The fillings are what determine most of the flavor of french macarons. Strawberry buttercream made with freeze dried strawberries makes a pretty pink filling without being watery. 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. I chose blackberry and strawberry fillings for my 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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Strawberry Buttercream and Blackberry Filling for French Macarons
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 3 cups
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: French
For the Strawberry Buttercream French Macaron Filling:
For the Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
- 0.6 ounces (1 cup) freeze dried strawberries
- 1/4 cup egg whites (about 2 large eggs)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the Blackberry French Macaron Filling:
- 1 cup blackberries
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup butter, room temp
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Macaron Shells Recipe
Make the Strawberry Buttercream Filling:
- Pulse freeze dried strawberries in a food processor until powdery. Sift through a fine mesh strainer to remove lumps and seeds. Set aside.
- Bring a medium pot filled with one inch of simmering water to a boil. Place the egg whites and sugar in a stainless-steel bowl (like a stand mixer bowl) and place on saucepan. Use a whisk to beat the mixture until very hot (about 160° Fahrenheit).
- Remove from heat and mix with the whisk attachment on high until it is cool, thick and glossy and has tripled in volume, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium and add butter a few pieces at a time. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy.*
- Beat in the freeze dried strawberry powder.
- 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.
Make the Blackberry French macaron filling
- 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.