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Savoury Macarons: 15 Recipe Ideas to Serve with Them

Who can believe that the year has just about made a wrap?  Before it ties up with a silver bow on Hogmany or Saint Sylvestre, let me share 15 festive serving ideas to enjoy your Parisian savoury macarons at their best. This post was originally published on 20 December 2013, but is now updated to include many more recipe links since this was posted.

Do Savoury Macarons Still Need Sugar?

A Parisian macaron needs sugar in the recipe in order for the macaron shells to work but can we cut down on sugar for making savoury macarons? The cool answer is YES! While I was developing the recipe for the savoury macaron chapter in the book, I aimed at cutting down on the sugar as much as I could dare and couldn’t believe that the macarons still worked!

Mad About Savoury Macarons: Hot & Spicy

Savoury macarons may perhaps sound strange if you haven’t tried them yet – and once you have with a glass of bubbly during the festive season or for a special occasion, the result is pretty mind-blowing: they’re surprisingly delicious!

If you’ve tried any of the savoury macaron recipes from my first book’s ‘Mad Macs‘ chapter, you’ll discover that many of them are HOT and SPICY, which makes an interesting tasting sensation: the sweetness of the macaron helps put out the fire after the first couple of seconds!

In this post, I’d like to share 15 starter recipe ideas to serve with your savoury macarons.  They’re not just for an apéritif: served with a bowl of soup or on top of a bright and cheerful salad – or even a risotto – the surprise element is taken to the next level and adds a touch of gourmet fun to the table.

beet horseradish macaron with smoked salmon

Beetroot & Horseradish Macarons

Gourmet meals can be given that extra touch of chic with a horseradish and beetroot macaron (recipe on page 103 of my book). Here I’ve served it with Salar Scottish hot smoked salmon with an apple and horseradish sauce recipe.

terre et mer beetroot macaron

On our previous family visit to my husband’s island of Corsica, we had a surprising gourmet treat consisting of this Terre et Mer simple yet sophisticated starter recipe. It may look and sound unusual but, believe me, the mix of smoked salmon with smoky charcuterie dried hams just works.  Back at home, I added chiogga beetroot and apple slices (marinated in lemon juice) for an extra healthy crunch. However, adding this spicy macaron adds that je ne sais quoi WOW FACTOR.

It totally works – please try this, it’s a tasting delight.

Baked Roquefort Green Salad

Beetroot and horseradish macarons will also be fabulous with this artichoke, red onion and roquefort salad. The garden herb macarons (page 97) will also make this salad really sensational.

Beet and horseradish risotto with red wine and a savoury macaron

Why not serve them with a mini portion of beetroot and horseradish risotto, especially designed to accompany your mini savoury macaron on top?

Tikka Curry Macarons – Perfect with Soup!

Mini tikka curry macarons (on page 100) are brilliant with a Gin & Tonic but served with food? They’re a spicy surprise on the side to velvety soups, like this leek, pumpkin and ginger velouté.

festive savory macaron ideas

Or why not try them with a mini amuse-bouche of parsnip, round carrot and coriander soup? Round carrots, or Parisian carrots are round, short and dumpy and have an even sweeter flavour than normal carrots.

Mini Tikka MacSala macarons are just as delicious with a Curried Cauliflower Velouté too, with a sunken, seared scallop or two…

curried cauliflower soup with seared scallops

Tikka macarons, predominantly with cumin in them for spice, would also go well with this Moroccan Chicken & Prune Tagine. Why not? I found extra mini porcelain tagine dishes in Paris that could hide a mini cumin macaron in them for that extra fun surprise at the table.

turkey prune tagine macarons

Thai Red/Green Curry Macarons

Curry fans can make it hot under the mistletoe with the mini Thai curry macarons. Make them red or green, depending on your mood with a hint of coconut. Again, great with a Gin & Tonic but try them with food to get the party well and truly started.

Thai red christmas curry macarons by Jill

Thai green curry macarons can be a surprising addition to this recipe starter of sweet potato, crab and thai herb croquettes, served with a thai-style mayonnaise to use up your egg yolks (again, the recipe is with the croquettes).

Or what about serving a mini mac with these light, gluten-free ginger, crab and coriander quiches?

