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How to Make Macaron Hearts – Think ‘V’ for Valentine

As the 14th February is on the pinkish, romantic horizon, it’s hearts galore on the internet. A few macaron lovers have asked me if I could tell them how to make macaron hearts.

Well, it’s so easy. You don’t even need a template. To pipe out macaron hearts, just think “V” for Valentine.

how to make macaron hearts

How to Make Macaron Hearts

Pipe out the macaron batter using a plain tip. Make two separate strokes in a V shape, pressing down firmly at the top and tapering away towards the bottom.

how to make macaron hearts

Make 2 separate strokes with your piping bag in a ‘V’ shape

Don’t forget that the hearts will spread to form the heart, so leave a good space between each. If, after a couple of minutes, your hearts are rather round at the bottom, take a cocktail stick and just make a quick line down the middle to the tip. The hearts will continue to spread slightly and even out nicely while you’re airing them.

how to make macaron hearts

Make pink heart macarons with the rose buttercream filling (see recipe on page 45), or why not make a macaron dessert, placing a macaron heart on top? The hearts can be made in advance and frozen so you’ll have a quick, easy romantic dessert for your Valentine. Moreover, it’s gluten free!

Inspired by Pierre Hermé’s famous Ispahan of rose, raspberry and lychee, I have a rosy, raspberry dessert in my first book, Mad About Macarons (recipe on page 109.) Simply mash a few raspberries into mascarpone, adding a dash of rosewater and sugar, whisk until light and fluffy. Serve on top of a giant rose macaron, decorate with raspberries and plonk (sorry, delicately place) your Valentine heart on top.

how to make macaron hearts

Say sweet nothings over this raspberry-rose macaron dessert

Why are there no lychees? Er – shh, don’t tell anyone – but when I was 9, I stole a lychee from Safeways. What? Well our family never bought them. I was intrigued by their lumpy, martian appearance and had no idea of their taste. Terrified about being caught with it in my pocket, the most guilty feeling followed of cracking the shell secretly in my room. I’ll never forget the taste but as a result of secret guilt, you won’t see any lychees in my cooking – well, very rarely.

There!  That saved me a fortune in therapy, now that it’s finally out in the open.

Say it with rose macarons this Valentine’s Day.

And for those of you who are not into love heart-shapes, like my Frenchie Valentine, there’s always the plain, traditional round macaron – just like the ones you find in the Parisian pâtisseries. Isn’t it funny? We see all kinds of macaron shapes and macaron art out there on the internet and social media, but the Parisians stick to the good old plain and beautiful round shape. Although there’s nothing really that plain about a macaron, is there?

How to make macaron hearts

With a macaron, dessert’s your oyster!

Update: There’s a Valentine’s section on macarons in my new book, Teatime in Paris! including how to make macaron hearts.

White Chocolate Mousse with a Valentine’s Touch

How often have you heard of perfectly competent cooks and bakers saying that they’re too scared to attempt making macarons? Have they got cold feet or something?

Cold feet? Macaron feet, happy feet and a warm heart

When they do finally attempt making them, I love how so many of them post excited messages on the Facebook page. You know the one that appears the most? “My macarons have feet!” You’ve no idea how much I want to dance too, knowing that some of that feel-good-macaron-feet pleasure has been spread.

It may be chilly with sub-zero temperatures outside Paris, but this warms the heart no end. This week some of you asked how to pipe out macaron hearts. It’s easy peasy. Just imagine you’re making a ‘V’ shape in 2 lines. Do it quite quickly: push down a bit more mixture at first at the top of each line and taper off coming down.  As the mixture spreads out slightly on the baking sheet you’ll see it come together.

How to make macaron hearts

Instead of filling the macaron hearts, they’re also handy as a garnish for desserts.

For a romantic dessert, try this Hermé-style simplistic version of rose mascarpone cream served on a giant rose macaron and topped with fragrant raspberries (recipe on p.109 in the book.) There’s only one problem: many of you are lucky enough to have red fruits in season just now but here there are no blooming raspberries around due to these Siberian winds – or at least worth buying them at an extraordinary cost and with no flavour. So I attempted something different.

raspberry rose macaron dessert

With the snow initially as inspiration, I remembered the Merveilleux pâtisserie from Un Dimanche à Paris with Mardi of EatLiveTravelWrite. It was basically a meringue coated with cream, infused with rose and orange flower water (although I didn’t really taste it enough), and rolled in white chocolate. Although I’m not the biggest fan of white chocolate, I chose it because it didn’t just look pretty but it was also deliciously light. Besides, I adore rose and orange blossom.

So with all this in mind, I’ve come up with a light, fragrant, snowy mousse for you that’s not too sweet: it’s a quick and easy gluten free dessert.

What is it about rose that makes it so Valentine friendly?  I adore this addition of the orange blossom. Heating the white chocolate in the pan with a little of the cream makes melting it so much easier – especially if you’re unsure of the quality of your chocolate. The meringue crunch comes from the macaron heart and the dosage of orange blossom and rose counteracts the sweetness of the chocolate and is just enough to send your Valentine into a billowy, romantic cloud. Accompany this with glass of chilled Muscat.

white chocolate mousse

White Chocolate Mousse

White Chocolate Mousse with Rose and Orange Blossom

Serves 4 big glasses or 8 mini portions

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Chilling Time: At least 20 minutes

300ml whipping cream
120g white chocolate (+ 20g grated for decoration)
1 tbsp rose water
1/2 tbsp orange flower water
1 egg white

1. Place a mixing bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes (I just put it outside – brrr!)

2. Meanwhile, break 120g of the white chocolate into a saucepan and heat very  gently together with 50ml of the cream, rose and orange flower waters. As soon as it’s melted (after about 5 minutes), set aside to cool slightly.

