Saturday, 18 December 2010



HO HO HO!  Pistachio macarons with Chestnut Cream, Vanilla Buttercream and Glace Cherry fillings.

Hand-painted pistachio macaron shells with buttercream filling.  The “paint” is matcha.

Follow the recipe for Pistachio macaron shells exactly.  I made two separate batches and just changed up the fillings to make my life a bit easier.
*Please hit the "read more" link to proceed to the recipes and techniques for the 3 macaron variations.


Pistachio Macarons
adapted from tartelette
Makes 35
225 gr powdered sugar
60 gr ground almonds
65 gr pistachios
3 egg whites (about 100gr)
25 gr granulated sugar
  • In a food processor, run the nuts and powdered sugar until the nuts are finely ground. Run through a sieve if needed.
  • Whip the egg whites until foamy, slowly add the granulated sugar, until they are glossy. Continue beating until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Slowly fold the nut/sugar mixture into the whites with a wide spatula. The mixture should remain shiny and flow easily.
  • Fill a pastry bag with the batter and pipe small rounds, the size of a quarter, onto parchment lined baking sheets.
  • Let the macarons rest for 20 minutes to develop a skin. Touch the tops to ensure that they are not tacky. If they are, leave them to rest longer.
  • Preheat the oven to 315 and when they are ready, bake them for 12-15 minutes.
  • Let cool, remove from the paper and fill with the chocolate buttercream.

After the macarons have rested (before baking) and the shells are dry to the touch (about 20 minutes), mix up a teaspoon of matcha with a bit of hot water to make a paste.  Gradually add more hot water until it is the consistency of paint.  Do not use too much water or you’ll have soggy shells.  Using a new, clean, washed paintbrush, deftly and gently swipe the brush across the shells as they rest on the parchment.  Bake the macarons.  Cool and remove from parchment.


It is quite important to “pair up” your shells after removing from the parchment.  Line them up so that the pairs are approximately the same size.  I have all the unpainted shells shown bottoms-up so it’s easier to fill.

With a small star tip, pipe the buttercream (recipe below) onto the bottom shells.  Gently place the painted shells on the fillings.  Refrigerate to allow the flavours to meld.


An angel is 3 macarons high.

*Cakebrain’s note: if you’re ambitious, try the gorgeous Neoclassic Buttercream in chocolate.  If you’re not, try the plain Vanilla Buttercream.  I used the simple buttercream because it’s just as yummy and allows the pistachio flavour to sing and combines well for the Chestnut Cream filling. 

Neoclassic Chocolate Buttercream (makes 4 cups/1 3/4 lb/800g)
(from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible ) 6 large (3.5 fl oz/ 4 oz/112 g) egg yolks, room temperature sugar (3/4 cup/5.25 oz/150 g) corn syrup (1/2 liquid cup/5.75 oz/164 g) unsalted butter (2 cups/1 lb/454 g) (must be softened) optional: liqueur or eau-de-vie of your choice (2-4 T/1-2oz/28-56 g) 6 oz extra bittersweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • Have ready a greased 1-cup heatproof glass measure near the range
  • In a bowl beat the yolks with an electric mixer until light in colour. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan (preferably with a nonstick lining) and heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a rolling boil. (The entire surface will be covered with large bubbles.) Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking.
  • If using an electric hand-held mixer, beat the syrup into the yolks in a steady stream. Don't allow syrup to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of the bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of syrup over the yolks with the mixer turned off. Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining syrup. For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure. Continue beating until completely cool.
  • Gradually beat in the butter and any optional flavouring. Incorporate the melted bittersweet chocolate. Place in an airtight bowl. Bring to room temperature before using. Rebeat to restore texture.
  • Store: 6 hours room temperature, 1 week refrigerated, 8 months frozen
  • 6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon clear almond extract
  1. Place the softened butter in a large bowl.
  2. Gradually add the sugar by sifting a small amount over the butter and stirring to incorporate.  Continue until all the sugar is blended in.
  3. Beat hard with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until the icing is pale and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the milk until smooth.

Follow the pistachio recipe, and chop whole Glace Cherries in fourths.  Pipe your favourite Vanilla Buttercream around the perimeter of the macaron shell.  Place a glace cherry quarter in the center.  Gently press a macaron shell on the top.  Refrigerate to allow the macaron to get yummy.



Chestnut Cream filling sandwiched between two macaron shells.  A heavenly combination!

For the Chestnut Cream filling, you need a can of Chestnut Puree.   Take about a cup of the Classic Vanilla Buttercream (from recipe above) in a mixing bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons (or to taste) of the chestnut puree to the buttercream.  Beat in mixer until smooth and homogenous.  Place in piping bag and pipe the chestnut cream filling between the pistachio shells.

Filled macarons can be refrigerated for a few days before serving.  You can also freeze them for a few weeks in a sealed container.  Allow to come to room temperature before serving.


Caroline said...

These are gorgeous! The feet on your macarons are fantastic and I think you may have just invented a new unit of measure - the macaron!

Marian (Sweetopia) said...

Yum yum!! And that guy is SO CUTE!!!

a. maren said...

how very beautiful they are! you may be great at them, but every time someone successfully makes macarons i just want to congratulate them!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Wow! Gorgeous macs. The feet you've achieved on them is truly spectacular!!

Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen said...

Very cute! They look delicious!

Juliana said...

Wow, your mac are beautiful, so elegantly presented...absolutely gorgeous!

Dina said...

what a great idea to put a cherry inside the macaroon! they look yummy!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Beautiful macarons! Was someone lucky enough to get those for Christmas?


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