I developed the recipe for these chilli-paprika French macarons more than a decade ago and have managed to salvage the recipe from my notebook. The hint of chilli in these macarons are perfect for those who prefer a little less sweetness in these dainty treats.
Love – hate relationship!
I have a love – hate relationship with French macarons. On the one hand, I enjoy making them- the feet ( the crinkly bits around the bottom – the trademark of French macarons, which can sometimes be elusive) appearing gives me a sense of accomplishment. I also love their sophisticated demeanour. But when it comes to eating them, I find them a bit too sweet. This recipe for chilli French macarons came about because of this. The addition of chilli and paprika adds a new dimension to the flavours and distracts from the sweetness. I am a lover of the hot and sweet combination anyway, so this was right up my street!
French macarons need egg whites and they need to be at room temperature. so if you are planning to make them, make a note of this.
Ground almonds are used in this recipe. You can use store bought ground almonds. However, they may not be finely ground. So pulse it with the icing sugar and sieve the mixture. This will give smooth shells.
The dry mixture will need to be added to the egg white mixture a little at a time. Use a flexible spatula in a circular movement and press against the edges of the bowl. When everything is mixed well, the mixture should fall down in ribbons when lifted with the spatula.
The macaron batter needs to be piped out into circles of about one and a half inches in diameter. If you are okay with free hand piping, this will be breeze. If you are not, you can draw circles on the backside of the piece of parchment paper that you will use to line the baking tray. This will help to get uniform sizes.
Once the circles of macaron batter have been piped out, tap the tray gently on the counter to smoothen it out and release any air bubbles. After that they will need to be left to stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes. The tops will feel dry to the touch.
I mixed a little sour cream with some smoked paprika and a pinch of salt and filled the macarons just before serving. Some chocolate ganache will also go well as a filling in this recipe.
Continue reading for the full recipe for these chilli-paprika French macarons.
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Chilli and paprika French macrons
- 1 egg white, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ cup icing sugar
- 4 tbsp ground almonds
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- a little crushed red chillies, for topping
- A little sour cream mixed together with some smoked paprika and a pinch of salt
- Pulse the ground almonds long with the icing sugar, paprika and chilli powder. Sieve the mixture a couple of times. Keep aside.
- In a clean, dry bowl, add the egg white and beat with an electric whisk till it forms soft peaks.
- Gradually add the granulated sugar and beat till it forms stiff peaks.
- Add the dry mixture to the egg white mixture a little at a time. Use a flexible spatula in a circular movement and press against the edges of the bowl. When everything is mixed well, the mixture should fall down in ribbons when lifted with the spatula.
- Line a baking tray with parchment.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and snip the end.
- Pipe the macaron batter out into circles of about 1½ in diameter, a little apart from each other. If you are okay with free hand piping, this will be a breeze. If you are not, you can draw circles on the backside of the piece of parchment paper that you will use to line the baking tray. This will help to get uniform sizes.
- Once the circles of macaron batter have been piped out, tap the tray gently on the counter to smoothen the tops and release any air bubbles.
- Sprinkle a little crushed red chillies on top of half of the piped shells.
- Leave them to stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes. The tops should feel dry to the touch.
- Pre heat the oven at 170 deg C.
- Lower the temperature to 150 deg C and place the tray in the centre of the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Rotate the tray and bake for another 7 minutes.
- Cool the macarons on the tray for a couple of minutes. Remove and transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Just before serving, sandwich each plain shell with the ones topped with crushed red chillies with some of the sour cream filling.
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Until next time,