Apricot, Rose, and Almond Macaron Dessert

Recipe.TV Test Kitchen

Serves: 8

Author: Chef Keda Black

Chef’s Note:

The macaron-style base in this dessert is a little like a meringue enriched with powdered almonds and pecans. You could also use hazelnuts, which would work well too. It’s easier to make if you have a kitchen thermometer. The result is a great contrast between the sweet, crunchy, and chewy base, the acidity of the apricots, the softness of the cream, and the sweetness of the rose syrup. You can prepare all the elements for this recipe in advance and put it together just before the meal begins. You’ll need to add the petals and syrup at the last moment.

• 3-4 egg whites (about 4 oz)
• 1 ½ cups almonds (and/or pecans and/or hazelnuts)
• 1 cup sugar + 5 tbsp + 1 tbsp + 4 tbsp
• a few untreated, edible roses
• 1 cup crème fraîche
• 1 cup fromage frais (or ricotta)
• 1 lb. apricots
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 1 ½ cups powdered sugar

1. Start by making the rose syrup. Put the 5 tbsp of sugar in a pan with 5 tbsp of water and bring to a boil. When the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is syrupy, add half the rose leaves and leave to macerate.

2. To toast the nuts, spread them on a baking sheet and roast on the upper rack of a 375°F preheated oven for about 7 minutes. Let cool, then blend in a processor with 1 tbsp of sugar until you have a coarse powder. Sift this mixture along with the powdered sugar and baking powder, pushing through the mesh of the sieve. If bigger pieces are left, add them to the mix, it’s ok and it will give it texture. Whisk about one third of the egg whites until just frothy and fold into the previous mix.

3. Now, put the cup of sugar in a pan with about 3 tbsp of water over medium-high heat. Put a thermometer in. At the same time, start whisking the remaining egg whites in a mixer. The sugar will dissolve and form a syrup. When the syrup is 244°F, the eggs should form soft peaks. Gently pour the syrup on the whites, still beating, in a thin trickle. Continue beating until the mixture forms stiff and glossy peaks and cools down. Bravo! You’ve made an Italian Meringue, which is a meringue made with cooked sugar. Let it cool a bit then gently fold in the nut mixture with a spatula or large spoon.

4. Draw circles on a sheet of paper. Line a baking sheet with the upturned paper (you want the pencil mark underneath). Pipe or spoon the mixture in the circle, about half an inch high, or a bit less.

5. Let this stand for an hour – a thin crust will form that will prevent your macaroon bases from expanding too much in the oven.

6. Meanwhile, halve and stone the apricots. Put them in a baking dish, sprinkle with the 4 tbsp sugar and bake at 350° for about 30 minutes, until soft.

7. Whisk the cream with the fromage frais (or ricotta).

8. Bake your macaron shells for about 30 minutes. They should be hard outside and set inside. Open the oven door, block it with a wooden spoon and let it stand for 45 minutes.

9. Take out the shells and let them cool.

10. To assemble, start by spreading some cream-fromage frais (or ricotta) mix on the shell, spoon some apricot compote on top. Then drizzle with syrup and decorate with rose petals.