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Vanilla Buttercream Macaron Filling

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Yields about 1 cup

  • by Joanne Chang from Fine Cooking
    Issue 110

Made by whipping butter into an airy meringue, this filling has a light texture and rich vanilla flavor—the perfect accompaniment for Classic French Almond Macarons.

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 4 to 6 pieces
  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt

In a small heatproof bowl, whisk the sugar and egg whites. In a 1-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Set the bowl over the simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water) and heat the mixture, whisking occasionally, until hot to the touch, 4 to 6 minutes. It will thin out a bit as the sugar melts.

Remove the bowl from the heat and scrape the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until the mixture is light, white, and cool to the touch, 4 to 6 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the chunks of butter one at a time. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the buttercream is smooth, 4 to 5 minutes. Mix in the vanilla and salt.

Make Ahead Tips

The buttercream can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Before using, return to room temperature and then mix the buttercream in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.

Variations

Espresso Buttercream: Substitute 2 tsp. instant espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 tsp. warm water, cooled, for the vanilla and mix it in along with the salt.

Photo: Colin Clark

OMG! We had macarons for the first time at a french bakery in NYC over the Thanksgiving Holiday...they were so good I could not wait to come home and try a recipe. Let me tell you...my son said these are EVEN better than the ones we had! They are decadent ! Thank you!

I made the filling for the first time tonight, and found it easy to follow and easy to execute. I did add additional 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp of almond extract. I also used salted butter and omitted the kosher salt. The icing tasted delicious, but was a bit thin to use immediately. After refrigerating a bit, it was perfect.

It is absolutely delicious!

It's heavy, and not very flavorful.

It's tasty, but curdly....

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