How to make the Tangy Tomato French Macaron
After developing my sweet macaron recipe, I always wanted to move on to developing a savory macaron recipe as well. You would be surprised with how challenging it truly is to omit a large chunk of the sugar in a macaron shell to replace with salt. It just does not work. Sugar is the heart and soul of a macaron (beside the almond flour). Until I figure out the proper ratio to create such a savory shell, I will work with sweet and savory flavors to compensate. Hello to the tomato and basil macaron.
I first made the tomato and basil macaron as an amuse-bouche when I worked on the line for dinner service. Yes, I am trained savory chef. I took one baking and pastry class in culinary school and I barely passed it. Everything you see before your eyes is COMPLETELY self-taught. Live it and learn it. FYI, an amuse-bouche is a single bite-sized hors d'oeuvre, which usually is complimentary and comes out in the initial stages of a dinner, particularly during a tasting menu at fancy restaurant.
Red gel food coloring and a tablespoon of tomato powder will be your best friend in this particular case setting.
Coloring macarons red has always been somewhat tricky for me. Sometimes you end up using a lot of red food coloring to achieve that vibrant depth, which can make your batter really wet. When your batter is too wet, it takes a longer amount of time to set and you have to bake them longer in the oven. I used a combination of Americolor food gel in Red Red and Tulip Red.
Step 2: Make buttercream
I love the filling in this recipe:
You can color the filling red to match the interior of a tomato or you can be fun and color it green to mimic the color of basil.
Melting white chocolate with a a tablespoon of canola oil in the microwave is the way to go. Forget the double boiler! Who really has time for that? I would recommend heating it in ten second intervals over a medium to low heat setting and stirring it with a spatula in between intervals. Also, only use liquid food coloring, as gel distorts the texture. I used green liquid food coloring to create the vine. Once the chocolate is properly melted and displays a smooth texture, transfer it to a piping bag without a tip. Cut the smallest amount off of the tip. Using a sheet pan lined with a silpat, line the tomatoes to how you want them to be on the vine. You can mark this with the white chocolate. Once marked, remove the macarons and pipe the chocolate into the shape of a vine. Transfer to freezer and allow to set. Once cooled, carefully remove chocolate vine with an offset spatula.
While the white chocolate is setting, make a royal icing, that is on the thicker side in texture, with the addition of green food coloring. I would make the royal icing a shade or two darker green than the vine. Transfer to a piping bag without a piping tip. Cut the smaller amount off the tip. Pipe leaves on the top of the macaron shells. Allow to set.
Use the remaining royal icing as a glue to adhere the white chocolate vine onto the macarons. Place on a cutting board to display.
Place in the refrigerator and allow to set. This is something that I would serve immediately.