Pierre Herme’s Ketchup Macarons (Ketchup Cookies)

macarons filled with ketchup and cornichons

When you make desserts in a restaurant, the most important thing you can do is to smell anything made of plastic before you put anything in it. I remember someone made a big batch of crème anglaise one morning…and that evening, when I went to serve it, I opened the lid and the overpowering smell of garlic blasted forth, rendering the whole batch useless.

A few years Iater I worked as a pastry chef at a southeast Asian restaurant, which was great: I never had to sniff anything since I was using the same ingredients—ginger, chiles, galengal, and spices—as the regular cooks.

red food coloring

I’ve raved and raved about Pierre Hermé’s macarons, and once ranted about one.


It’s not the I’m not open to experimentation, but the idea just sounded too odd to me and I couldn’t eat it. I did, though, love the reader that accused me of contributing to all the “…bad press foie gras has in the US”.

Um…hello?

Oddly, if I take the time and respond to explain that yes, I do eat foie gras, I never hear from them again. I guess I should be thankful, but I do hear from a lot of people who are endlessly fascinated by French macarons. Thankfully the great Pierre Hermé has finally come out with a book that exhaustively covers the subject with 200 pages of recipes and full-color photographs.

piped macarons

Because making macarons is mostly about technique, rather than just a standard recipe, readers will appreciate the 32-step instructions, with photos, that show the process exactly as it goes.

There’s les classiques, like dark chocolate, praline, coffee, and pistachio, but other chapters feature the more unusual macarons that Hermé is justly famous for. Ispahan is one, with litchi, rose and raspberry, Arabesque with apricot and pistachio, as well as a bright-green macaron filled with fresh mint. But what intrigued me the most, and made me pick up the book, was his recipe for macarons with ketchup.

heinz ketchup cornichons

Huh?

If you think that sounds odd, if you think about it, tomatoes are a fruit and ketchup is really a spiced and sweetened paste made from them. There’s a perception in Europe that Americans put ketchup on anything. Aside from the rather-full shelf of ketchup I’ve seen in French supermarkets, we’re not the only ones that use it. But I’m not sure where that impression comes from as I rarely use it.

I’ve had a couple of Europeans say to me, with a smirk; “Aren’t you going to put ketchup on everything?” One time, it was actually a dinner guest in my home. (Make that ex-dinner guest.) I suppose it’s the same as the idea that we think that all Frenchmen wear thongs on the beach, which I’ve tried to explain to Romain was something we associated with Europeans, especially the hefty male ones with lots of gold jewelery, comb overs, and extra-long, thin cigarettes, but he didn’t get it. So I let it drop.

macaron halves

So why not ketchup macarons? Clichés don’t get picked out of nowhere, and I may as well embrace my American kinship with ketchup. For kicks, there’s a bit of Tabasco sauce and tiny cubes of cornichons added. It was an idea that so intrigued me, I wanted to give it a try. One thing I didn’t count on was that the recipe, which I cut in half, called for a full bottle of Heinz ketchup. (The original recipe called for a whopping 3 1/2 cups of ketchup.) Well, if nothing else, this recipe was reinforcing the notion that we Americans really know how to pour on the ketchup.

ketchup

For some reason the recipes in this book each make 72 cookies. I can imagine wanting that many chocolate or coffee macarons, but I cut the recipe in half for the ketchup ones, as something told me that I didn’t think these would be as popular.

Pierre Hermé recommends using Heinz ketchup because he warns of the “enormous variation” between brands. I did taste it side-by-side with store-brand, to bolster my reputation as an international expert on ketchup, and the Heinz was slightly spicier and more lively.

macarons

I should say that anyone interested in making French macarons would find Macarons by Pierre Hermé the best resource I’ve seen in print. And it’s now available in English.

But as they say in France, this book is le must.

Ketchup Macarons

30-35 cookies

Adapted from Macarons by Pierre Hermé

Pierre Hermé uses what he calls “liquidifed” egg whites, which are egg whites that have been placed in a bowl, covered with a piece of plastic wrap with a knife slit hole on the top, and left in the refrigerator for a week prior to using.

I did end up using more food coloring that the recipe (much more than I thought prudent.) The photo in the book showed them as being rather red, but perhaps the colorant they used was professional-grade and I was using McCormick. I got a little scared after I added more than half the bottle, and decided to stop.

Note: When I originally reviewed the book and made the recipe, the book was only available in French. So some of the notes I provided were due to translation issues and terms. If you want to try the recipe, you can use Google as a conversion calculator by simply typing in a phrase such as “150 grams in ounces” and it will convert for you.

For the cookies:

The almond mixture:

  • 150g powdered almonds
  • 150g powdered sugar
  • 55g egg whites
  • 15g red food coloring

For the meringue:

150g granulated sugar
40g water
55g egg whites

1. Sift together the powdered almonds with powdered sugar. Add the 55g egg whites and food coloring, but do not stir them together.

