Coming from an Asian background and are relatively new to Australia, I know little about alternative cuisines that are not well known in Thailand. Moreover, I have only been into food and cooking not long ago. When I was growing up and lived in Thailand, I also never had to cook (with all those wonderful and cheap street foods, you can survive easily without cooking) and my mom didn’t like to have her kids, or anyone for that matter, helping in the kitchen. She loved to have her own space in the kitchen. So, I never had the chance to learn cooking from my mom and I feel that I have missed a lot given that she is such a terrific cook.
It was then no surprise that I had little (or lack of) knowledge about rosewater until a couple of years ago (in fact, I still don’t know much about middle eastern cuisines). I probably heard about rosewater but the idea of food flavoured with rosewater just didn’t do it for me (like I said, I was quite clueless).
I remember I asked S about rosewater when I first heard people raving about it. S put it as “Rosewater is just beautiful. I just can’t describe. It is simply beautiful” Well, it came from my most trusted source, S, so I had to try making something out of it.
*In fact, I had Turkish delights many times before but I had no idea that the beautiful flavour I liked was from rosewater (see, I told you I was clueless)*
Rosewater is used extensively in Middle Eastern cooking. It has a distinctive flavour and is used to flavour sweets and drinks. Indians also use it to flavour tea, lassi and rice pudding.
I never made anything with rosewater before and the first thing that came to my mind was macaron.
Macaron sounds like a perfect candidate for rosewater flavour. Its delicate texture would go well with the delicate floral flavour. I mixed rosewater essence with white chocolate ganache, and used that for macaron filling.
And yes, rosewater macarons didn’t disappoint. It has now become one of S’s all-time favourite (if he could have his way, he would ask me to make rosewater macarons every week). And yes, the flavour really works with macarons.
Here is the recipe…
Rosewater macaron recipe
make about 24 macarons
Note: For more detailed instructions of making macarons, you can visit my I heart Macarons and Basic Macarons Recipe blogs.
Macaron shell ingredients
100 g egg white (about 3 extra large eggs, aged 24- 48 hrs in advance. Take egg white out of the fridge a couple of hours before making to bring it to room temperature)
110 g almond meal (almond powder, ground almond)
160 g pure icing sugar (powder sugar)
60 g caster sugar (fine sugar)
a pinch of red colouring powder or liquid
Rosewater white chocolate ganache ingredients (macarons filling)
100 g white baking chocolate, cut into small pieces
80 ml thickened cream (whipping cream)
20 g butter, cut into cubes
1 tablespoons rosewater essence
few drops of red colouring liquid or pinch of red colouring powder
Making macaron shell
1. Sifting almond meal and icing sugar together by pushing them through a sieve. You can also grind almond meal and icing sugar together in a food processor to have finer almond meal mixture and it will be easier for sifting. However, this is not necessary.
2. If using colouring powder, mix it with caster sugar in a small bowl until you achieve the desired colour (note that the colour need to be much more intense than the desired end-result as the colour will fade once mixed with egg white and other dry ingredients)
3. Using electric mixer, beat egg white on a high speed until foamy, gradually add caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating the egg white until it reaches a glossy stiff peak. If using colouring liquid, put about 10 drops of red and yellow into the egg white mixture and mix on a low speed until well-combined.
4. Mix egg white into almond meal mixture. Stir quite vigourously to break the egg white into dry ingredients for the first ten stokes or so. Continue to mix the egg white with dry ingredients until well combined (try the motion of lift, fold and push the mixture to the side of mixing bowl). The mixture should be thick, glossy and well-blended. The batter will look like a very thick cake batter.
5. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1-cm plain nozzle (size #11).
6. Pipe mixture onto a tray lined with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat (Silpat) about one-inch in diameter and one inch apart.
7. Tap trays on a kitchen bench a few times to flatten the piped macarons and remove the air bubbles.
8. Leave the piped shell uncovered at room temperature for 30-60 mins until you can touch the shell without them sticking to your fingers.
9. Preheat the oven to 160c/180c (convection/conventional) about 15 mins before baking.
10. Reduce the temperature to 140c/160c (convection/conventional) and bake macarons for about 13-15 mins. Baking time will depend on the macaron size.
11. Remove baking trays from oven. Remove macarons from the tray and put them on cooling racks. You may need a serrated knife to help removing macarons. Spraying a little water onto the hot tray underneath the paper also help releasing macarons (the steam gives that magic releasing power).
12. Once they're completely cool, sandwich two shells together with chocolate ganache. Keep the macarons in a covered container in the fridge. They can be kept upto 5 days (but it will become chewy after 3 days). Macarons taste better after they have been chilled for at least 12 hours. Filled macarons can also be frozen.
Making rosewater white chocolate ganache
1. Put chocolate pieces in a seperate bowl.
2. Heat thickened cream in a small pan over medium heat. When it comes to the boil, remove it from heat and pour over chocolate pieces. Let it sit for about 10 seconds, then stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted. Scatter the butter pieces and stir until it's melted.
3. Mix rosewater essence in and mix until well-combined.
4. Chill the ganache until ready to use. It needs to be chilled at least an hour or more until it's firm enough for the filling.