Sarah Bernhardt

A friend of mine on IRC commented on the macarons I made a few weeks ago. He was saying they reminded him of a Swedish almond cookie, the biskvit. I did a little bit of research, and learned that these cookies are more commonly known as Sarah Bernhardts.

These pastries were invented by a Danish pastry chef who wanted to honor the actress. The classic recipe consists of a chewy almond macaroon with a chocolate mousse filling, all dipped in a chocolate glaze. I strayed a little bit from the classic recipe; I used chocolate French buttercream for the filling and tempered chocolate for the coating instead of the glaze that is suggested. Here is my interpretation of the pastry.

Sarah Bernhardts

Almond Macaroon
(makes about 60)

400g almond paste
200g sugar
3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 375°F

Beat almond paste and sugar in an electric mixer

Add egg whites, one at a time, and mix until smooth

Pipe small mounds (about 2cm) on silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet

Bake at 375°F for 10 min or until lightly browned

Let cool on silpat/baking paper

Turn paper over and peel off the back of cookies

French Buttercream

300g sugar
100 ml water
6 egg yolks
600g butter, room temperature

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and heat to 240°F

While sugar is cooking, place yolks in bowl of mixer and mix at high speed

When sugar reaches 240°F, turn the mixer to low, remove sugar from heat and

Pour in a slow, steady stream into mixer

Continue mixing until mixture turns pale yellow and is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes

Turn mixer to low and add butter in three or four parts

Continue mixing until smooth


Flip macaroons over so the flat side is up

Place buttercream in pastry bag with a plain round tip (size of tip is not important)

Pip a small dome of buttercream on each cookie

With a soup spoon, smooth buttercream into a dome

Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until buttercream has hardened

Dip each cookie in tempered dark chocolate

Cookies will keep in the refrigerator for about a week or the freezer for a few months.

Reader Feedback

4 Responses to “Sarah Bernhardt”

  • says:

    I have been absent for a while, but now I remesmber why I used tto love this blog.
    Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your site?

  • chef says:

    I have to confess that the buttercream filling was something I had on hand. It was one of the reasons why I chose to make these.

    I will definitely try making them again with the mousse filling; these are pretty easy to make.

  • Alice Q. Foodie says:

    Oooh, these are one of my favorite things, and yours look delicious! I am partial to that chocolate mousse filling though. I actually had a really good Sarah Bernhardt at Heaven Sent Desserts in North Park – it ws by far the best thing I had there. I haven’t seen them in many other bakeries around town.

Leave a Reply