2. In a saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, cook the granulated sugar and water to 115C. In the bowl of an electric mixer, begin whipping the whites until they form soft peaks. Once the syrup is 118C, pour the syrup over the remaining 55g egg whites while they’re whipping.

3. Continue to whip the whites until the temperature drops to 50C.

4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the powdered almond mixture.

5. Using a pastry bag with a plain tip, pipe 3.5cm rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Once piped, let the rounds sit for 30 minutes to develop a crust.

6. Heat the oven the 180C.

7. Bake the macarons for 12 minutes, during which time rapidly open the door twice.

(I’m not certain why he does this step, or exactly when. The instructions said to Laissez cuire 12mn en ouvrant rapidement 2 fois la porte du four, which seemed to me to be right before they’re done.)

8. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, remove from baking sheet. Then make the filling.

For the filling:

40g cornichons
6g sheet gelatin
350g Heinz ketchup
4-5 drops hot sauce (I used Sriracha)

1. Rinse and pat the cornichons dry very with a paper towel. Dice cornichons into miniscule cubes (1mm).

2. Soak the gelatin in cold water for 15 minutes.

3. Remove the gelatin and melt it in a saucepan or microwave over lower heat, just until melted. Mix in one-quarter of the ketchup, the add rest. Stir in the cornichons and a few drops of hot sauce, to taste.

4. Pipe filling between two halves of macarons and sandwich them together. Chill for an hour, until the filling is set.

Storage: Macarons should be stored in the refrigerator, where they can sit for up to two days. Remove from refrigerator two hours before serving.

Oh yeah, before I split. You’re probably wondering what I thought of them.

Truthfully, after I put them together and let them sit, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take a bite. They were pretty and all, but I’m not really a fan of ketchup (yikes!) and the idea did sound a bit odd to me, even though I’m sure all of you out there are thinking that it’s perfectly normal.

The taste wasn’t bad and I could imagine these as a savory-sweet hors d’œuvre, rather than for dessert—which I think is what they’re intended for. I don’t think I’ll make them again, but I will certainly be trying some of the other recipes.

Note: Since this isn’t my recipe I can’t answer specific questions about his techniques but most of them are explained in the book very well. If you have questions about macaron making, please check my post Making French Macarons for trouble-shooting and tips.

Related Links

My review of the book: I Love Macarons!

Macarons by Pierre Hermé

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106 comments

  • February 19, 2009 4:51pm

    I was open to ketchupy persuasion right up to the cornichons. Wow. This is a little too trompe l’oeil for me. Maybe if they were more of an orangey red than a pinky red?

    Such a fun post to read, though.

  • February 19, 2009 4:52pm

    I love sweet, salty, and spicy all together, but this recipe is terrifying! It’s an interesting take and I’d love to try one, but I’m not sure I would want to make an entire batch myself.

  • February 19, 2009 4:53pm

    I have the book but have not made any macarons from it yet (I seem to “collect” cookbooks more than anything else and never get to the actual cooking part). It’s such a beautiful book too. And so true about smelling plastic containers. We always hid ours. That and side towels. We always had to hide the side towels too.

  • sam
    February 19, 2009 4:54pm

    I wish I could afford to try this with June Taylor’s ketchup with is swoon worthy

  • February 19, 2009 4:55pm

    Kind of bizarre, but I would love to try one…

    I think you’re on to something as a savory hors dœuvre. Or maybe served with some sort of soup, like a cracker?

  • February 19, 2009 5:03pm

    I have to say my stomach turned at your title and description…but I’m curious to check out his book!

  • February 19, 2009 5:04pm

    I wonder who would gobble these up faster–me or my toddler, for whom ketchup is a food group.

  • February 19, 2009 5:14pm

    um yeah, they “are” pretty David, however I’m not sure they’d be my sorta thing. But to try a macaron, any macaron I didn’t make myself and of any flavour would be exciting.

  • February 19, 2009 5:24pm

    How crazy! I’m not a huge ketchup fan either. I would like to try one… I think.

  • February 19, 2009 5:35pm

    That does look like a gorgeous book! When I was a kid, my mother used to make a tomato-spice cake that used a can of Campbell’s tomato soup in it–it was definitely one of our favorites (and I’ve since created my own, vegan, version). So I see the appeal of tomato in baked goods. I think if these had had the tomato in the cookie (sans cornichons, of course), they would have made a pretty tasty treat!

  • kellypea
    February 19, 2009 5:38pm

    Not a lover of ketchup or men in thongs, but I’ll say I’m fascinated with those macarons. Any way a little piece of bacon could help them out? Wishing I could read French.

  • February 19, 2009 5:44pm

    SALIVATING.

    This is EXACTLY up my alley, and I’m weeping at my lack of instruction-following ability. No WAY can I do this properly, and yet, I am SO bloody tempted because me? I am that Persian-American who puts ketchup on rice.

