I have something extra special for you.
They’re my midnight macarons. Dark chocolate macaron shells, filled with a creamy vanilla vodka buttercream. As an extra special touch, I dusted them with luster-dust so that they’d resemble the stars in a moonless sky.
It wasn’t easy getting here though. Two failed attempts & a lot of frustration took place before I reached these miraculous little gems.
I learnt a bunch along the way too. For example, I learnt that I’d really wished someone had told me that chocolate macaron shells were the hardest macarons to make. Or that cocoa is very absorbent & if you take too long, your shells will crack during baking.
No one told me that luster-dust is an incredibly addictive substance. All that glitter. All that sparkle!
The most important lesson that I learned, is that I have a very long way to go before I can consider myself a master of the macaron.
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
Almond Flour - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2xkP3xI
Ingredients, macaron: – 200g icing sugar – 100g almond meal – 25g cocoa – 100g egg whites – 1/8 tsp cream of tartar (omit if using a copper bowl) – 65g sugar – black food colouring (optional)
Directions, macaron: 1. combine your icing sugar, almond meal & cocoa in a blender & pulverize for a couple of minutes. Sift your ingredients & set them aside. 2. combine your egg whites & cream of tartar in a bowl. Beat until the egg whites begin to froth up. Add in 1/4 of your sugar & beat until incorporated. Keep adding in your sugar slowly whilst beating your eggs until is has all been added & your egg whites have reached stiff-peak consistency. If using food colouring, add it in now. 3. sift your icing sugar & almond mixture in to the bowl with the egg whites (yes, you are sifting them a second time). Gently fold them into the mixture using a rubber spatula until there are no longer streaks of egg whites. 4. transfer your mix into a pipping bag fitted with a round nozzle. 5. preheat your oven to 180C. 6. pipe your macarons onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. They should be about 2.5cm in diameter & spaced approx. 2cm apart. 7. give your baking sheet several firm taps on the counter & then stick them into the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes. remove from the oven & allow to cool before filling.
Ingredients, buttercream: – 120g unsalted butter, room temperature – 200g icing sugar – 15ml vodka - 1tsp vanilla extract
Directions, buttercream: 1. combine all the ingredients in a bowl & beat together until light & fluffy. 2. transfer into a pipping bag & fill your macaron shells. 3. place your macarons in the fridge for 24 hours before consuming.
Tips: *** I decided this time not to “age” my egg whites. Usually they are aged in order to remove the excess moisture from them. *** *** cocoa is more moisture absorbing than icing sugar, therefore the macarons need to be baked immediately or else they will dry out & crack during the baking process. *** *** I also decided to go with the french-meringue rather than the italian-meringue this time. Reading has led me to believe that this will improve the texture of the end product. A french meringue is also much easier & faster to make. ***