Life is a Bowl of Provençal Cherry Macarons

Life last weekend changed; it changed with five huge bowls filled with the largest, juiciest dark cherries I’d ever seen. Antoine and the girls picked them chez les beaux-parents in Provence.  I suppose it was compensation for not going.  Now I had to make something from them and although jam was on the list, I’m sure you know what was on my mind.

Cherry-coloured macaron shells were first (raspberry pink mixed with indigo blue powdered colouring), then a few drops of almond extract were added to the macaron shell mix.

Then came the task of pitting the cherries with no fancy cherry pitter; just a knife and fingers. You’re not getting the photos to show the lovely fingernails afterwards:  I’m so glad I wasn’t invited to the Elysée Palace this week. 😉

Then time to simmer 500g cherries with 40g sugar and cinnamon (I used double quantities).

Don’t forget to skim off the foam that forms at the top.

Then I blitzed the cherries using a hand blender, added 10g gelatine (pre-soaked in cold water for 5 minutes), 20ml Kirsch mixed with 15g cornflour; then let the compote cool and set in the fridge until transferring to the piping bag and set again (this part is important, otherwise the compôte will be too soft and make the macarons too wet).  Meanwhile, an almond filling was made using my recipe on pages 38-39 from the book.

Time to “dress” the macaron shells – as the French so fashionably put it – after some inspiration from watching the pastry chefs in action at ‘Pain de Sucre’ with Adam.

dark cherry macarons with almond filling - recipe Mad About Macarons

Leave them in the fridge for 24 hours.  Next afternoon, stick your feet up with a pot of darjeeling tea and a bowl of cherry-almond macarons.  This is the life! 🙂

There was still plenty of cherry and cinnamon jellied compôte, so it helped make the the base for a quick and easy dessert of rose and cardamom panna cottas.

There were still more cherries!  By simply carmelising them with a few cardamom seeds and a splash of balsamic vinegar, they were transformed into cherry sauce for some juicy duck…

No macarons here but jings was it good with frites

…carmelised again with slightly more sugar and vanilla and then dribbled on top of choux pastry waffles.

cherry almond macarons

Life is a bowl of cherry almond macarons

It was easy to get carried away since I still had 100g of egg whites and, as they were defrosted, I just HAD to use them! So, more cherry macarons with the same jellied compôte, but this time a different colour (to match Napoleon cherries), some vanilla buttercream filling (on p.35 of the book) and with a touch of basil.  Basil?  Well, after seeing Kitchen Confidente’s amazing cherry and basil sorbet, who couldn’t be inspired?

almond macarons with cherry compote

Adding just a leaf of my miniature globe basil plant to put on top of the vanilla cream. Oops, I forgot to take the photo with the basil, sorry: too busy getting carried away being “arty” with the cherry look using the compôte!

Cherry, vanilla & basil macarons

Who said life was a bowl of cherries?  They forgot les macarons… Don’t forget that macarons are gluten free, too.

I’ve added this post to the MacTweet Challenge for June.  Cheers to my fellow macaronivores, who are currently coming up with the most gorgeously tempting, fruity macarons.  I get so excited seeing so many macarons together, don’t you? 🙂

black cherry compote and almond macarons MadAboutMacarons

Life is a bowl of cherry macarons

Egg Yolk Recipe Series

My guest this week for the egg yolk recipe series is Hester Casey of Alchemy in the Kitchen.  She came up with a cracker of a recipe for a White Chocolate and Raspberry Paris-Brest.  Absolutely stunning. Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but hers are far more enticing than the original ones that were created by the Durand Pâtisserie in Maisons-Laffitte.