  • February 19, 2009 5:46pm

    UGHHHHH!!! *curls in fetal position*

    I hate ketchup with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. It’s like someone stabbed a tomato and let it rot, that’s what ketchup is =.=.

    *shudders*

  • February 19, 2009 5:54pm

    I love ketchup more than is really right. In college I even resorted to putting it on Graham crackers at one point. And I have been obsessed with Monsieur Herme’s book for quite some time. This post may just have convinced me to actually shell out the $70 and purchase it!

  • February 19, 2009 5:59pm

    I’m feeling intrigued and yet kind of grossed out by the thought of massive quantities of ketchup…although, on the plus side, these cookies would have great antioxidant properties which means eating them is actually healthy!

  • February 19, 2009 6:03pm

    Ooh interesting combination I could totally see that working as an hors doeurve but it would be a bit daunting. Can i ask a little question that confused me though. I’ve made Herme macaron recipes before but with the dry ingredients i’ve always mixed the egg whites with the almond/icing sugar so im confused how without mixing them in they would be combined when folded to the other whites

  • Susan
    February 19, 2009 7:10pm

    French fries slathered with ketchup; okay. Meatloaf painted thickly with ketchup (in a sandwich.); well, okay. A hamburger blanketed with ketchup; Sure. A cookie made with ketchup? uh…David, are ya just bored?

  • February 19, 2009 8:01pm

    Yikes! Reading the comments, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s a little skeptical.

  • February 19, 2009 8:13pm

    Can I get an order of fries with that?

    Oops. Wrong. So wrong.

    The french fries, not the cookie!

    Yep, I can see me trying this. By the way, the cover of that book is BEAUTIFUL!
    How can I read about the technique if I am ignorant of the language?

    Can I borrow Romain for a few days?

    ;)

  • February 19, 2009 8:32pm

    Beautiful color results, David. I’m loving the photos – hard!

    Congrats, by the way, on your ever accumulating accolades!!!

    XOXOXOX,

    ~ Paula

  • February 19, 2009 8:37pm

    All we can do is giggle! This just sounds crazy. We’d try it…but it still sounds crazy!

  • February 19, 2009 8:38pm

    Those photos definitely get you reading more! Umm… think I’ll just take your word for it that they are worth trying!

  • Renee
    February 19, 2009 9:20pm

    While I am a big fan of Ladurée, I don’t think I would be able to get past the queasy to even try these macaroons. Quite a lovely book though. May have to add it to my collection. I applaude those daredevils who do try them though. Must have stomachs of steel! “yucky”

  • February 19, 2009 9:22pm

    Mr. Lebovitz, you are a brave man.

  • February 19, 2009 9:24pm

    Hello David,

    This sounds so fun! I’m totally intrigued… and I’m not even a fan of ketchup, nor cornichons! :p But just ouf ot curiosity I’d love to try one of these (yet maybe not a whole/half batch… selfish me!).

    A loooong time ago, I remember making spiced tomato juice cupcakes (and I hate tomato juice!), though they didn’t have pickles in them. Those tasted fine, actually… so I imagine these should be more than decent if these are created by Herme the geneius. Will check out the book! Thanks.

  • February 19, 2009 9:29pm

    I dream of going to Paris. Trying one of Pierre Hermé’s macarons is on my list of “MUST DOs”. However, not being a ketchup person myself, I couldn’t imagine a Ketchup Macaron! Oh, I think it would most certainly taint the Pierre Hermé experience. On the other hand, he is the Macaron Master…

  • February 19, 2009 9:53pm

    I’ll just leave these on the shelf with the sardine jelly beans, thanks anyway, though! ;)

  • February 19, 2009 10:06pm

    Okay, David…. 1) I got teased about the ketchup thing when last in Europe. I rarely ever use the stuff much less buy it. 2) As I was reading along and you landed on the recipe I totally went…”Wait! What were they like?!!” So thanks for illuminating us on that culinary front. :)

    I can’t say I’m inclined to attempt these myself (though would certainly try them should you wish to overnight some to the US west coast). But if Pierre should come up with a Mayonaise Macaron… I’d TOTALLY go for it! ;)

    And, lastly, I was a complete macaron slut when in Paris. But I did have the good sense to indulge at multiple locations rather than all at once so they couldn’t point and exclaim why American Men Never Get Skinny. What’s a guy to do? ;)

  • Linda H
    February 19, 2009 10:47pm

    Nope. Life is too short.
    (I did recently make a dessert with an entire bottle of red coloring, though. It was a red velvet cheesecake made for Valentine’s Day.)

  • February 19, 2009 10:53pm

    You’ve managed to take something that, to me, sounds entirely repulsive and at least make it look delicious. Thanks for making me think outside the box and, since my last few batches of macarons have been reduced to thin, lacy discs, I think I might need to learn French and buy Hermes’ book.

  • Michelle @ www.PorktoPurslane.com
    February 19, 2009 11:02pm

    FABULOUS! I adore macarons but have never attempted them at home (a travesty!) – this recipe just changed that. Until then, visions of these precious pink saucers will dance in my head.

