This cherry macaron recipe from Graham Hornigold makes exquisite petit four that are as delightful to look at as they are delicious. The name comes from the beautifully combined flavours of cherry ganache and orange blossom, along with the delicate cherry blossom stencilling that sets the macaron off to perfection.
Graham Hornigold’s expert pastry skills have been refined in some of the best restaurants and hotels in London. As Executive Pastry Chef of Hakkasan Group, he brings a delicate, refreshing touch to their restaurants’ dessert menus.
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To begin the macarons, make the ground almond base. Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a food mixer and whisk until incorporated. Set aside until required
300g of ground almonds
300g of icing sugar
110g of egg white
To make the Italian meringue base, add the egg whites to a clean bowl and whisk on a low speed. Meanwhile, add the water and 280g of caster sugar to a pan and place over a medium-high heat. Cook until the syrup reaches ‘soft ball’ stage, or 118°C
110g of egg white
300g of caster sugar
55g of water
Once the temperature reaches 105°C, increase the speed of the mixer and add the extra 20g of caster sugar in order to stabilise the meringue. When the sugar reaches 118°C, reduce the speed of the mixer and gently pour the sugar down the side of the bowl into the whisking egg whites
Turn up the speed and mix for 1 more minute, before stopping the machine and adding the food colouring. Turn on the machine once more, mixing on a medium speed until the meringue has cooled to blood temperature and is a thick, fluffy consistency
8g of white food colouring
When ready, mix 1/3 of the Italian meringue base into the reserved ground almond base, stirring to combine. Repeat this process twice more until all of the mix is incorporated, smooth and shiny
Add the macaron mix to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle, and pipe 4.5cm bulbs of the meringue directly onto either a non-stick baking mat, or baking tray lined with silicone paper
Set the macarons to one side for 30 minutes until they form a dry skin on top of the rounds.
Preheat the oven to 130°C/gas mark 1
Bake the macarons for 17-18 minutes, until you can just peel them off the tray. Remove from the oven, allow to cool then match each macaron half according to size
To make the cherry blossom ganache, add the chocolate and trimoline to a blender. Meanwhile, place the cherry purée in a pan and bring to the boil
75g of dark chocolate, 70%, broken into pieces
75g of milk chocolate, 41%, broken into pieces
12g of trimoline
125g of cherry purée
Once boiling, pour the purée into the blender over the chocolate and allow to stand for 30 seconds. Turn the blender on to a moderate speed, blitz until smooth then gradually blend in the softened butter
15g of unsalted butter
Add the orange blossom water, mix well for 1 minute then transfer the ganache to a piping bag. Allow to set before piping
15g of orange blossom water
For the red stencil colouring, melt the white chocolate on a low wattage in a microwave. Combine both the raspberry and regular cocoa butter in a bowl, melt in a microwave and combine the cocoa butter with the white chocolate. Pass through a fine strainer and load into a spray gun
For the brown stencil colouring, melt the milk chocolate on a low wattage in a microwave. Combine with the cocoa butter in a bowl until combined and smooth. Pass through a fine strainer and load into a spray gun
To finish the macarons, pipe some of the ganache into the centre of the bottom macaron halves, then top with the other half. Finish by airbrushing a cherry blossom tree on top, using a stencil and chocolate spray gun
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