2. Using an electric beater, whisk the rest of the cream with the egg white to medium-firm peaks. Gradually pour in the melted chocolate mixture and continue whisking until completely mixed together.

3. Pour into individual serving glasses and sprinkle on the grated white chocolate. Set aside in the fridge until needed.

Halve the quantities if you’re serving just for a romantic couple but this does keep easily until the next day in the fridge.

You could also serve this with macarons; if you don’t have cold feet!

white chocolate mousse

Update: I’m so thrilled to see my recipe tried, tested and approved by Gourmantine’s Blog in her marathon to find the best chocolate mousse:

Well, I think anyone thinking this way should be sent a pot of this white chocolate treat by wonderful Jill Colonna, and I am most certain they will have an epiphany.

When I first saw this recipe posted on her fabulous blog “Mad about Macarons” (and I tell you, her macarons are truly to die for..), I couldn’t wait to make it, and chocolate mousse marathon seemed more than appropriate for it.

To be honest, the dark chocolate loving judge panel put the final fight for the best of the best title between recipes essentially out of dark chocolate, but this wonder was considered a champion in it’s own category and does deserve a special mention…Just for the record, it tastes better than it looks…this one is definitely going to the top of my all time favorites.”

White Chocolate Mousse with Rose and Orange Blossom
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

The lightest white chocolate mousse recipe with a touch of rose and orange blossom water to make even those who don't like white chocolate love this mousse!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 8
Calories: 211 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 300 ml whipping cream
  • 120 g white chocolate + 20g grated for decoration
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 1/2 tbsp orange flower water
  • 1 egg white
Instructions
  1. Place a mixing bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes (I just put it outside - brrr!)
  2. Meanwhile, break 120g of the white chocolate into a saucepan and heat very  gently together with 50ml of the cream, rose and orange flower waters. As soon as it's melted (after about 5 minutes), set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Using an electric beater, whisk the rest of the cream with the egg white to medium-firm peaks. Gradually pour in the melted chocolate mixture and continue whisking until completely mixed together.
  4. Pour into individual serving glasses and sprinkle on the grated white chocolate. Set aside in the fridge until needed.
Recipe Notes

Halve the quantities if you're serving just for a romantic couple but this does keep easily until the next day in the fridge.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

First TV Macaron Demonstration

As you can imagine, this past week has been filled with love heart macarons.  They are so easy to do; except, perhaps, when nerves take over and a sudden uncontrollable wobbly hand pipes out a mess on live television: this was my very first TV Macaron Demonstration!

macaron hearts pot

I was so excited to be given the opportunity to share my macaron world with Presenters, Michelle McManus and Steven Jardine on STV’s “The Hour” on Valentine’s Day.  They are such wonderful, down-to-earth and chatty hosts that they instantly made me feel at home back in Scotland. Michelle jumped in with a spontanious, encouraging you-can-do-it hug before countdown.  En plus Steven had lived in Paris for a couple of years and so it was fun to blether about macarons and Patisserie shops.

rose macarons on STV The Hour

With Michelle McManus & Steven Jardine on STV’s The Hour

Live TV is not as easy as the pros make it look.  For a start, you need to have confidence and above all, be re-laaa-xed
They could tell I was nervous.  Perhaps it started when one of the members of the production team came to meet my Dad and I before even going into the studio.  (I was so glad Dad drove me since I had 3 large bags including everything but the kitchen sink.)  But without batting an eyelid, Dad stepped in and introduced himself with a confident, “Hello. Nice to meet you. I’m Jill’s Mum….‘ Hm.  After that remark I started worrying about my mascara running after the incontrollable giggles.

Jill Colonna on TV macaron demonstration live

Yes.  They knew I was nervous. Perhaps it was after our quick run-through in front of the cameras and realising that we ran at least 3 minutes over time since I blethered too much.  I said everything I wanted to in the rehearsal:  aged egg whites, they’re gluten free, not many calories etc.  When it came to the real thing in my mind I had already said it!

Talking had to be constant and there was no time to just stand and chat.  I quickly discovered that a live TV macaron demonstration and answering questions at the same time is a real challenge in around 6 minutes.  Luckily I had prepared a few macarons in advance, including some shells – especially macaron hearts.

lemon ginger macaron hearts

Speaking of hearts, just check out the video clip.  You will see just how Michelle tackled the most amazingly confident giant heart macaron.  Silly Jilly stepped in to show the 2-stroke heart with the piping bag:  See?  Easy: bit more at the top going down one side, then same again on the other.   I invite you to do far better, my friends!

TV Macaron Demonstration – How to make Rose Macarons on The Hour, STV, Video Clip

One thing is for sure:  I had so much fun doing the show and was thrilled to meet such a dynamic and friendly team.  I can’t believe I missed James Blunt, though.  He’s on the show later this week.  To think he could have tried a macaron…

Valentine’s Day may be over but it doesn’t stop us from having macarons and dates with the ones we love.  Bonne semaine!

Parisian macarons on a date

A couple of Parisian Macarons on a Date