    What is it about tiny ‘cookies’…that they never fail to induce inner smiling?

  • Kevin
    February 19, 2009 11:03pm

    I’ve got to say. Uhhh, O.K.? The color is great can I use them as cones to direct trafffic away from an accident?

  • February 19, 2009 11:08pm

    I loved the idea of foie gras macarons, but this time…
    Savory sweet tomato hors d’oeuvre is nice, for example I love little sweet tomatoes du jardin warm and plumpy with all this sun juice inside them, pour faire trempette in a little amount of brown sugar. What I’m afraid of with those macarons is about the almond-y texture with the acidic, watery texture of ketchup. Imagining this isn’t quite as appealing as silky foie gras with almonds flavor and butter :D.

    (by the way, I thought that maybe you would love this :) . )

  • Rona Tuttle
    February 19, 2009 11:25pm

    J’adore macarons. Ketchup? Je sais pas. Mais, Heinz “Organic” ketchup…ça marche pour moi. It is the only ketchup I buy now…really great flavour.

  • February 19, 2009 11:40pm

    Hmm, no I agree with you, the flavor combo sounds quite odd, I would hesitate too. I am still having trouble imagining it, but our story was fun to read :)

  • February 19, 2009 11:58pm

    Awful/awesome…this definitely skirts the line. Though then again I have a strange fascination with the mayonnaise cake…so I guess I should try these before I knock ’em!

  • February 20, 2009 12:41am

    Ouch. I wouldn’t put eggwhites and almonds on a hamburger, so…

  • February 20, 2009 12:48am

    About 10 years ago, when I was in Paris with some frequency, I got a tomato macaron at that famous bakery that starts with a “D” and I could never pronounce the name (much less spell it!). They had a patisserie counter in the giant food section of Galeries Lafayette. I was with my two very young daughters, wandering around, wasting time on a rainy day, and we thought it would be fun to try a tomato cookie. Obviously, we got a chocolate and a raspberry one, too, so we wouldn’t go hungry if the tomato macaron didn’t meet our skeptical expectations. We each took a small bite and moved quickly to the chocolate and raspberry. Last summer, back in Paris, my husband and I stuck with Laduree and had macarons 3 times in 2 days (can you blame us?). I’m so glad that good recipes for macarons are available for home chefs now – I’ve made many. I searched for YEARS, with no luck (even Dorie Greenspan doesn’t have a recipe for them in “Paris Sweets”). I can’t wait to get this book – but I’ll probably stick with the traditional varieties!

    BTW, I made your caramel corn today. Yum. That is an all American treat, with no ketchup.

  • Katie Z
    February 20, 2009 1:10am

    I’m curious as to what you did with the rest of the macarons. I can imagine some recipients with pretty confused faces!

    This reminds me of an incident long ago when my grandma, who flew from China to visit our family, had never really heard of a sandwich before (nor of jam or ketchup) –she made me a sandwich for lunch one day and it had jam on one slice of bread and ketchup on the other with lettuce and ham in-between! I’m pretty sure I skipped lunch that day. Although now that I think about it, it could have been pretty interesting to try…

  • Cameron Phillips
    February 20, 2009 3:02am

    Wow, a lot of your readers are so unadventurous and easily freaked. I’d try this at least once! How about a mustard macaron to go with this? :)

  • February 20, 2009 3:13am

    Well, I’m pretty adventurous, but this sounds suspect. However when its coming from Pierre Herme I say sign me up. Afterall my favourite Macaron flavour is the green olive and olive oil, with a piece of olive right in the middle. So, I’m convinced. How does he do it. Thanks for sharing your experience with a wacky recipe.

  • February 20, 2009 3:32am

    Katie: I brought to rest over to Jacques Genin, as I was meeting some friends over at his chocolate shop. Jacques took a bite and didn’t like it, mumbling something in French…which I won’t repeat.

    I was with Bryce Corbett and his wife Shay, and he actually liked them (and took home the rest.) Jacques did pass a few out to his staff, but gave the rest back to me.

    And although I’m not a fan of ketchup, I could see someone from another country using it like jam. After all, it is a sweetened, spiced fruit puree!

    Paula: Thanks~I was surprised to be included but I was happy to see I was in such good company : D

    Laura: I was so curious about Pierre’s macaron batter that I asked Dorie Greenspan about it, if it’s really supposed to be made like that. She said she’d never made it, but he always told her the batter should be quite runny. And it worked! I don’t know if these were sold in the boutique, and if they were, I’d be interested in knowing for how long~

    Laura (What I Like): Glad you like Kitchen Arts & Letters. That really is a great store, although I wish they’d hold author events. It’s such an excellent resource for hard to find books. Similarly, Cooks Library in Los Angeles is another store that is an amazing place to peruse cookbooks. Both are linked above in the post.

    Those of you who live in the Bay Area, a new cookbook store opened: Omnivore Books. I don’t know if they carry this book (or other European books) but they will order and ship books anywhere, and it looks like a terrific shop.

