The fillings are what determine most of the flavor of french macarons. Strawberry buttercream made from fresh strawberries makes a pretty pink filling. Blackberry filling is tart and is a gorgeous deep purple.
When I told one of my Parisian friends that we were attempting to make macarons, his first response was to raise his eyebrows. “So, you call them French macarons? Just like French fries? You know, in France, we just call them fries,” he kidded me.
Seriously though, there’s a big difference between “French” macarons and American macaroons. These little beauties are temperamental shells made with meringue and filled with whatever your heart desires. They have just a bit of a hard shell and the insides have a chewy softness. American macaroons are also delicious, but are more of a cookie and are covered with coconut. Big difference.
Macarons are definitely challenging to make, and you can read a little bit about our experience, as well as some tips and tricks, in my last post.
I want to share one more little secret about making french macarons. Even if your macarons don’t turn out perfectly, they will still taste incredible! The difficulties in making macarons really lie in making them look perfect. Taste, which is the most important thing in my opinion, is much easier to get right. Shells typically taste great, even if they are cracked, feet-less, or misshapen.
The flavors of macarons typically come from the fillings. We chose blackberry and strawberry fillings for our macarons but you can do everything from salted caramel to pistachio. They are both so good. Plus they can be made ahead, so you don’t have to worry about having one extra thing to do when you are spending all day making your temperamental macaron shells.
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30 minPrep Time
5 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries (8 ounces), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped*
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup blackberries
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup butter, room temp
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Piping bag
- Cooking thermometer
- Blend the strawberries in a food processor or blender until completely smooth.
- Set a heatproof bowl (like the bowl of a stand mixer) over a pot of simmering water. Combine the egg whites and sugar. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.
- Beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form and the bowl has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter 2 tablespoons at a time. Don't be alarmed if the frosting looks lumpy or curdled just keep going. It may take 3-5 more minutes once the butter is all added.
- Blend in the strawberry puree until completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Put mixture in a piping bag with the tip snipped off so the hole is approximately 1/4 inch in diameter. Pipe a ring of filling about 1/4 inch from the edge of the macaron shell . Fill in the ring with more filling and top with another macaron shell.
- Heat the blackberries and water in a small saucepan over medium low heat until the fruit has broken down.
- Strain the mixture through a medium or fine mesh sieve.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, powdered sugar and berry juice on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Increase speed to high and beat until smooth.
- Put mixture in a piping bag with the tip snipped off so the hole is approximately 1/4 inch in diameter. Pipe a ring of filling about 1/4 inch from the edge of a macaron shell . Fill in the ring with more filling and top with another macaron shell.
Strawberry Buttercream Macaron Filling adapted from Annie's Eats
P.S. – If you liked this recipe, you should check out my recipe for basic french macarons shells and this fun DIY splatter painted macarons made with edible food paint!