Mocha Macaroons For me macaroons have always had some sort of mythical appeal. Where I grew up in Zim macaroons were unheard of, and it was only through reading and watching TV that I discovered what they were. I have wanted to attempt them for a while, but the tales of disaster and difficulty put me off. Months ago Tandy, who writes the incomparable Lavender and Lime website challenged us to make Macaroons. She posted a most helpful guide called Demystifying Macaroons by Helen Dujardin, I think on her food 24 blog, I can’t seem to find it. Anyway I have linked to a copy here. After reading this article, I felt that yes I can do it.
There are pitfalls in making Macaroons it seems – but I just made my first batch and they worked, so please forgive me for patting myself on the back. It may just be beginners luck, and there may still be perils in store! What I produced was by no means perfection. But most of them had a smooth shell and a bit of a foot. None were really uniform in shape, but as I had no piping bag and made a makeshift one out of a new sandwich bag – I think I can be forgiven. Best of all, they taste amazing!
I have eaten a few – you know just to be sure, and am sure that the sugar buzz is going to have me up all night. Anyway here is what I did.
These are based on Helen Dujardins recipe below are some of her main tips.
Tip 1: the eggs need to be at least two days old; this means there is less water content.
Tip 2: do not overbeat the egg whites
Tip3: do not over fold in the dry ingredients – no more than 50 turns
3 egg whites or 100g
50g sugar – I used castor
200g icing sugar
110g ground almonds
¼ cup of cream
90g dark chocolate
½ teaspoon coffee extract
In a stand mixer beat the egg whites till soft peaks form. Slowly add the 50g of sugar to form a meringue. Meanwhile, sift together your almond flour and icing sugar to air them and mix them. Sift them over the meriangue mixture. Fold in the dry ingredients with quick, sharp strokes, turning the bowl a quarter and scraping the bottom. Do not overwork it as this will lead to cracked macaroons. Put the mix into a piping bag and pipe out onto two lined trays. Use a template and pipe circles about the size of a ping pong ball. Leave them to stand for an hour to dry a bit.
Preheat the oven to 150°C – I was using a fan oven
Bake for 12 minutes
Cool and sandwich together with the mocha ganache.
Warm the cream and extract till hot, but do not scald. Take off the heat and add the chocolate. Stir till there are no lumps. Leave to cool and it will thicken. Sandwich the macaroons together with teaspoonfuls of the ganache.