rose geranium macarons

French Rose Geranium Macarons

A Parisian window without geraniums is like a macaron with no filling.

Even starting out as students in our first Parisian apartment, geraniums brightened up our rickety shutters. It was one of the first things a girl-fresh-from-Scotland just had to do to feel a little French. The other Frenchie things: the discrete bum-wiggle walk, the designer handbag, the slender figure – “le look”, quoi – would need rather more time (20 years on, I’m still awaiting this transformation), but at least this was something easy in the meantime. Le quick fix.

Along by the Parisian quays, it’s also de rigueur.  Geraniums are beautifully decked out on peniches, or houseboat barges moored along by the Seine.

Outside Paris, geraniums are coordinated with more colourful shutters for le country look.

So pretty, jolie, French. But have you heard of the rose geranium or pelargonium? When you rub their velvety leaves, a strong lemony-rose scent perfumes the fingers and can pack a powerful punch. Can you imagine the next scene?  No, not Rocky – more a French garden scene, peut-être.

Pop in for a rose macaron with a pot of darjeeling, mes amis

Rose geranium leaves can be used to perfume your baking. For your macarons, follow the rose recipe on page 45 of Mad About Macarons. Omit the rose water, using 100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) cream and infuse a few pelargonium leaves in it. Turn off the heat, cover and leave to infuse for an hour. Turn the delicately scented cream back on the heat and follow the recipe. Adding just a few drops of rose geranium aroma just gives it that extra je ne sais quoi for a most delicious macaron sensation.  It tastes of rose, but it’s not.

Anyone for a rose-geranium macaron?

Sue, of Tales from the Giantswood, also has an interesting tip with rose geranium leaves: put the leaves in a sealed jar of sugar and when you bake a cake, place the leaves at the bottom and when it’s baked, peel them off and your cake has the lovely scent of rose geranium. Why not place the rose geranium leaves in caster sugar and use the sugar later in your macaron making?

So sit back and relax with a pot of Darjeeling tea and a few rose geranium macarons.  You deserve it.  It’s decadent but don’t forget that macarons are gluten free and if they’re homemade, you’re saving for that designer handbag, n’est-ce pas? Now, where was I on that bottom wiggle? No question about it: I shall always be behind on that one.

Rose geranium macarons

Time has come, my friends, for me to take a small blogging break. Well, most of Paris is shutting down for the holidays so I may as well join them. 😉 I can’t thank you enough for all of your wonderful support via your comments on Le Blog and for sharing in the fun of macarons in macaronivoreland. I shall see you again on 29 August for more mad macarons, French recipes, and foodie adventures in Paris and around my local haunts.  I have so much in store for you so stay tuned.

Great Party Times Giveaway

Don’t forget the Mad About Macarons! competition over at Pippa Middleton’s site, ‘The Party Times. You have until 13th August (2011) to post your entry – you could be one of the 10 lucky winners to receive a copy of the book.  The competition is open to everyone – no matter where you live – so head on over and join in the fun! Good luck.

Egg Yolk Recipe Series

It’s a real pleasure to have my friend, Carolyn – otherwise known as FoodDreamer – as my guest this week.  She has shared her wonderful recipe for Rum and Toasted Coconut Ice Cream.  It’s not just a dream to taste – it’s also sugar free, low carb and gluten free.  How cool is that?

45 replies
  1. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    I want to add a Frenchie thing: the scarf. When I was in France, I was enamored with the way French women wore their scarves! And lovely macarons … is it Aug. 29th yet?!?!?!

  2. Biren @ Roti n Rice
    Biren @ Roti n Rice says:

    You are too funny Jill! I think we are all hoping for “le look”. Hopefully it will come soon. 😉 Infusing the cream with rose geranium sounds like a good idea. Sure don’t mind two of those macarons with a pot of Darjeeling. Have a wonderful break and we’ll see you back soon.

  3. Lisa McDonnell
    Lisa McDonnell says:

    Jill – lovely post as always!! I love the bum-wiggle walk. Your cookbook I have (beautifu book!!!) is staring me down telling me not to be intimidated by the world of macarons and give them a shot…. I’ll try my hand at them soon and let you know how it goes. Any particular recipe in the book that you recommend for a macaron virgin?

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi Lisa – love it: macaron virgin?! With your culinary talents you can do any of them. I would suggest pistache-chocolat or rose but it’s up to you. Enjoy yourself!

  4. Shirley Winnitoba
    Shirley Winnitoba says:

    Jill again you have come up with another macaron flavour – geranium rose – wonderful pink colour and your pictures make them irresistible – thank you for sharing this with us. Have a wonderful holiday Jill and I look forward to “Le Blog” when you return.

  5. Jill
    Jill says:

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I’m just checking the website here on holiday while coping with jet-lag… somehow I can’t log in to Facebook from here but excited to see all your lovely macaron photos and comments on the wall. Waverley Books are helping me out while away but just to say I’m so happy to see you all. Catch up with you soon. Hugs, Jill xo

  6. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    I do love all geraniums – and the post brightened my day – seeing all those gaily-decked out windowsills. Grand ideas for adding a scent to your baked goods!