Garden Herb Macarons

Inspiration for this warming French watercress soup (soupe au cresson) came after a trip to the beautiful watercress beds in Normandy. Serve with garden herb macarons (recipe on page 97 of the book).

Or surprise your guests with mini herb macarons as a side to this cherry tomato, wild strawberry and rocket salad, peut-être? It’s perfect for those of you lucky sun-kissed macaronivores in the Southern Hemisphere.

Bloody Mary Macarons – for Adults Only!

Moreover, serve the above salad with a Bloody Mary macaron for a surprise with a slightly bigger punch (although please do ensure that you inform guests that there is a touch of vodka in them). Vodka lovers will adore the delicious surprise element, having these served as an apéritif.

Why not serve a few mini Bloody Mary Macarons with these roasted tomato & mozzarella bites? They’re ideal as nibbles in the winter, when tomatoes are not usually as tasty out of season and so roasting them slightly in this way concentrates their flavour.

Add the macarons also to those party toffee cherry tomatoes – great fun!

We’re back to that warming bowl of soup again, though. What about serving Bloody Mary Macarons with a smooth Sweetcorn & Red Pepper Chowder? In fact, most of the savoury macarons in my book goes with this, as a touch of spice is sensational wrapped up in a tiny, chic Parisian macaron.

Sweetcorn and red pepper cream soup recipe

Savoury Macarons: The Recipes

All of the above mentioned savoury macarons are in their very own Mad Macs Chapter in my first book,
Mad About Macarons! They’re not just fun but utterly delicious and add a fun side to the festive table or special occasions at any time of year.

I’m a green and red curry macaron ‘read-thai’ to party!

Traditional Parisian Macarons

Not ready to make the plunge to savoury macarons? Then don’t forget in both my books, I have plenty of sweet macaron recipes to choose from!

christmas macaron ideas

Check out the full index of bonus recipes to accompany Mad About Macarons!, including many egg yolk recipes and desserts to serve with your gluten-free macaron treats.

Thank you for all your wonderful support and motivating comments over the year on le blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and for spreading the word about Mad About Macarons!

Happy holidays and wishing you a
Healthy, Happy and a Macaron-ivorous New Year!

Serving ideas for savoury macarons

The Best Tonic is with Indian Curry Macarons

As Paris is finally enjoying summer, we’ve been enjoying life in the garden. For the past three weeks, we’ve surpassed our miserable weather of May and June with this glorious French canicule or heat wave. Wouah! I love the heat but as a Scot, the mosquitos and other beasties love my macaron-tasting blood.

I must be the best repellent there is for our house guests in the garden. This time around, this double-biting beastie was a bête grâve. Was it a spider? A mosquito? Heaven knows but nearly 3 weeks later, I’m still on antibiotics and other stuff just to bring down the swelling of a rather unsexy looking club foot.

Never mind the club foot, look at our sexy macaron feet!

Is all this just my excuse why it has been so quiet on le blog? Yes. Well, it did turn purple, couldn’t walk on it, went to Germany’s Black Forest in the meantime, hobbled along trying to join in the fun and WHAM!  I put my back out last weekend, Milord. I did.

As plans were scrapped for London this week and the French insurance paperwork completed, it’s that moment when Bach’s Air on a G String plays in the background (for all Hamlet cigar ad lovers), stick my foot up and drink a chilled glass of G&T  – purely for the quinine, of course – and, instead of a cigar, use a straw to contemplate how to drink the stuff without locking in position and looking totally ridiculous.

Feeling blue? Apero’clock with a Gin and Tonic and mini spicy curry macs.

As I write this, the family are enjoying Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre in London. I’m certainly no lover of spam (see post of spam macarons without the spam) but we’re Monty Python Fans. To get over my nervousness at piano or flute exams and music competitions in my teens, I pictured the scene of Eric Idle at the piano, completely naked with, “…and now for something completely different”.

That’s what brings me to curry macarons. They are completely different.

Mini Tikka Macsala macarons

For those of you who haven’t yet tried the savoury Mad Macs chapter in Mad About Macarons, I urge you to give them a go. Mini curry macarons are great for something completely different at parties and weddings. The intriguing macaron sweetness (I add a bit curry powder to the shells) and the Indian heat of the curry ensures a delicious giggle or two. Drink suggestions are given in the book but my favourite is with a G&T using Bombay Sapphire and Schweppes tonic.

