Why The Name Ispahan?

Ispahan or “Isfahan“, in Iran, was and still the land of saffron for centuries. The Persians call it “Nesf-e-Jahan”, meaning “Half  The World”; and Ispahan, also known as ‘Rose d’Ispahan’ and ‘Pompon des Princes’, is a kind of the highly scented Damask rose.
The King of modern Patisserie, Pierre Hermé choose the name Ispahan for his mystic Ispahan Macaron, in 1997. The unusual combination of the white chocolate and lychees fruit which has been an exquisite Chinese delicacy for centuries,  with a few notes of Rose d’Ispahan; and maybe, a saffron strands flavor, made that Macarons a success. 

Ispahan Macarons Shells

  • 300 g           confectioners’ sugar
  • 300 g           ground almonds
  • 8 g               food coloring red carmine
  • 110 g          egg whites, about 4 eggs

+Ingredients For The Italian Meringue

  • 75 ml          of water
  • 300 g           superfine sugar
  • 4                  aged egg whites, about 110 g
  • Lychee and rose Ganache

Lychees/White Chocolate Ganache
  • 400 g              lychees in syrup, drained
  • 410 g              white chocolate
  • 60 g                liquid fresh cream
  • A few drops of rose essence
Finishing Off The Macarons
  • 100 g             granulated sugar
  • A few drops of carmine red food coloring
  • Or edible ruby glitter
  • Some raspberries

Preparation / Method:

  1. Sift the confectioner’s sugar with the ground almonds.
  2. Mix the coloring with 3 egg whites. Pour this onto the sugar/almond mixture and mix.
  3. Boil water and sugar to 245° F. When the syrup reaches 230°F, begin to beat the other three egg whites to form soft peaks. Pour the syrup on the egg whites.
  4. Beat, and allow to cool to 120°F, before folding it into the sugar/almond/coloring mixture, allowing the beaten egg whites to settle.
  5. Pour the mixture into a pastry bag with plain No. 11 nozzles. Pipe spirals to make 8-inch  diameter circles on a baking tray covered with a  mat.
  6. Leave the circles to form a crust for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
  7. Preheat the oven: convection oven at 350° F . Slide the tray into the oven.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, quickly opening and shutting the open door twice during cooking.
  9. Pipe a mound of ganache onto half the shells. Lightly press a square of frozen raspberry jelly into the center and finish with a dot of Ganache. Top with the remaining shells.
  10. Store the Macarons for 24 hours in the fridge and bring them back out at the point of serving.

Adapted from  Pierre Hermé Macarons book.

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