Valentine’s Day is in two days and there is a ton of inspiration flying everywhere on social media! I am loving all the red/pink/purple in my feed lately! Although I am a firm believer that love should be celebrated every day, it is really nice to be able to express to your loved ones, how much you mean to them, because we often tend to forget to do so, with how busy we are in our daily lives.
When I was approached by Valley Fig Growers to work on a Valentine’s Day recipe with their Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice Dried Mission Figlets, I was really excited! I have always been a fan of Valley Fig Grower products, and to be asked to make a recipe with their product, got me very happy! Valley Fig Growers was established in 1959 and is the largest handler of figs in North America. They are located in Fresno, CA. All of the commercially sold dried figs produced in the United States, are grown in Fresno area and in the north, in the fertile San Joaquin Valley.
I love making macarons, and love how many different flavor combinations can be made with this tiny confection! They are not as an easy task, but once mastered, they are super fun and addictive to make. They are also sophisticated and make for a cute dessert for Valentine’s Day! They are fun to share with your loved ones. They are also fantastic as a dessert with a cuppa espresso or dessert wine to sip on with your loved one! Chocolate and Figs make an awesome combination, so I decided to make chocolate macarons with a Fig and Rose Jam Buttercream center filling. The entire combination was absolutely delicious and these macarons were a huge hit with my family!
For the Fig and Rose Jam, I used the Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice Dried Mission Figlets (or you can use Sun-Maid Mission Figs), along with sugar, water, a sprinkle of clove and star anise, and a bit of lemon juice in the mixture. It is cooked for about 8-10 minutes, and then as the jam cools, I add in rose water for a floral touch. The jam can be refrigerated and kept for up to a month.
For the macarons, I used Dutch cocoa powder in the almond and sugar mixture that gives it a beautiful chocolatey taste. For the buttercream, I use the fig and rose jam to make the buttercream, along with additional rose water. The macaron shells are piped with the buttercream and sandwiched with another macaron shell. The entire combination works so well together and it is delicious!
For the decoration, I used a combination of pink and fuchsia Americolor to create a beautiful magenta, and used an angular brush for a brush stroke across the macaron shell. I used royal icing to pipe the hearts, as well as the Love written on the shell. It makes for a cute as well as classy presentation! Aren’t they adorable?! My family loved the flavor profile, and were addicted to the macarons and could not keep their hands off them!
Valentine ’s Day can be cheesy, but it is up to us to get the right meaning out of it and express our love to our loved ones, that may not happen very often otherwise. We forget to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us. So this Valentine’s Day make these macarons and express your love to your loved ones with a sweet touch! 🙂
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
Chocolate Macarons with Dried Fig and Rose Jam Buttercream
Dried Fig and Rose Jam:
- 6 ounces of Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs
- 8 ounces of granulated sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ tsp ground clove
- ½ tsp ground star anise
- 2 tbsp rose water
Chocolate Macaron Shell:
- 4 oz almond flour
- 7 oz confectioner’s sugar
- 3.5 oz granulated sugar
- 4 oz egg white at room temperature (approx. 3 large eggs)
- 3 tbsp dutch cocoa powder
- Pinch of cream of tartar (about 1/8 tsp)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fig and Rose Jam Buttercream:
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- ½ cup of the fig and rose jam
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
- ½ tsp table salt
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tbsp rose water
- 2-3 drops of purple color (I used Americolor)
- (Recipe from SweetAmbs)
- 3 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 cup meringue powder(available at Michael's or Amazon)
- 90ml water at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Color per your choice(I used Americolor)
Dried Fig and Rose Jam:
- In a small saucepan, add in the figs, water, sugar, lemon juice, and let it cook, covered on medium-low heat, for about 8 minutes. Now add this mixture to a high speed blender. Add in the spices and blend. Remove the jam into a small container, mix in the rose water. Cover and keep it in the refrigerator for a month.
For the macaron shells:
- Preheat oven to 310 degrees. Line baking sheets with the paper templates, and top with the parchment paper.
- In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse 1/2 of the confectioner's sugar with the almond flour and cocoa powder until a fine powder is formed. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and mix in the remaining confectioner’s sugar. Using a drum sieve, sift mixture three times into a large bowl. Set aside.
- To make the meringue: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar. Once all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is thick, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla extract and increase the speed to high, whipping until stiff, firm, glossy peaks form for at least 5-7 minutes. You can remove and turn the whisk and the meringue should hold.
- To complete the macaronnage step: Sift the almond flour mixture, one-third at a time, over the egg white mixture, and fold using a large spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Once all the almond flour mixture is incorporated check for the correct consistency, the batter should be firm, have a glossy shine and drip smoothly from the spatula. Make sure that the entire almond mixture is incorporated. Take in the batter with your spatula and press it against the bowl in the same motion to remove the air from the batter. This step is very important. If you over-whip the batter will be too runny so do not over-whip. It should flow like lava, slowly but form ribbons.
- Transfer the batter to a pastry bag filled with a 1/2 inch plain round tip(#12), and pipe 1 1/3 inch rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Gentle tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Do this step at least 10 times. If they have a tip, gently pat it down with your wet finger. Let stand at room temperature for 30-40 minutes atleast. Check for a slight crust to form on the macaron. The macarons should not stick to your finger when lightly touched.
- Bake one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 15 minutes. Allow macarons to cool on the baking sheets for 30 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
For the Dried Fig and Rose Jam buttercream filling:
- In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, add the butter and salt and whip until light and creamy about a minute. Add in the jam and whip again for 30 seconds to incorporate. Add the sugar, rose water, vanilla extract and purple color, to the whipped butter and mix until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth about 2 minutes. Use a pastry bag with a ¼ inch star tip, to pipe the flat side of the macaron shell. Use the same sized macaron shell to cover the icing.
For the Royal Icing:
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the confectioner's sugar, meringue powder on low speed until combined. On low speed, slowly add the water and let it combine. Add in the vanilla extract. Scrape the bowl. Continue to mix the icing on low speed until the icing is light in color and holds a stiff peak, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overmix the icing. You can separate the icing into small bowls and add any color that you wish and mix well.
- Use the stiff consistency as-is for the outline of the cookie. Put the icing in a 12 inch pastry bag with a very tiny piping tip. Scrape the icing down with a bench scraper. Secure the top tight. Use the piping bag to decorate the macarons with royal icing. The bags can be kept in the refrigerator for 10 days. Keep the tips well secured, so as not to dry out the icing.