This one is for the kids.
Remember the controlled drink dispensers in the home room at school?
I used to put like 6 clicks of milo into the foam cup with a tiny splash of hot water, just enough to form a thick paste. I would have this as an afternoon “pick me up” during the afternoon class. That was my little rebellion…
Even J who has never been able to finish off a macaron by herself, had one tonight and literally it was gone in 60 seconds! Yummy malty goodness, who can resist? I’m glad I’ve reintroduced this childhood experience into a grown-up macaron experience!
Macarons shell ingredients
(makes about 40 macarons)
150 g icing sugar
150 g almond meal
110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
150 g caster sugar
38 ml water
1 g meringue powder
a few drops of copper gel colouring
A few drops of brown gel colouring
2 tbsp cocoa powder (Dutch ones, without extra sugar)
Making macarons shells
Sift the almond meal and icing sugar, set aside in a large wide bowl.
Put the first lot of egg whites into your stand mixer.
Clip the sugar thermometer according to manufacturer’s instructions to a milk saucepan, put the water and caster sugar in and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Leave it to heat up and don’t stir it.
Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 70°C. You should monitor your sugar thermometer, and as it reaches this temperature, add the meringue powder to the egg whites and whisk in medium speed until it becomes frothy.
Once the sugar syrup has reached 118°C (soft ball stage), take the saucepan off the heat, keep the mixer speed on medium and slowly trickle the sugar syrup in, down the side of the bowl. (Be warned not to get the syrup onto the whisk as you will then have spun sugar.) Increase speed to high and whisk until the bowl is warm to touch, about 8 minutes.
Add the second lot of egg whites to the almond meal mix, then add the meringue and use a large spatula to thoroughly combine it. Continue mixing the mixture to soften the meringue. Don’t be afraid to slap the mixture down. To achieve “macaronnage”, I mixed it about 25 times. Don’t over do this.
Sprinkle the cocoa powder in and lightly mix twice to incorporate it into the mix. Yes there will be streaks of it and it is ok.
Scoop half into a piping bag fitted with a #12 Wilton tip, and pipe. To get even rounds, hold the piping bag above the baking sheet, with the tip at a 45 degree angle. Squeeze the mixture in the center of the rounds and as it is close to filling the circle, stop squeezing and flick the tip from three o’clock to 6 o’clock. This ensures a smooth top. Bang it against the bench to remove any air bubbles.
Allow 30 minutes for a skin to be formed.
Fan-bake them at 125°C, for 20 minutes. After a few minutes in the oven, you should see them rising nicely.
Once out of the oven, leave the macarons for 2 minutes on its trays. They should peel off the baking paper quite easily. Slide the whole sheet off the baking sheet onto a cool counter top. This causes a thermal shock and will make it even easier to peel off.
I paired these with a milo chocolate ganache
Milo ganache Ingredients:
100g good quality milk chocolate, broken into small chunks
100ml pure (heavy) cream
1/2 cup Milo powder
Break up chocolate into small chunks. Bring cream up to a boil in a pan, and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute before stirring. Add the milo powder into the bowl, stir and let it cool and thicken in the fridge.
(Caution: this turned out to be incredibly addictive … I’m keeping a jar of this handy from now on for those emergency sweet treats!)
Spread or pipe a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.
Dust with extra milo powder.
The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells. These freeze well (up to 3 months).
Well perhaps not just for kids :)