Monday, February 29, 2016
The lines of drizzled dark chocolate are optional but I like the look and they do make the macarons even more decadent which I think is a very good thing.
It's important to use premium quality espresso and cocoa powder in these since except for some vanilla in the buttercream, the cocoa and espresso flavors are front and center and need to be delicious and bold. My cocoa powder preference is Ghirardelli Majestic Premium Cocoa.
Here's the recipe:
180g ground almonds, sifted
270g powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
10g dark cocoa powder
150g egg whites, aged 2 to 4 days in the fridge and then brought to room temperature
100g granulated sugar
Line four heavy baking sheets with good quality parchment paper and set aside. Also, set aside two pastry bags for the piping of the macarons.
Sift together your ground almonds with the powdered sugar, espresso and cocoa powder and set aside.
Whisk the egg whites (at room temperature) to glossy firm peaks adding the granulated sugar gradually in four parts.
Incorporate the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites using a large rubber scraper. Mix well.
Fold the mixture with the rubber scraper by pulling down the sides and flipping the mixture over. Do this until you have a smooth mixture that falls like a “ribbon” off the scraper.
Transfer the mixture into the two piping bags. Use rubber bands to close the piping bags. Clip the tip of the bags, one at a time, and pipe small quarter sized rounds, leaving 1-inch of space between each because they spread as they set. Leave to set for about 30 minutes or until the top has formed a crust and is not sticky to the touch.
While they are setting, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. A convection oven is preferable.
Bake one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for about 12 minutes or until the cookie is firm, matte and doesn't wobble when touched.
Leave on the baking tray until cool then lift them all off the parchment carefully. You may need to use a thin knife to help lift them off.
Sort into pairs and fill with Mocha Buttercream or if you prefer, first decorate the shells with dark chocolate.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whip until smooth and creamy. This takes about 5 minutes.
Chocolate Drizzle (optional)
Sort the macaron shells into pairs and set them all out on parchment.
Melt 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips in the microwave. Heat the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring after each. When the chocolate is thoroughly melted, stir in 3 more tablespoons of dark chocolate chips. Keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted. This is a tempering method called "seeding."
Then, put the melted chocolate into a disposable pastry bag and clip a very small bit off of the tip. Without applying much pressure and moving quickly, let the chocolate fall in lines across all of the shells.
Let the chocolate set completely before filling the macarons. You can speed the process by putting them in the refrigerator.