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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rosewater Buttercream Macaron - Dare I compare to Laduree?

Yes, I have a love affair with rosewater. I love it with dessert especially for meringue kind of dessert. It is also best with macarons. Rosewater flavour is one of S’ favourite. Delicate floral flavour goes well with delicate texture of macarons.

I made rosewater macaron before with rosewater flavoured white chocolate ganache which was aromatic and lovely. I had Rose Macaron from Laduree when I was in Tokyo last year and loved the flavor. Its filling was light and subtle, which, I think was made from egg white buttercream. I had never made buttercream using egg white before, the so called Italian buttercream, so I can only guess. The flavor of Laduree's was good and that was it. The shells were too dry, too chewy and there wasn't enough filling in there.

My notes on the taste test Laduree's

I was set out to challenge Laduree macaron. I wanted to replicate and outdo it. I made the filling using Swiss buttercream flavored with rosewater. Swiss buttercream used egg white cooked with sugar over Bain-Marie (water bath). It has the benefits of stable egg white like italian's whereas it is simpler and less technical to make. It doesn't require the thermometer and precision of temperature and pouring.


Laduree's Rose Macarons in Tokyo

My Rose Macaron done ... at home!

Rose meringue buttercream was very nice and light. The flavor was very floral, rosy, sort of petally. Dare I say that it's better than Laduree. Without sounding cocky, I think it is.

Rosewater Buttercream Macaron Recipe
Make about 25 3-cm macarons

More details on Basic Mararons using Italian Meringue techniques can be found here.

You can also see more detailed intructions on making macarons in my
Basic Macaron Recipe and I heart Macarons blogs (however, they are recipes using French meringue method. Most of the processes are similar between Italian’s and French’s. The only difference is the handling of sugar and egg white).

Macarons shell ingredients

125 g pure icing sugar
125 g almond meal (almond flour or ground almond)
100 g egg whites (separated 24 -48 hours in advance and is at room temperature)
125 g caster sugar (super fine sugar)
30 ml water (2 tablespoons)
Red colouring powder or liquid

Rosewater buttercream ingredients

100 g sugar
2 extra large egg white
150 g butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon rosewater essence

Making macarons shells

Sift almond meal, 40 g ground sesame seeds and icing sugar together through fine sieve and set aside.

Divide egg whites into two equal portions (50 g each portion).  Pour the first portion of egg white (50 g) and colouring powder/liquid into the almond meal/icing sugar mixture.  Don’t mix or stir them, just leave it as is.

Put the water and caster sugar in a heavy-base saucepan over medium-high heat. When the syrup start to boil. Place the rest of egg white (50 g) into a mixing bowl, using the whip attachment, whip egg white to the soft peak. When the syrup reaches 118°C (on a thermometer), take if off the heat and let it cool down to 115°C (or until the bubbles slightly subside).

While the mixer is still running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl. Be careful not to pour syrup onto the whip as it might spatter.

Continue mixing until the meringue cool down to slightly above body temperature (50°C) or when the side of the mixing bowl is warm to touch. The whipped egg white will be (very) stiff and glossy.

Mix a third of whipped egg white into the almond meal mixture and combine them well. At this step, I work the mixture very vigorously to blend the egg white with almond meal mixture. Fold the rest of whipped egg white into the mixture and mix well, yet gently, until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thick. It resembles a very thick cake batter, or as many web sites describe it as a magma-like consistency (I believe it means the thick batter would flow slowly like a magma).

Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with 1-cm plain tip (size #11). Pipe the staggering rows of 1-inch rounds onto baking papers or baking sheets. You will need two trays for this recipe.

Let the piped shells stand at room temperature for 30 – 60 minutes to let the crust forms. This depends on the room temperature and humidity. When the piped shells are dry to touch without it sticking to your fingers. They are good to go into the oven.

Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan-force or convection oven, increase the temperature by 20°C if you’re using conventional oven) for at least 15 minutes. Just before baking, turn the temperature down to 150°C and bake the macarons for 15 minutes.

Lift the baking papers/sheets off the baking tray to the cooling rack and let it completely cool down before removing macarons (it is easier to remove cool macarons off the sheet. They are also less likely to stick to the paper). 

Sandwich cool macarons shell with rosewater butttercream.

Store macarons in airtight container in the fridge. Macarons will taste better after they are chilled overnight. They are kept well in the fridge for 3-4 days. They also freeze well.

Making rosewater buttercream

Place sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl. Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk continuously until the sugar is dissolve. The egg mixture will be quite thick and sticky.

Place the egg white mixture into an electric mixing bowl. Using whip attachment, whip the egg white on medium-high speed until it reaches stiff peak and is glossy. The meringue should be cool at this point.

Change to paddle attachment (of electric mixer) and contiune beating meringue at medium-high speed . While the motor is running, add small chunk of room temperature butter at a time. Continue adding all butter and keep beating until the butter is blended in and the buttercream is smooth, very smooth.

Put rosewater into buttercream and mix well to combine.

Set aside until ready to use. If the room temperature is over 20C, chill about 20 minutes before using.

Linking this post to Lisa's fabulous Sweet for Saturday Linking Party at Sweet As Sugar Cookies.


  1. umm ahh..these look so good Sue :)

  2. Thanks Ceren....they tasted great too:)

  3. they look always! better than laduree?

  4. Thanks Lena. Umm, I'd like to think so, better than Laduree because of my TLC ;)

  5. I am so impressed. Your technique must be perfect. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your macarons up.

  6. sue, i must try this one!have been using your recipe and it works like a charm! tqs!

  7. @Lisa, thanks for the compliments. I'm so flattered. Yub, I just linked up the post on your Sweet Linky Party (what a great idea!).

    @KG - The egg white buttercream would be my filling of choice anytime, if it isn't because I tend to have left-over egg yolks than egg whites. I'm sure you'll love it, KG.

  8. I love your determination to develop the perfect recipe. This photo reminds me of the first macaron I fell in love with in Paris. I need a free weekend to try and master your recipe and indulge. My mouth is watering at the sheer possibility of getting a macaron anything like those from Luderee in Sydney. Thank you for providing hope.

  9. Hi Nadene...thanks for the kind words. Making macaron is a good fun and satisfying to see the results and share them around too. So, I hope you would enjoy making them as much as I do.

  10. Hi sue,

    Is the ground sesame seeds suppose to be in the recipe? It's not in the ingredients list


  11. Hi Alex,

    There is no ground sesame seeds in this recipe. But I'm sure you can include them if you wish to. It should be safe to replace about 30-40% of almond meal with ground sesame seeds.

    However, I wonder how the sesame seeds and rosewater will turn out together taste-wise. It should be good.

  12. Hi!

    These look amazing and I'd love to try them. I just have a couple of questions about the filling - what kind of sugar should you use? And do you whisk the sugar into the egg whites while it's in the bain-marie or just stir till it's dissolved?

    1. Thanks for the compliments

      I used normal sugar (not fine or super fine).

      I mix sugar into the egg white in bain-marie until sugar dissolved. The mixture will be warm (I believe it help stabilising the egg white even more and results in glossy and stiffer egg white). This meringue method is called Swiss meringue as pointed out by one of my reader:)

  13. These look amazing! Do you know if brown sugar would work instead of normal sugar?

    1. Thanks for the compliments.
      Do you mean brown sugar in the shell or filling?
      Not sure about brown sugar in macaron shell, in term of caramelisation and colour.

      For filling, I have never used brown sugar in this before. My guess would be it should works, the colour might be different though.