  • February 20, 2009 3:52am

    Yikes!!

    This is coming from the person who asks for no ketchup in her hamburgers so well – I’m a bit biased. :p

  • Victoria
    February 20, 2009 4:37am

    I love how the photo of the upturned macarons mimics sliced tomatoes.

  • February 20, 2009 5:00am

    Sorry David but . . . ewwwwww!!!! I definitely fall into the unadventurous category as far as ketchup macarons are concerned!!

    Wonder how you’d do if you tried to hand *these* out at the market?!

    I am amazed at how you decided to take the time to do this for your blog readers and provoke the discussion, however! It’s not like you can just whip out macarons.

    And I may have to stop in before work tomorrow and get an Ispahan and an old-fashioned caramel from PH’s new boutique in the 1st . . .

  • February 20, 2009 6:17am

    I bought the book and I love it! now I have to start baking..alternatively I will just be happy with looking at pictures and walking to Pierre Herme’s every time I have a craving.

  • andrea
    February 20, 2009 8:23am

    David, were you in the states when Heinz tried out the colored ketchup? The goal was to attract more kids to their product (like they needed the help) – I recall green and a purpley blue. If you could get past the color it tasted like regular ketchup.

    Living in Heinz’s hometown we take our ketchup very seriously. It is really difficult to find a competitor product in the major supermarkets. My younger son is so brainwashed about it he won’t eat any other brand and can tell the difference! I think he would love the macarons.

  • February 20, 2009 9:06am

    Hey, you only live once right? Why NOT give these macs a try?

  • February 20, 2009 9:25am

    KETCHUP??? wow that’s something different. Does it taste like Piknik Ketchup flavor? I love that flavor but on macaroon??? Hmmm.. have to taste it to judge. Will Pierre’s Macaroon book will have an English edition? I love the French language sounds so sophisticated and chic but sadly I don’t understand a word of it.

  • Eileen
    February 20, 2009 9:41am

    Well… they are a really beautiful color. That’s all I can say.

  • February 20, 2009 9:55am

    Clever, clever! I do loves me some ketchup (on fries & the very occasional egg) but avoid it (lots of sugar & corn syrup, a no-no for diabetics). And I have never, EVER had a macaron. I never see them at bakeries here–what a shame. :(

    I do like the idea of a savory cookie–would certainly be a nice addition to any cocktail or dinner party. I’m filing this one away for possible future exploration.

  • Mary
    February 20, 2009 9:57am

    Interesting dilemma here. I’m certainly not longing to make a batch, but I definitely would try one if offered. I don’t eat a lot of ketchup but don’t hate it; I’m a little fascinated by the tomato-as-fruit idea. Tomato chutney, tomato jam, ok. But the pickles? Maybe not. However, I remember as a child, telling my mom that I could “eat half a sandwich of anything.” So if anyone in the North Texas area wants to go in on half a batch of these, bring it on! And my countertops are ’70’s orange Formica, so we’re safe, mess-wise.

  • Myers
    February 20, 2009 10:12am

    Please post the recipe for the Mayonnaise Macarons next……

    They’re far more eggcellent than this.

  • February 20, 2009 10:15am

    Hi David love the site.one question i am looking for a macaron book in english any you know of ? thanks and keep up the great work you make my day

    Glad you like the site! Sorry, I don’t know of any in English but there’s plenty of info at the previous post I did about macaron tips and techniques, which I linked above, that might help. I’m sure in the Uk there are books in English, I just don’t know of any specific ones… -dl

  • Amy Michel
    February 20, 2009 10:16am

    David! I was so excited to sit down with my morning yogurt and read your page–until I saw the ketchup. Everyone around me knows I could eat and enjoy just about anything, except ketchup. And the giant shot of the stuff, in the nude, right there! I could not even touch the screen. I cannot scroll back up!

  • February 20, 2009 10:29am

    I would love a mustard filling on that. Yellow mustard, preferred. Then maybe wrap a fried bacon around it, like pancetta and melon balls.

  • February 20, 2009 10:45am

    Heinz definitely trumps all other ketchup brands!

  • February 20, 2009 11:01am

    Those would be good in a White Castle.

  • February 20, 2009 11:26am

    Hmmm, this would be great with little hamburgers or a meat pate put between the two macarons. David : I want to send you some cookies: what is your mailing address?

  • February 20, 2009 12:04pm

    I can’t believe you wouldn’t try the foie gras macaron, but actually made these. ;)

  • Laura
    February 20, 2009 2:00pm

    Laura- I, too am in NY, and ordered my copy from amazon.fr. Even with shipping it was less than $70.00. Of course, while you are there there may be a few other things which might catch your eye…

    Thank you David for the great report. I only had the confidence to think I could cook from Herme’s book because of the experience I gained making your wonderful macarons!

