Pierre Herme’s Ispahan Macarons

I’ve always read about how amazing Pierre Herme’s ispahan macarons are, but unfortunately, I never got to try any when I visited one of his boutiques in Paris. The ispahan macaron is a mix of rose cream, lychee, and fresh raspberries sandwiched between two macaron shells. I can’t comment on how close these macarons taste compared to the real deal, but I thought the tartness from the raspberries balanced very nicely with the sweetness of the cream and macaron shells.

Besides what they taste like, the macarons look fabulous. Even though the macarons look impressive, they are actually quite easy to make, which is a win-win situation for everybody!

It took me a while to figure out the recipe I wanted to use. I’ve seen multiple versions all over the place, and the differences are mostly in the rose cream. I found this one published by Le Figaro, and there was a video accompanying the recipe showing someone from Pierre Herme making it. That one consisted of a Italian meringue buttercream mixed with creme d’anglais. Another version consisted of a whipped white chocolate ganache. I made a batch of both, and found that I preferred the latter since it tasted lighter and I prefer the taste of whipped cream over butter. The first option would probably last longer, but I only made a small batch, so that wasn’t a concern for me. The whipped cream was also much easier to make, and used up a lot less time.

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Ispahan Macarons

makes 7 macarons

100 g almond powder

100 g powdered sugar

80 g room temperature egg whites (~2 egg whites)

80 g white sugar

3 drops red food coloring

Follow the instructions here for how to make the macaron shells. The ingredients listed above are the double the amount in the instructions, since these macaron shells are much larger (7 cm in diameter to be exact). Add the food coloring when beating the egg whites. Also, disregard the template given as you want to pipe 7 cm diameter circles instead. I also found that I had to bake the shells for a few minutes longer (I baked them for 18 minutes). The batter may not fit into one baking pan, depending on how strategic you are with your piping.

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Rose Cream

3-4 canned lychees, sliced, drained and patted dry

~12 ounces fresh raspberries

50 g white chocolate, preferably Valrhona

100 g heavy cream (separated into 50g/50g)

1 teaspoon rose syrup

1. Chop the white chocolate into fine pieces and place into a medium bowl.

2. In a saucepan, heat up 50 g of the heavy cream until it’s almost boiling.

3. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate. Lit it sit for 30 seconds, before stirring from the inside out. Continue until a smooth ganache is formed. Add the rose syrup, mix well, and let it cool to room temperature.

consistency of the rose chocolate ganache

consistency of the rose chocolate ganache

4. In a separate bowl, start beating the other 50 g of heavy cream. Once the heavy cream reaches the same consistency as the ganache, slowly start pouring in the ganache while beating the heavy cream. Once all the ganache has been added, continue beating until the cream starts to thicken. Be careful not to over beat. The mixture should not hold a shape yet, but don’t worry, because the white chocolate will help it solidify in the refrigerator.

5. Cover the cream, and let it refrigerate for 1-2 hours (or if you can stick it in the freezer for 15-20 hours for a faster option).

6. If you’ve washed your raspberries first, make sure the raspberries are completely dry, as even a little bit of moisture can make your macaron shells too soggy.

7. Pipe some of the cream onto the middle of a macaron. Place a ring of raspberries around it. Add some lychee pieces on the cream, and pipe some more cream on top so that it reaches the same height as the raspberries. Place second shell on top, and if you would like, serve with a raspberry and/or rose petal on top.

8. Refrigerate at least overnight before serving.

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