Super chocolate-y macarons ready for Easter!
The Real Macaron Recipe - Chocolate Macarons
1 medium egg white, or approximately 32g of egg white (used at room temperature)
35g icing sugar; 5g of cocoa powder, 40g ground almonds; 40g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
· Weigh all of the ingredients carefully, preferably using electronic scales for greater accuracy.
· Sieve the icing sugar, cocoa powder and almonds into a bowl and gently combine with a metal spoon.
· Place the egg white into a clean, stainless steel bowl and add pinch of salt.
· Using an electric hand whisk, start on a low speed and whisk until frothy and there is no sign of the liquid egg.
· Add about half of the caster sugar and whisk again, increasing to high speed once the sugar is incorporated.
· Whisk until you achieve firm, glossy peaks. Add the remainder of the caster sugar and continue whisking on high speed again, until the mixture is stiff and holding its peaks.
· Do not over mix, as it is important that the mixture remains stiff and the peaks are maintained.
· Now add half of the dry ingredients – nuts, icing sugar and cocoa powder - to the meringue mixture and fold in with a spatula. It’s important to fold gently, and not to let the dry ingredients stick to the bottom or sides of the bowl.
· Add the remainder and fold in, firstly gently and then increasing the speed and energy of mixing, folding and paddling through the mixture from one side of the bowl to the other, removing and redistributing some of the air, that you so carefully added in the early stages! Fold and beat until you have a thick but fluid, glossy mixture that drops from the spatula in a continuous ribbon and reforms in the bowl.
· Transfer this to a piping bag. No need for a nozzle - just cut the tip of the piping bag cleanly with scissors, so that you have a hole of about 1cm. Pipe small circles – approx 4cm in diameter is a good standard size - onto baking parchment on a sturdy, flat baking tray, or even better onto a macaron silicon mat on a baking tray. If using parchment, use a template of circles drawn on paper and place under the parchment while you pipe. Remember to remove the paper before you put the tray in the oven. Piping can be a bit tricky – but don’t panic! Pipe from above and finish with a “C”-shaped action, before starting the next one. Don’t over fill the macaron mould, or the circles on the template. The mixture will spread a little as it settles.
· Tap the tray firmly on the work surface to bring any air bubbles in the macarons to the surface. Allow to settle for up to 40 minutes, as preferred. (Some recipes insist on this but it is not actually essential).
· Bake on top/middle shelf in fan oven at 140 C for 14- 16 minutes for 3cm macarons and 20 minutes for 4cm macarons. They are cooked when they don’t wobble when you gently feel the shell. If in doubt, let them have another minute or two. It may take a couple of goes to find right timing for your oven.
· Once out of the oven, leave the macarons to cool on the baking tray for 15 minutes or more. If they are properly cooked they will come away from the mat or paper very easily and cleanly. Be gentle with them! Tip! - I usually leave them for another half an hour or so before filling them – though that’s not totally necessary.
· Chocolate ganache: Melt 40g dark chocolate with 40g of double cream in microwave – approximately 30secs – stir from the middle and add a small knob or couple of slithers of butter. Stir well until smooth and glossy. Leave to cool until
set. Pipe the ganache into the centre of one macaron shell and sandwich with second shell, twisting gently to spread the ganache.
Pop into fridge in an airtight container – preferably for 24 hours, - to mature.
Enjoy at room temperature. They’ll stay fresh and tasty for up to seven days in the fridge.