choctops at cinemas 😉

    Lorraine : Actually, if I wanted to use anything as a sandwich for ice-cream, I would much prefer to go back to those chocolate brownie cookies I wrote about the other day.

    Hey Aran, is there anything else you would use the egg white powder for? Got to figure out how to gradually use it up, now that I’ve got some. And don’t say, Make more macarons! 😛

  5. chocolatesuze said,

    May 26, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

    i want your babies. sweet delicious macarons oh how i am envious!

  6. Sheltie Girl said,

    May 27, 2008 @ 12:06 am

    This is a divine sounding combination…pink peppercorns and strawberry. I love the flavor of strawberries and pepper. It’s a delightfully piquant flavor. Beautiful job on the macarons.

    Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

  7. Aran said,

    May 27, 2008 @ 12:53 am

    Y- it’s mostly used to make meringue so whatever meringue recipe you have, add a little. Also, I use it when I make royal icing to decorate cakes and cookies instead of using fresh egg whites. Look up online on the product web site, I bet they have tons of recipes. But mainly, whenever you use meringues. But yes, make more macarons!

  8. Alison said,

    May 27, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

    Hey Y,
    Am very interested in finding out where you got your powdered egg whites as I recently abandoned my search… ironically not for needed for a ‘sweet’ project. Although your macaroons look all together delightful!!!
    pea & pear

  9. Y said,

    May 27, 2008 @ 5:36 pm

    chocolatesuze: whoa, haha.. I think you’re starting to scare me a little ;P

    Alison: I got the powdered egg whites from Essential Ingredient in Crows Nest. Can’t remember how much it cost exactly – maybe $7 or $8, for 40g tub. What were you going to use it for? (yes, I’m nosy!) You might want to check the David Jones Foodhall in the city for it as well, if Crows Nest is too far to go to. DJ stocks some Essential Ingredient products.

  10. courtney said,

    May 27, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

    I forgot to comment after reading this post because I went link hopping! Thanks for the nudge in making them. I share your sentiment about them but they are fun to make. Beautiful!

  11. alison said,

    May 28, 2008 @ 10:33 am

    Sometimes at work we try different techniques to stabilize foams etc. Any way I wanted to use egg whites to aerate a savoury foam. I can’t really explain it well in words but I hope this quenches your curiosity 🙂 Thanks for the tip!!!!

  12. Tartelette said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

    They turned out perfect! I have churned a few too many batches this week with the family visitng demanding to eat things like on the blog…Ahahaha!!!
    I am thrilled that you had such a good experience with the macs!

  13. Suzana said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

    I’m yet to try my hand at those beauties. Your macaroons look awesome!

  14. Mati said,

    July 13, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

    Can you tell me what the trick is in making the top of the macaroon look so great. I have attempted already 3 times and they do not look like yours do? Does turning the sugar into a syrup rather than just adding the castor sugar to the egg white make the difference? I am yet to try that technique.

  15. Y said,

    July 14, 2009 @ 12:29 am

    Hi Mati, there are several factors involved, such as making sure you fold the mixture enough times before piping it. Both meringue methods should work, but I find using a syrup (the Italian meringue method) more reliable and stable, so it’s probably worth your while to try that technique.

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