  • February 20, 2009 2:01pm

    I was tempted to try those bright red little beasties for our wine and food pairing party tomorrow night. But then you didn’t sound overly excited so I’ll forgo that intriguing recipe this time and wait for your next exciting discovery.

  • February 20, 2009 2:52pm

    hmm… seems that my comment has been digested or rejected by your gourmand antispam :D (some octopus cakes links inside, maybe that was too hard to eat for the detection software :D)

  • February 20, 2009 3:16pm

    this sounded lovely, until the cornichon came out

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    I’m allergic to cucumbers, all of them

  • February 20, 2009 4:56pm

    Hmmm… I sure do love the Pierre’s foie gras macaroons… ketchup ? I’d def taste it… but would rather have the foie as my first choice. ;)

  • February 20, 2009 6:14pm

    LOL…. when you said “thongs on the beach” I thought flipflops and I was like, “yeah, what’s wrong with them???” We aussies wear thongs/flipflops everywhere…. then I read your description of the European thong-wearer and I got it. :$

    xox Sarah

  • Randy
    February 20, 2009 6:39pm

    FYI, Cook’s Illustrated prefers Hunt’s brand ketchup to Heinz (Heinz Organic came in second, but regular Heinz was voted “bland” and “too sweet”). Hunt’s had the most tomato solids of all the brands tested, the most balance between salt, sweet and sour, and was thick but not pasty. It’s become my new favorite as well.

  • Kelvin
    February 20, 2009 8:54pm

    I blame the stereotype of Americans putting ketchup on everything on “I Love Lucy.” It’s been rerunning around the world, and that whole Lucy putting ketchup on snails have perpetuated this myth since the 50s.

  • February 21, 2009 1:36am

    Wow, now that is different! As much of a ketchup whore as I am, I think macaroons are probably the last place I would have thought to use them. I’m curious… maybe not curious enough to actually make these, but curious none-the-less. What were they like? Would you make them again?

  • miho
    February 21, 2009 4:23am

    Sorry,I don’t think I like these ketchup macaroons,but I like this kind of strange idea!
    Please make curry macaroons or anything weird next time!Always love your post,David!!

  • February 21, 2009 4:57am

    Erin & Joan: Actually, when I bought the book, I was thinking I’d make the foie gras macarons, just to see what they’re like. Then I decided on ketchup. At least I didn’t combine that two!

    Marc, et al: After the recipe, I posted my opinion of them. Even if I did, I still have a few around here that are waiting to be eaten..

    Randy: The Heinz here may be different. When I tasted it, it didn’t taste all that sweet and in fact, was rather spicy. I haven’t had ketchup in a while, but I did taste it next to a bottle of store-brand (in France) and it was better.

    krysalia: Hmm, if comments have too many links in them, they get held in moderation to prevent spam. There was one of yours in there, with links, which I did publish. If it got lost, désolé : (

    Laura: It’s actually a pretty great book. I’m not a big fan of “chef’s” cookbooks, with lots of gorgeous pictures, but recipes that call for things like “3 3/4 tablespoons quail stock” or “2 cups freshly-squeezed kumquat juice.” And the master recipe & technique for the macaron actually works well, and the photos of the process are great.

    Mary: I loved the little bits of cornichons in the ketchup; it added that salty-sweet tang. The secret is to dice them super-fine~

  • February 21, 2009 5:31am

    Hey I should have done that for my valentines day menu.
    I love ketchup, on its own on toast even.

  • February 21, 2009 7:51am

    Hello; I saw you in the program of National Geographic Turkey. I admire you. I will be constant reader of your page . Greetings from Turkey

  • February 21, 2009 8:32am

    Oh, no problem about the comment, actually I wasn’t complaining, those things happen :). I just find it really funny that the comment was the one with the octopus cakes :D It seems that the idea of those wacky cakes is hard to apprehend not only for human imagination but for your blog too, it erased my links and the comment around :D

  • February 21, 2009 12:02pm

    This post reminds me that I claim a sibling who was once spotted dipping potato chips in ketchup and another relative who allegedly tried it with chocolate cake. What the heck: Unusual taste pairings are rather chic, n’est-ce pas?

  • February 21, 2009 4:04pm

    I embark on my first macaron making mission tomorrow morning. The egg whites sit separated in three different bowls on a cool kitchen counter waiting to be beaten within an inch of their lives tomorrow. If this session is successful, I will later make ketchup macarons for my husband. He is the prototypical ketchup loving American. He keeps ketchup packets from fast food restaurants in the between the seat console in his SUV and sometimes eats them for a snack.

  • Kim M
    February 21, 2009 5:57pm

    As a first time poster but frequent voyeur to your site, I was intrigued and admittably slighty repulsed by the notion of using ketchup and cornichons in a cookie. That is until I remembered that small jar of homemade tomato marmalade I smuggled back from my mother-in-law’s in Spain:) For someone who hates ketchup, I’m thinking the marmalade could be a nice substitute, Thanks for the post!