I need to stop now as I’m turning into Groan-alot and it’s time to heat a frozen Picard version of Butter Chicken (I miss cooking!) I have many recipes to share with you but they’re too long to write for the moment, so will be back soon with holiday fun and perhaps a surprise if I can get there.

Remember; always look on the bright side of life, tadum; tadum-tadum-tadum.

Have you been macaroning-alot? Have you tried the mini curry macs yet?

Joining Together in Mac-rimony plus a Crème Caramel in a Cheesebox?

It’s already one week later and I’m still recovering. Is it the age or the mileage, perhaps? Or both?

This was no ordinary weekend. Not only was it decision time for the French to elect their President, but we also witnessed no ordinary Scottish wedding. It was my brother’s extra special day; I’m a proud sister, bowled over to gain such a precious sister-in-law and a beautiful family. My eldest daughter squeezed me tightly as I placed the lid on this box of mini macs just before leaving the house. “Mum, no wonder these are the cutest macarons you’ve made: you poured so much love into them…” That was the first lump that formed in my throat. I always become emotional at weddings and so that was a last-minute reminder to pack the extra tissues.

The happy couple asked me to make some mini curry macarons for the drinks. With some extra batter, I piped out couples stuck together (Tip: normally you shouldn’t pipe out your batter too close to each other, as they do spread on the baking sheet) and wrote on them using edible food colouring pens.

Joining together in mac-rimony

This time the fragile macs made it through Beauvais airport’s security belt in one go and the box remained upright.  Just as we sailed smilingly through to the other side, Antoine informed me that he couldn’t find a parking place at the airport. He had parked the car ‘somewhere outside’. Trop tard. There wasn’t much we could do. Either we could laugh about it or cry. I didn’t expect to use the tissues so soon, thinking of the Gendarmes clamping the car with a fine as we boarded.

The bellowing bagpipes in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile made us all feel smiles better. With a nippy easterly wind opposite Parliament Square, we gazed at the bagpiper clad in short sleeves and kilt, wondering if he was wearing his tartan the traditional way: feeling the drafty winds from the south, as it were. Braveheart, indeed. Needless to say there is a distinct lack of photographs here. In between hugging and joyful tears, Antoine and I fondly remembered our own wedding across the road nearly 15 years ago. The only differences? The sun was shining and the bagpiper had changed. So had we, but we could have done the wedding thing all over again. I wonder if Antoine would still arrive in an Irn-Bru taxi?

Made from girders… my daughters’ new Scottish tipple

Flying back next day, we were lucky to make it in time for Antoine to vote. Before François Hollande was even elected, some humourists were out and about in Paris. View of the rue de l’ancienne comédie: Impasse de Sarkozy.

A dose of French humour…

Turning the corner into Boulevard St Germain, wacky chocolatier Patrick Roger also showed off his wit in the boutique’s window: a chocolate die picturing Hollande and Sarkozy.

The jokes were flying around on Facebook and on TV. Antoine was particularly in hysterics with a picture of a round, empty box of Président camembert cheese filled with a ‘Flamby’ (a commercial crème caramel.) Hollande’s endearing nickname of Flamby is due to his wobbly ideas, apparently. My personal preference was “vote Hollande if you want a Pays Bas” (Pays Bas to non-French speakers is another word for the country, Holland.) Ah, the French and their politics.  I’ve never taken to politics but when you live in France, you have to have some sort of clue what’s going on: it’s a passionate topic that always finds itself around a French table with friends or family.

Time will tell with President Hollande. From this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…until 2017? I wonder if I should make some caramel Flamby macarons in his honour – or does that sound a bit cheesy?

 

Mad About Macarons Christmas Party Special

It’s Christmas countdown! Is the excitement crescendoing in your family? I don’t know about you but up until now, I’ve been avoiding any tunes or decorations – especially since our local authorities mounted the festive decorations as early as mid October! Motivation, however, soon jump-started last week on a shopping spree in Paris. Check out these macaron baubles for the tree.

More baubles were hanging up with the gingerbread men at my favourite pastry shop in St. Germain-en-Laye, Le Petit Gateau. This is where I first learned how to make macarons all those years ago, since they have workshops for adults and children. Looking in the window, everyone becomes a child. Isn’t it magical?

