Aren’t these Strawberry & Rosé Wine Macarons pretty?
Have you been afraid to make French macarons? I’ll show you exactly how the batter should look for macaron success and I’ll tell you about the special ingredient I use to get a bold strawberry flavor in the filling. The strawberry flavor is enhanced with an infusion of rosé wine.
Have you heard the saying, “rosé all day”? It’s a testament to the new-found popularity of dry rosé wine. I, for one, am glad rosé wine is having a moment. It means that there is a large and diverse selection of really great rosés to choose from in my local state store (I live in PA, don’t ask). It’s my drink of choice all summer.
Unfortunately, for a number of years rosé wine got a bad rap. I think it was mostly due to the wild popularity of pink zinfandel wine. Remember that? You may be a fan of pink zinfandel, no biggie. But it is a sweeter wine that tastes nothing like a dry rosé.
I’m a big fan of rosé wine with food because it not only pairs well with pizza, tomatoes and grilled fish, but also many desserts, especially fruit desserts.
You’ll often find rosé wine described as having a strawberry flavor. So when I wanted to make a strawberry flavored macaron for spring, I decided to infuse the filling with rosé wine. The main problem I had to overcome was getting enough flavor from both the strawberries and the wine into the buttercream filling.
Fresh strawberries are so delicious to eat because they are super-juicy. While that’s a good thing when you want to eat a fresh berry, it’s a problem when you want to infuse strawberry flavor into a dessert. I had the same problem when I made my Strawberry Hand Pies. In that case I roasted the strawberries to concentrate the flavor.
I considered using roasted strawberries in the macaron filling, but I wanted a very fresh strawberry flavor. Recently I had been playing around with freeze dried strawberries for a cake recipe and thought they might be just the ticket for the macaron filling.
Freeze dried strawberries are simply berries with all the moisture removed. They’re not cooked, so they have a fresh flavor, and they have no added sugar or other ingredients.
I ground the freeze dried strawberries into a powder and mixed them into the buttercream. I love the bold strawberry flavor they add to the filling.
Now, how to infuse the buttercream with rosé wine? Unlike, say, rum or limoncello which have a concentrated flavor, rosé wine has a delicate flavor. Adding just a splash of rosé wine wouldn’t bring enough flavor, but adding more would certainly make the filling runny. The simple solution was to reduce the wine from a full cup down to 1/4 cup to concentrate the flavor.
I know I say this each time I make a new macaron recipe, but these Strawberry & Rosé Wine Macarons might be my new favorite.
Watch the recipe video to see how to make Strawberry & Rose Wine Macarons.
Macaron Base Mix
- 6 oz (170g) almond flour
- 2 oz (55g) granulated sugar
- 8 oz (225g) confectioner's sugar
- 3 large egg whites, aged overnight in the refrigerator (see note)
- 1.5 oz (40g) confectioner's sugar
- 12 oz (340g) Macaron Base Mix
- Pink gel food color
- 1 1/2 cups (1 oz, 30g) Freeze Dried Strawberries
- 8 oz (1 cup, 235 ml) rosé wine
- 4 oz (1/2 cup, 115g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- Remaining Macaron Base Mix
- 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
Make The Base Mix
- Pulse the almond flour, granulated sugar and confectioner's sugar in a food processor to combine. Move the mixture to a sieve and sift into a bowl.
- Whisk the ingredients after sifting to be sure they are well combined then divide the base - setting aside 12 oz (340g) for the macaron shells and the remaining for the buttercream filling.
Make the Macaron Shells
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Use a biscuit cutter to draw 24 2" circles on a 1/2 sheet of parchment paper. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and put the paper with the circles underneath the parchment on one of the pans.
- Whip the egg whites to soft peak. With the mixer running add the remaining 1.5 oz of confectioner's sugar and whip to full peak. Reduce the speed to medium low and add the food coloring, 1 drop at a time, until you have a color that you like. Fold the almond mixture into the whites. Continue folding until it becomes soft and shiny, but not thin and runny.
- Scoop the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip (or cut the tip of a disposable bag). Pipe the discs until they're 1/4" from the edges of the circles you've drawn.
- Set the pan aside to allow the cookies to dry for 30-60 minutes.Touch the top of a cookie to make sure it's dry to the touch, it can be a bit tacky but shouldn't completely stick to your finger.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes then rotate the trays. Bake for another 5-6 minutes until the shells are dry and the centers are soft (see note). Allow the shells to cool completely. You can use a small offset spatula to release the shells from the parchment. Be careful handling the shells, it's very easy to crack the smooth surface.
Make the Buttercream Filling
- Grind the freeze dried strawberries to a powder in a food processor.
- Boil the rosé wine in a small saucepan until it is reduced to 1/4 cup.
- Combine the softened butter with the reserved macaron base mix, add the reduced wine and the powdered strawberries. Whip on medium-high speed until the buttercream lightens in color and becomes aerated.
- Scoop the buttercream into a clean pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip or cut the tip of a disposable bag. Pour the strawberry preserves into a clean pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip or cut the tip of a disposable bag.
- Pair up the cooled shells by size. Flip over one shell per pair. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of each flipped shell. Pipe a dollop of strawberry preserves into the middle of the buttercream rings. Sandwich the cookies gently, handling the cookies by the edges and not the tops.
- The finished cookies should be refrigerated in a covered container for a couple of hours or overnight before serving. The cookies can also be frozen for several weeks.
Separate the egg whites at least a day and up to 3 days before baking. Store the whites in a bowl in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature before mixing the batter.
Aging the whites allows the protein in the whites to relax so they'll whip up better.