  • February 21, 2009 11:50pm

    How creative! I’ve never even thought of dessert-like possibilities for ketchup =)

  • Gigi
    February 22, 2009 5:43am

    At college in Indiana most restaurants have ketchup, and by most I am including, all kinds of asian, mexican, and french. I think some states much just expect it. I was amused when a local Indiana taqueria served my fish tacos. Amused, but certainly not impressed.

    You know, now that I think about it my family knew a guy once who took a small bottle with him everywhere ‘for flavor.’ He even put in on chinese.

    There are people who just love love love ketchup.

  • February 22, 2009 2:59pm

    you know I bet these might taste a bit better with a hint of some sort of cheese…odd I know but think about it…

  • Lynn in Tucson
    February 22, 2009 3:26pm

    Sans blague?

  • February 22, 2009 7:10pm

    i used to say i’d never make macarons at home (as with a lot of things i could get easily in France, maybe to preserve their “special-ness”), but after a year back in the states, i couldn’t compete any longer with my craving and started to become a macaron-making fiend. maybe i will make these this week, as i still have a bunch of homemade cornichons sitting in my fridge. and the sriracha sounds like an ingenious addition! maybe there should also be a sriracha macaron?

  • Julie
    February 24, 2009 12:26pm

    Heinz (in the U.S. at least) contains high fructose corn syrup these days. Heinz Organic is sweetened with sugar and tastes the way regular Heinz did in the past.

  • Steve G
    February 24, 2009 3:26pm

    You know, the French secretly love ketchup, and just tell themselves that Americans eat it on everything so they don’t feel guilty about putting it on almost everything. We had a French exchange student who was tangentially related to friends of my grandparents, and on the first day he arrived he asked for ketchup to put on his pasta! We were all more than shocked, but since we had had too many conflicts to plan a proper meal we just got the ketchup for him. I forget if I offered mustard to go along with it!

  • February 26, 2009 3:17pm

    I understand your “spiced fruit” explanation but I really don’t think ketchup macarons sound good at all….

  • Lauren
    March 2, 2009 11:10am

    I love interesting, whimsical food, and the ketchup macarons ceratinly sound like they are just that! I don’t love ketchup, but I do wonder if they would be a great base for an appetizer…maybe topped with a hamburger-esque meat would help bring out the savory side…hmmmm.

  • March 3, 2009 3:41pm

    i must buy this book, i love french macaroon witch i made everytime when i had almonds powder and yours with ketchup are amazing!

  • March 4, 2009 11:06am

    These look awesome. I love, love, love macarons. I must try your recipe.

  • March 5, 2009 10:01pm

    How detailed are the cookbook’s recipes, really? I imagine that the basic macaron recipe (all 32 steps of it) wouldn’t vary much, so is the bulk of the cookbook recipes for fillings? I was dying to go to Pierre Herme when we were in Paris this summer but sadly due to circumstances entirely out of my control our vacation coincided with Les Grandes Vacances so I had to content myself with Laduree instead. And some surprisingly delicious ones at LeNotre near the Rue Cler.

  • jen
    June 21, 2009 8:26pm

    While I’m not 100% sure I’ll make these, I am curious. Did you use powdered or liquid (or gel) food coloring? I recently tried a recipe that called for liquid food coloring and I think it might have been one of the reasons the macarons didn’t develop feet. I made your chocolate ones though and they were PERFECTION. Thank you!

  • June 22, 2009 2:22am

    jen: I used liquid red food coloring, McCormick brand, that I purchased in the states.

    Kate: This book does have a very good (excellent, I should say) photo essay with each step of the process of macaron-making photographed.

  • franie
    September 17, 2009 12:23pm

    Hi David,

    Am dying to try to make these over the weekend (perhaps with some homemade ketchup).

    I noticed that 55g eggwhites are listed twice. Is that a misprint? Can you please confirm the amount of eggwhites used?

    Thank you very much!

  • David
    September 17, 2009 7:47pm

    franie: Thanks for your message. Yes, 55g is for mixing with the powdered almonds and 55g is for beating into a meringue. I’ll clarify that in the recipe…and good luck!

  • Suzanne
    January 5, 2010 11:12am

    Hi, David,
    I bought this book in Paris last March and finally made my first batch yesterday: pistachio macarons (I’m not a ketchup fan). I must say, the technique is flawless, and I measured precisely with a digital scale, which is accurate to within 0.1g. The result had the perfect shape, the foot, texture, everything I wanted- and more. I mean, more food colouring than should be legal anywhere! I wanted the pale pistachio green pictured in the book, diligently weighed the “vert pistache”, 4g and “jaune citron”, 2g. I used the “Sevarome” brand, which I hunted down in Paris, according to his recommendation at the back of the book. I was rewarded with a shocking bright emerald green- appropriate only for St. Patrick’s Day. Then I was shocked again at the same colour green when my husband grinned at me after eating one- both of us had completely green mouths.

