What's the best way to make butter cream? (or a filling for french macaroons)
You can make macaron fillings with jam, butter cream and ganache. Pierre Hermé, the undisputed pope of macarons, mostly uses flavored white ganache instead of buttercream, because the white chocolate ganache transfers the added tastes (lemon, coffee, fruit...) in an optimal way without having a pronounced chocolate taste in the ganache.
I translated a few recipes for you from French. Here are a few fillings "façon Pierre Hermé", using ganache. Enjoy!
- Café (coffee)
Ingredients; 60 g chopped white chocolate, 3 g instant coffee, 50 g liquid cream (full fat!)
Preparation; chop the white chocolate. Bring the cream plus the instant coffee to a boil. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and mix with a whisk. Cover with pastic foil (it has to lay on the surface of the ganache!!). Let come to room temperature before putting it into the fridge for several hours.
- Citron (Lemon)
Ingredients; 5 g (yes, only 5 g) liquid cream, 24 g potato starch, 214 g lemon juice (+/- 6 lemons), 4g lemon zest (+/- from 2 lemons), 135 g white chocolate, 145 g softened butter
Preparation; Mix the cream with the potato starch, then warm to 40°C (body temp). Away from the heat, add the lemon juice and the zest. Mix well, then bring to a boil. Take from the heat, then add the white chocolate and mix well until homogenised. Put in a piping bag and let cool for minimum 4 hours. (Note; you probably can use the same method of covering with plastic foil.
- Chocolat-Framboise (raspberry)
Ingredients; 35 g butter at room temperature, 180 g chopped milk chocolate, 85 g raspberry purée
Preparation; melt the chocolate in the micro-wave or "au bain-marie". When partially melted, work in half of the fruit purée that has been taken to a boiling point first. Mix well in circular movements starting from the center of the bowl, then widening circles towards the sides of the bowl. Now add the rest of the fruit the same way and let the mixture cool a bit. Then add the softened butter. Let cool (again, cover with plastic foil!) before piping on the macarons. (Pierre Hermé puts some inverted sugar in the raspberry purée. The autor says it doesn't make any difference)
These are pictures taken in Lille (France), at half an hour drive from where I live. Any self-respecting pâtissier there sells top quality home-made macarons. The choice is incredible. Very popular are also the ones filled with... foie gras, at a shameless 2,50 € per piece! Ah well, we only live once.
Note; in the 3th recipe I mentioned:, Mix well in circular movements starting from the center of the bowl, then widening circles towards the sides of the bowl. Many times when making a ganache filling this particular method is used; boil cream, pour in 3 steps over the chocolate, stir in widening circles, always starting at the middle of the bowl.