  7. purabi naha
    purabi naha says:

    I know, when it is macarons, it has to be Jill Colonna! Excellent, dear!! The colour and the photography…superb. The macarons sound so good with those unique ingredients!

  8. Jacqueline
    Jacqueline says:

    You’ve captured the scene beautifully Jill! Makes me miss Paris. Sniff sniff. I have however been promised a trip there in the not too distant future! Result!
    Bonnes Vacances Jill!

  9. Manu
    Manu says:

    You are a genius Jill! I know I have already said that, but I cannot help repeating it! You never cease to amaze me with your macarons recipes! Rose geranium?! Fantastic! We always had geraniums at my parents house, but I never thought you could use them in baking! 🙂

    Have a FANTASTIC holiday and relax as much as you can! Forget about everything and enjoy your time off! We’ll be waiting for you here at the end of your well deserved holiday!

    Bisous mon amie! <3

  10. Choclette
    Choclette says:

    Would love to have some rose geraniums – the best I can do is buy the essential oil. Geraniums in window boxes are so cheerful. They always remind me of Switzerland where I lived for a while. I’m sure you’ve managed to acquire some of those Parisian attributes other than growing geraniums, but I bet not many Parisian’s can bake such excellent macarons as you. Hope you have a fab holiday.

  11. Natalie
    Natalie says:

    I saw some of these today in the garden centre. Now I wish I’d bought them, didn’t know the leaves could be used in cooking. Well I do have one window without flowers so looks like another trip to the garden centre! Have a great time off, escaping the city?

  12. Sandra's Easy Cooking
    Sandra's Easy Cooking says:

    Oh I love macaron beautiful and inviting! Your pictures are so beautiful, I just love the terrace with flower pots, so European, miss that so much that I had to do something similar on mine as well:))

  13. Sue
    Sue says:

    Jill, Thank you for the mention, I can just imagine how delicious these are, it’s amazing the delicate rose taste, well worth getting a rose geranium plant for! I over-wintered mine in the porch and it has grown quite large this summer. Rose geranium aroma? Now that is something I would never have expected, and a quick look at the website shows lots more ‘aromas’, like chevre! They even deliver to Grande Bretagne so I’m going to have to explore this more.

    Now I have to say I have a bit of a weakness for balconies! Don’t ask me why, there’s just something that appeals to me about them, whether with geraniums or not! I seem to have an ever increasing collection of photos, so I’m glad I’m not the only one who enjoys them!

    Have a fantastic summer break. Hope you come back fit and relaxed.

  14. The Harried Cook
    The Harried Cook says:

    Gorgeous macarons, Jill! The rose geranium sounds delightful… 🙂 I am so happy you’re getting away on vacation after everything you’ve been through with your back! Get some nice long massages while you’re there! 🙂 Will miss you & le blog… 🙂 Have a wonderful time, Jill!

  15. Amy
    Amy says:

    Hi Jill! Once again, lovely macaroons! I have yet to try using geranium leaves in a dessert, but I will need to soon because it sounds wonderful! I love the color of these, so pink like geraniums! I think everyone should own a pot of them ;). Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  16. Liz
    Liz says:

    Oh, you always wow me with your gorgeous macaron colors and flavors! Just amazing. Enjoy your holiday from blogging…we’ll all be here waiting when you return~~

  17. Lilly
    Lilly says:

    I’ve been (secretly) reading your blog and your macaroons are sooooo prefect they kinda intimidating me. I’ve just discovered macaroons when my hubby bought me a box with different flavors. I love the colors, the filling and the endless flavor possibilities it has. Now I have to find the courage to try and make a batch.
    Enjoy our break and come back to inspire us with some more lovely posts.

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Lilly, please take the plunge and make them. You’ll discover they are really not as hard as you think. Go on. It’s worth it. If I could do it, anyone can – that’s why I wanted to share all of this! J xo

  18. Laz
    Laz says:


    Just found your lovely site and you are taking a blogging break. Bad timing. Look forward to following your kitchen machinations here.

    These Rose macaroons are exquisite. My wife would absolutely shun any of my cooking for these babies.

    Be well

  19. visda
    visda says:

    Yummy. These macarons look so flavorful and tasty. I make rose tea every night to get relaxed. I wish I had a couple of your macarons to pair with the tea.:-) I should try your recipe.

  20. Hester Casey - Alchemy in the Kitchen
    Hester Casey - Alchemy in the Kitchen says:

    Jill, this is a gorgeous post! I love your photos and your tips for becoming French. I’ve twisted many an ankle trying to do zat leetle wiggle 🙂 I love ‘le quick fix’ – don’t geraniums brighten up any day – just like these sensational macarons. Such a great flavour.

    Have a great weekend!

  21. Cristina
    Cristina says:

    Jill: Your Rose geranium macarons are perfection! How interesting the things you can do with the geranium leaves to perfume a dessert. Does it actually leave any flavor(s) besides the scent? I would like to learn more about using flowers in culinary endeavors.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi Cristina, That’s my fault, I should have written flavour, too. Perhaps I should update that. 😉 Yes, it does taste/have the flavour of rose but it’s not rose. Very subtle lemon in there, even hint of violet but more predominantly rose. Enjoy going floral and great weekend, too.



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