dark chocolate & cardamon macarons
You know the old adage “if at first you don’t succeed”?
Well, at first, I didn’t.
If I’m being totally honest, at second I didn’t either.
I can safely say that macarons are one of those finicky, irritating little suckers that require every element (from ingredients to climate) to be monitored & accounted for.
Let’s be real here, there are 5 ingredients that make up the shell of a macaron, it shouldn’t exactly be rocket science!
…however two failed batches would suggest otherwise.
Knowing me & my complete unwillingness to accept failure though, would suggest that I wouldn’t give up without something to show for it. (and I was more than happy to scoff down all the failed attempts).
Long story short, I conquered the mysterious Italian cookie & filled it with dark chocolate & cardamon. My mother would be appalled (she hates the wonderfully fragrant spice). Me, I’m chuffed.
I am absolutely. 100%. No doubt about it… tickled pink!
I thought I’d share some of the reasons why I failed…. learn from them & always remember that with the macaron, every mistake counts against you in a BIG way. So go big, or go home!
Mistakes I made along the way: • over beating the egg whites • not measuring my dry ingredients properly • too many large chunks of almond • not accounting for the humidity in the air
• failing to age my egg whites • oven too hot
Ingredients, macaron: – 100g egg whites, room temp – 40g sugar – 0.25 tsp cream of tartar – 200g icing sugar – 120g raw almonds (or almond flour) – colouring of your choice
Directions, macarons: 1. place your egg whites in a bowl, cover with cling film, & leave them out for 24 hours. This is called “aging” your egg whites. 2. once your egg whites have been ages, add the granulated sugar to them & heat them in a double boiler until all the sugar has been dissolved, gently stirring as you do. Set them aside until they have cooled. 3. place your almonds in a blender & grind them until they are as fine as you can get them. Add in the icing sugar & continue to blend them until it has all become a powder. Pass the mix through a sieve to remove any large chunks of almond. 4. add the cream of tartar to you egg whites & beat your egg whites until they reach soft-peak consistency. Once they have, add in your colouring & beat just a little to combine it evenly. 5. sift in your almond mixture to the egg mix. You want to gently fold the almonds into the egg whites making sure to scrape from the bottom of the bowl as you do. Once it has all been evenly distributed, pour the mix into a pipping back fitted with a 5mm nozzle. 6. pipe your macarons onto a parchment lined baking tray about 1.5cm in diameter, and 2cm apart from each other. Allow them to rest for 30 minutes to an hour. 7. bake them in a preheated oven for 24 minutes @ 145C. Rotate them half way through the time. Remove them from the oven & allow them to cool prior to filling.
Ingredients, filling: – 125g dark chocolate, finely chopped – 125g heavy cream (35% fat) – 0.5 tsp ground cardamon
Directions, filling: 1. heat the chocolate & cream together in a double boiler until all the chocolate has completely melted. Add in the cardamon & remove from the heat. The mix will take a while to cool down, so check it every half an hour or so & give it a good stir. Once cooled, the mix can be pipped into the middle of each macaron using a pipping bag & the same pipping nozzle as was used for the macaron shells.
Electric Scale - Etekcity - http://amzn.to/2xkKpQk
Stand Mixer - Kenwood - http://amzn.to/2yqXPiH
Silicone Spatula - Zyliss - http://amzn.to/2y3Srkw
Non-Slip Pipping Bags - Pastry Gear - http://amzn.to/2fLxAZ0
Pipping Tips - Wilton - http://amzn.to/2yJVPy1
Food Gels - Wilton - http://amzn.to/2kpOCky
Organic GF Vanilla - Simply Organic - http://amzn.to/2xXdt2e
Vanilla Beans - Vanilla Products - http://amzn.to/2yLMqWQ
Almond Flour - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2xkP3xI