Their gingerbread men are a huge hit with customers but the pastry chefs are freaked out by them. The popular smiling treats are hanging on their strings when it’s lights out at night; first thing in the morning they’ve dropped off them, lying motionless in the window. Did they come alive during the night like in Toy Story? I wonder if they played with the dwarves (oh dear, makes me think of a terrible joke but I should keep this website respectable) or did they storm the gingerbread house, claiming their territory?

Chocolate-cointreau-gingerbread macarons

Speaking of gingerbread, there has been a huge trend towards gingerbread macarons on the blogosphere recently. It has been exciting to see so many macaron lovers preparing their Christmas mac treats. You must visit Laura of Craftstorming and check out her incredible Gingerbread macaron men. Also Jamie of MacTweets aka Life’s a Feast. Jamie added Cognac to her macs (she had an excuse to use the good stuff after visiting the place en direct, lucky girl!) I didn’t have any left (what’s going on in our liqueur cabinet?) so resorted to Cointreau – a lovely orangey alternative, which goes well with the ganache and spices. I loved Jamie’s addition of the sweet chestnut purée: you don’t taste it with the chocolate as much as on its own but adds a beautiful Christmas gloss to the ganache.

And in the window at Patrick Roger’s chocolaterie

Back to Christmas tree baubles. Just take a peek at Patrick Roger’s vitrine of his St Germain-en-Laye boutique. How would your family react if you came home with a chocolate tree like this with real orange baubles? This year, kids, we’re respecting the environment. We’re fed up of untangling the Christmas lights, so let’s just decorate it with oranges and spiced orange blossom macarons. What do you think?

Spicy Christmas Orange Blossom Macarons by Jill

spicy orange blossom macarons

 

This time last year it was snowing. It was so dizzily exciting at first but it soon made way to alarmingly heavy snowfalls, that my first TV debut for making macarons was postponed. Instead we consoled ourselves my munching through these spicy orange blossom macarons that I’d prepared for the program. All was not lost; we just sat and gorged on them in front of the fire with slippers on, watching the snow outside plus the snow reports on the TV.

For orange blossom spiced macarons: just follow the recipe for orange blossom macarons (on p.77 of the book), infusing 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 star anises and 2 cloves in the cream.

Are you Christmas partying? These mini Thai green/red curry mac’sala macarons are a real hit at parties (spot Auntie Shirley’s knitted Christmas mac warmer!) Same goes for the beetroot and horseradish macarons or tikka mac’sala curry ones: serve them with drinks or better still, with hors-d’oeuvres/starter, as a surprising gluten-free alternative to bread with Round Carrot, Parsnip and Coriander soup.

This weekend, my eldest had her first boum – disco party – which is quite a milestone for 11/12 year-olds. I’m still recovering myself after that disco! What happened to the next day? I felt more like a Black-Eyed Pea Poopper! I’ve had some serious catching up to do in the groovy world after Mamma Mia: Funky Mum needs to know LMFAO, Zac Harry, Katy Perry, Pitbull, David Guetta. Guetta-load-of-that! It was great to see over 25 kids really enjoy themselves. They’ve worked so hard this tough term as the new kids on the block in first year at Collège. They also proved they’d worked hard at these dance moves. They know how to shake their stuff!

When I brought out the boxes of macarons, one boy asked Antoine if they were actually allowed to eat them. Can you imagine? Are macs just seen as treats for the adults? Really. Makes me want to make them all the more.  Then all the boys pounced on the chocolate ones and the girls were discussing what was the cube in the middle of the strawberry ones. Fascinating.

Drunken cranberry and egg nog macarons

Meanwhile, these macarons were preparing themselves for another party debut: drunken cranberry egg nog macarons. Using my favourite Appleton Estate Rum, I only wished I’d upped the dose by not just macerating the dried cranberries in it but also adding more rum to the vanilla cream, too. It just confirms that I should do what I say myself and don’t be afraid to concentrate the flavours as much as possible.

Cranberry Egg Nog Macarons: Simply follow the basic recipe for vanilla macarons (p. 35 of the book), using 120ml whole milk and 40ml rum, and add freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon and 100g of drunken cranberries to the filling.

This week, it’s time to say “merci, maîtresse” (thank you teacher) with little macaron bags at the end of term.

