Fresh strawberries and a little rose wine give Strawberry Champagne Macarons a subtle pink champagne and strawberry flavor. Make them heart shaped for Valentine’s Day or round for any other occasion.
A few weeks ago I was thinking about taking some more cooking classes at Sur La Table and saw they were making heart-shaped macarons. I thought to myself, “How hard can that be?” They have heart macaron pans at Sur La Table which I’m guessing makes making the heart shape easier but I’m not keen on spending lots of money on specialty pans.
I used a cookie cutter to trace hearts on parchment paper. Turned it over (so the ink was on the opposite side) and then piped the macaron batter into the shapes. It was only moderately successful. So I tried just making V-shapes with the dough. That worked great. When you smack the tray against the counter to get the air bubbles out, the dough fills in the V so it’s a heart. I made the four Strawberry Champagne Macarons below with the V-shape method.
I also tried using a measuring spoon instead of a piping bag and tip. That worked really well to get consistent-sized round macarons. So, if you don’t want to pipe your macarons, use a 1/2 tablespoon or a tablespoon measuring spoon. I used the 1/2 tablespoon and measured rounded amounts of dough onto my cookie sheet.
The buttercream was a bit of a challenge. I read several recipe reviews online that said it was hard to get champagne flavor to come through in buttercream. I decided to use rose wine because it’s cheaper, stronger flavored and you lose the champagne bubbles anyway.
To make the flavor more intense, I mixed fresh strawberries and rose together and boiled them until I’d reduced the liquid by three quarters. Even so, I think these could use a dollop of strawberry jam in the center.
- 7 ounces powdered sugar
- 4 ounces ground almonds
- 4 ounces egg whites, room temperature (4 large egg whites)
- 3 ½ ounces granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- pink food coloring (gel is best)
Strawberry Champagne Buttercream
- ½ cup rose wine
- ½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped
- 4 large egg whites (room temperature)
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 8 ounces unsalted butter cut into 1-inch pieces (room temperature)
- Strawberry jam
- Line baking pans with parchment paper.
- Sift powdered sugar and ground almonds together.
- Beat egg whites and sugar until frothy and add cream of tartar.
- Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold in a few drops of pink food coloring.
- Fold in almond flour/powdered sugar mixture one third at a time. Push batter along the sides of the bowl until it flows like thick lava.
- Pipe into V-shapes to make hearts or use a half tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop batter into circles. If you want, top with some sprinkles.
- Let sit for 45 minutes until there is a crust on the outside (the macarons should not stick to your fingers when you touch them).
- Bake one sheet at a time on the lowest rack in a 300°F oven for 15 minutes.
- Cool in pan and use a spatula to remove macarons from the parchment paper.
Strawberry Champagne Buttercream
- Put strawberries and wine in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced to ¼ cup (about 10 minutes). Put through a strainer to remove seeds. Let cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer, and then place the bowl with the egg whites over the simmering water and heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 145°F.
- Remove bowl from the heat and attach to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip the mixture on high speed until it cools to room temperature, is light and billowing, and resembles marshmallow fluff. If the meringue is warm, it will melt the butter, so feel the bowl to make sure it has cooled to room temperature before continuing.
- With the mixer on medium-high speed, add the butter a couple of tablespoons at a time, allowing each addition to blend in fully before adding the next.
- Add the strawberry wine mixture to the buttercream and beat to incorporate.
- Refrigerate to firm up the buttercream (about 30 minutes).
Assembling the macarons
- If you want more strawberry flavor, pipe buttercream around the edges of the macaron and place a small amount of strawberry jam in the middle. Top with another macaron.
- OR you can pipe or spread enough buttercream to cover the bottom macaron and then gently place the other macaron on top.
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