    So…everything about the macarons was perfect- except the colour. I just want to advise anyone attempting his recipes that the powdered food colouring is a LOT stronger than liquid food colouring (though he doesn’t specify in the recipe). Or possibly when he says “2g” or “4g” he doesn’t mean weight, but I actually used a tiny digital accurate scale. Either way, use a VERY gentle hand when adding the colouring if it’s the first time. Best of luck to all!

  • Kathleen Baran
    February 16, 2010 5:15pm

    I’m a passionate pastry student, much the result of a tour I took with you in Paris a few years ago and would Love, love love to own this book!!! Is an English version available??

    Thank you,
    Kathleen

    Hi Kathleen: I’m afraid it’s only available in French. Having books translated is tricky, since it’s not just about changing the recipes, it involves multiple publishers and overseas rights issues. Perhaps a US publisher will pick it up, but Omnivore Books in San Franciso sometimes carries copies of the French edition. -dl

  • Angie
    February 16, 2010 10:13pm

    Has anyone tried these yet?

  • April 18, 2010 2:08pm

    It’s the perfect balance of American and French. It makes perfect sense.

  • sarah
    April 21, 2010 11:06pm

    I have NO IDEA if this was covered yet (sorry, but I do not have time to read every comment), but am I right in assuming that this book is only available in French? I saw a few comments from people who had tried the recipes, but are they bilingual? Sorry, if it is available in english, where can I buy that?

    THANKS!

  • April 22, 2010 1:17am

    sarah: The Hermé book is in French, but you may be interested in I Love Macarons!, which was translated into English.

  • TracyLH
    April 27, 2010 8:50pm

    Ketchp… I never would have guessed. Thank you so very much for the text translation. My French is rusty and a bit limited to communicating with shopkeepers, waiters and colorful crêpe vendors. It works quite well with a smile, but I am certain it would not work well enough to translate the original recipe with much accuracy. Merci beaucoup!

  • Lila
    July 9, 2010 6:06am

    These look great…I don’t know about how they’d taste although as a ketchup lover I must admit I would not mind giving them a try.

    Speaking of that, that is a huge misconception. I am not american and I’ve always loved ketchup. Ever since I was a child. I preferred it over any other condiment and put it on anything that allowed me. When I moved to America I continued with my ketchup tradition and I must admit I may eat more ketchup than most American people I know. And when I go back to my country everyone just makes fun of me and makes dumb comments like that… “Oh right, in America they put ketchup on everything…” No… thanks.

    But anyways, beautiful work!. Too bad the book is not available here yet.

  • Gigi
    July 19, 2010 11:11pm

    Many years ago the Charles Chips company used to make regular visits to workplaces to sell their potato chips (which came in refillable large round brown tins) and other, yummy, products. After sceptically trying it one day, their ketchup flavored chips quickly became my favorite. Wish I could still buy them. I do know that you can order the plain flavor online, but I miss the ketchup potato chips…

    P.S. Love your blog!

  • October 19, 2010 7:12pm

    David,

    I’m an American that feels almost the same way about ketchup. I’ve been criticized for thinking that I’m better than “regular” people because I’ve called it unsophisticated. While I still stand by my convictions I do enjoy ketchup. Just not on everything. It’s perfectly at home on an equally unrefined, but delicious cheeseburger.

    So, last night I decided to make some ketchup from scratch. I haven’t yet posted my recipe (I’ll have it up later today once I figure out how to photograph ketchup). My findings are these:
    1. You don’t realize how monotone bottled ketchup is until you taste homemade. By monotone I mean that all of the flavors have melded into one single flavor. The ketchup that I made has very distinct flavors that all work together. You can clearly identify the flavors of clove, cinnamon and celery seed.
    2. The texture was a bit “looser” than bottled Ketchup.
    3. It’s still ketchup. Although it’s delicious and punchy it still has a very casual appeal.

    That said, aside from using it on the occasional burgers & fries I’d like to try something a little unusual like this because I’m a culinary rebel.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Matt Kay

  • Ruth
    December 15, 2010 10:28pm

    My immediate reaction was, “No!” You provided such lovely photos, and yet I found myself wanting to hurl. Never! It’s just wrong. Obviously, I have some very strong feeling about ketchup being on a cookie.

    That being said, Heinz really is superior in flavor. I actually have dramatically curtailed my ketchup use– a direct response to my husband who is a ketchup fiend and he’s from Lithuania. He will put ketchup on almost anything.

    Here is my little pet peeve about macaron recipes– it’s very hard to find recipes in our improper American measurements. Everything is in grams. I find myself constantly having to convert. Would it kill anyone to put it in ounces once in a while? Oh well, I guess i have to buy a new scale.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Kathie
    January 29, 2011 6:27am

    Ketchup cookies are something I have never heard of before!

  • Carla RC
    February 1, 2011 11:54pm

    I’m not a ketchup fan so I’m not sure if I’d try this recipe… but I am learning all there is to know about macarons…

    BTW … You have to open the oven door to release humidity from inside. =)