Bags of macarons for the teachers

The question is, do I give dark chocolate and mint macs to the French or the British school teachers? I love making these every Christmas – and each time Antoine still tries to explain that the French just don’t like mint with chocolate. Well I’m sorry but we love it in Britain: we were brought up to serve After Eights after dinner. It’s posh. So I’m still doing it whether you like it or not, Monsieur Antoine.

After Eight macarons

Wanting to decorate them with something festive, Mum had given me these Edible Green Trees by Rainbow Dust last year. Great idea and thanks, Mum – but they were so small and fiddly to use and kept curling. Now Lora, aka The Mad Hausfrau had a great arty crafty technique of painting on snowflakes with white food colouring directly on the macaron shell, then glittering them with disco dust for a Christmas macaron disco fever!

Don’t forget to put out some macarons for Santa with these macarons aux marrons glacés. Bulging stockings are guaranteed…

Well, the macarons are made and there’s even more partying: this is going to be a mad week! Enjoy your Christmas macaron-ing. Now it’s time to hang up the decorations!

spot the edible ones 🙂

Don’t forget to enter the international Christmas Giveaway of Mad About Macarons!
You could be one of the FIVE lucky readers to receive a copy, courtesy of Waverley Books.

Parsnip, Round Carrot & Coriander Soup

bowl them over with soup and macarons for starters

The French call the parsnip (le panais) one of the “forgotten” vegetables.  Sure enough, as I was picking out parsnips at the market recently, I was bowled over when an elderly French lady actually asked little old me what I do with them.

Amazed is an understatement really – it’s the equivalent of someone French coming up to you and asking where to find a certain street.  An instant warm glow heats up inside and suddenly you feel part of it all. Although, perhaps the poor soul had just lost her memory. In any case, nothing gives me the greatest pleasure to share this healthy, velvety soup.

 Another ‘forgotten’ vegetable is the round carrot. It was popular in Paris in the 19th Century and a delight to growers, as they don’t need great soil due to their small roots. In French, they’re referred to as Parisian Carrots – is that not so chic? These dumpy veggies are now ‘reminding’ us at the market that they’re so much sweeter than normal carrots – and one of my favourite ways to serve them is simply throw them in a roasting tin with a dash of sugar, butter, oil and thyme and roast them for 45 minutes.

As the parsnips are naturally creamy, they thicken this soup perfectly. When serving this to guests in autumn or winter, it’s always a delight to see their faces light up as you tell them there’s not a drop of cream in it (although adding a touch of sherry is cheeky.)

Parsnip carrot and coriander soup - surprise your guests and serve them with gluten free mini curry macarons

Parsnip, Carrot & Coriander Soup (with mini curry macarons)

 Parsnip, Round Carrot & Coriander Soup

Wildly adapted from Spiced Cream Parsnip Soup from Scottish Traditional Recipes by Carol Wilson & Christopher Trotter.

SERVES 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

50g butter
2 onions, chopped
500g parsnips, peeled & chopped
300g round carrots, peeled & chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp dry sherry
1 litre chicken stock
bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

  1. Melt the butter in a pressure cooker, add the onions, carrots and parsnips and sweat them gently for about 10 minutes without allowing them to colour.  Add the spices.
  2. Pour in the sherry and place the lid on, cooking on a medium heat for 10 minutes until the parsnips and carrots have softened.
  3. Add the stock and season to taste.  Bring to the boil then simmer on the pressure setting for about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat then blitz using a hand blender.

Serve with freshly chopped coriander.

Needing an extra wow factor? Serve a mini soup and a mini Tikka Mac’Sala curry macaron (recipe on p.100 of the book) on the side will guarantee the oh-là-là effect to kick off a special meal. What’s more, it’s gluten free – so replace the bread and butter with mini savoury macarons!

 

For more on forgotten vegetables, please take take a look at one of my first posts before it was a blog:

Forgotten Legumes, Old Crosnes and a Beetroot Macaron.

Mini mad macs

And it doesn’t stop there.  After the classics and becoming more creative you can amaze your guests with savoury “mini mad macs”.  They are the lightest, sugar-reduced macarons that can be served as an apéritif or with a starter.  Try Jill’s hot and spicy Tikka “Mac’Sala” or Beetroot and horseradish macarons.