French Macaron Baking Adventures, Part 11: Blackberry Macaron Blues

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2016

Blackberry buttercream is purple but the shells aren’t!

I’ve got the blackberry macaron blues. I’ve tried twice and both times the shell color isn’t blue, isn’t purple, isn’t black. I wanted “Purple Rain” colored macarons. I love that color. I love that Prince was fond of royal purple. The bottle of gel colorant is that hue. But the results are quite different.

I got the purple buttercream that I wanted. However, by using a violet mica colorant, the shells aren’t purple. Mica colorants are used for soap crafting but the ingredients aren’t harmful as they’re derived from minerals. I was doing this as an experiment and there were no negative results — just a lack of purple!

Purple mica colorant


The purple mica has a sheen to it—which is what makes the soap sparkle a bit but won’t do that to a macaron shell.

Purple soap colored with mica. The flecks are real 24K gold leaf

For my second attempt I used a purple gel colorant for the shells. After separating my egg whites and placing them on the counter to age overnight, I emptied out the piping bag with the purple buttercream filling into a mixing bowl. The blackberry jam tasted no different from the strawberry jam I used in my first buttercream. I figured adding fresh blackberries would change the taste. All I did was cook the blackberries in a tiny bit of water and mash up the berries. Then I strained them, poured the seedless remainders into the buttercream, and mixed it with a mixer for several minutes. It was loosely incorporated. But 24 hours later you can see how it’s separating. The resulting mess looks curdled but it’s not. This time the fresh blackberries can be tasted. But the macarons are messy to eat!

Blackberry buttercream filling
The separation of buttercream and blackberries seen here


The above photo shows drops of blackberry juice. Maybe someone can use this idea for Halloween if you want a blood theme, just use fresh blackberries–or raspberries!

Next week I’ll test a fantastic new fruity macaron recipe and a brand new type of colorant!

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2 thoughts on “French Macaron Baking Adventures, Part 11: Blackberry Macaron Blues

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