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 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
For the filling:
40g cornichons
6g sheet gelatin
350g Heinz ketchup
4-5 drops hot sauce, I used Sriracha
For the Macarons
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
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.