Tag Archives: dark chocolate

Rainbow Macarons for J’s 5th birthday party


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We’ve been to the Auckland Observatory recently and inspired by the show about our solar system – “The little star that could” – I went on to create a kaleidoscopic array of macarons, to reflect the colours of our stars and planets.
These sat on a 3-tier glass cake plate, alongside the star cake for J’s birthday party.

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The result was well worth the effort, but I must admit to taking some short cuts to lighten the load of doing 7 colours!
So instead of adding the gel colourings in with the sugar syrup, like I normally would, I made a single batch of white macaron mixture, divided the mixture up to 4 equal portions, before adding individual gel colourings. I repeated this to make another 4 colours (yes I ended up making 8 colours in total).
The following recipe will give you about 80 small filled macarons in total, about 20 for each colour.

Macarons shell ingredients

300g icing sugar
300g almond meal
110g egg whites x 2
300g caster sugar
75ml water
2 g meringue powder
a few drops of gel colourings, each

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 the batter about 25 times. Don’t over do this.

macronnage

Divide equal portions of the mixture into smaller bowls and add drops of colourings in. Mix slightly only to combine.
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Scoop 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 centre 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.

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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.
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Once out of the oven, the macarons were left for 2 minutes on its trays before I checked them. 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 either flavoured chocolate or natural flavouring oils – added into the chocolate ganache.

Tips: take your time! Don’t rush the drying time – if after 30 minutes the top of the shells are still wet/sticky to the touch, the skin hasn’t formed properly. If baked now there is a good chance it won’t rise perfectly. Give it more time, go do something else and come back. If you really had to, make sure you don’t rush the next step which is to bake. The temperature I use is lower than other recipes and the time is longer too. This is what I’ve found to work best for me, using MY oven. Tweak this if your shells are cracking, not rising or rises too little.

Dark Chocolate Ganache:
120g dark chocolate
120ml cream
2 Tbsp butter
3 drops of the flavouring if using

White Chocolate Ganache:
120g white chocolate
60ml cream
1 Tbsp butter
3 drops of the flavouring if using

Instructions:

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 butter and stir to melt. Let it cool a little, add your selected flavouring into the bowl and let it thicken in the fridge.

Spread a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells or pipe and top them with the remaining half of your shells.

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The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells!

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Orange and dark chocolate ganache macarons


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I love orange-flavoured dark chocolate, to me that’s a match made in heaven and whenever I’m given the option of a variety of chocolate truffles, I would go for this over any other.

I’ve used Valrhona orange dark chocolate to make my ganache – I’ve been saving them for just this special occasion. They are so hard to come by and I was told when I bought this block that I only got it because the chef from Auckland’s top restaurant had ordered too much and didn’t need all of it. I didn’t mind this cast off at all – it was my lucky day!

I’ve used my normal macarons recipe, as below.

Macarons shell ingredients

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 gel colourings

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 your gel colourings 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 the batter about 25 times. Don’t over do this.

macronnage

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 centre 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.

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, the macarons were left for 2 minutes on its trays before I checked them. 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.

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Filling Ingredients:

120g Valrhona orange chocolate

120ml cream

Instructions:

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. Let it cool and let it thicken in the fridge.

Spread a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells or pipe and top them with the remaining half of your shells.

The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells, so don’t eat it yet! These freeze well (up to 3 months).

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Cola macarons


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I was debating what coloured shells should I use for cola-flavoured macarons:

If I went for red, I would have completed my rainbow macaron challenge (i.e. having made macarons of each colour of the rainbow).

However S reminded me that cola is brownish black, not red.

Arr I was thinking about the can not the stuff itself!

oh well red will have to be for next time then =)

I’ve also used some pop rocks layered on top of the ganache to add a bit of fizziness – warning though they have to be eaten straight away as my testers said they couldn’t feel the fizz like I did when I had one straight after assembling. The sensation is quite dramatic I tell you so if you can find them please give it a try!

cola macarons on black slate - planets and galaxy
cola macarons on black slate – planets and galaxy

I’ve used my normal macarons recipe, as below.

Macarons shell ingredients

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 brown gel colourings

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 your gel colourings 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 the batter about 25 times. Don’t over do this.

macronnage

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 centre 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.

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, the macarons were left for 2 minutes on its trays before I checked them. 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 dark chocolate ganache flavoured with a cola flavouring from LorAnn Oils.

Tips: take your time! Don’t rush the drying time – if after 30 minutes the top of the shells are still wet/sticky to the touch, the skin hasn’t formed properly. If baked now there is a good chance it won’t rise perfectly. Give it more time, go do something else and come back. If you really had to, make sure you don’t rush the next step which is to bake. The temperature I use is lower than other recipes and the time is longer too. This is what I’ve found to work best for me, using MY oven. Tweak this if your shells are cracking, not rising or rises too little.

Filling Ingredients:

100g dark chocolate

100ml cream

2 Tbsp butter

3 drops of the cola flavouring

Instructions:

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 butter and stir to melt. Let it cool a little, add your selected flavouring into the bowl and let it thicken in the fridge.

Spread a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells or pipe, sprinkle over some pop rocks and top them with the remaining half of your shells.

The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells! These won’t be suitable for freezing as the fizziness from the pop rocks will be long gone.

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Watermelon, Raspberry and Mint chocolate chip macarons


pink and green macaron on white cake stand
pink and green macarons on white cake stand

I was being rather greedy one night – instead of just making a single flavour of macarons, I decided I should go all out and see how many I can churn out with only one or two coloured shells.

Deciding that I should go with what I have in the fridge, I checked and found half a wedge of watermelon, a punnet of fresh raspberries and half a container of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

I know I know, there is absolutely no connection in those ingredients and can’t see that anyone would attempt to plate up a dish with those things in it, together. Fruit salad and some ice cream maybe? Anyway that wasn’t where I was going.

green macaron on black cake stand with mint and chocolate pearls
green macarons on black cake stand with mint leaves and chocolate pearls

The inspiration I got here was for the macaron flavourings.  I know I maybe cheating here but I got fed up with my blueberry macarons not tasting like blueberries despite the large quantites of blueberries I had added into my filling. So I went and got oil flavourings to see if the intense nature of the oil would give the macaron filling a much needed boost in taste. Since I only have 3 hours to do this, I could only do two colours of shells.

pink and green watermelon macaron
pink and green watermelon macarons

Here’s my thinking around the three ingredients:

  • Watermelon – pink and green
  • Raspberries – pink
  • Mint chocolate chip – green

There. By colouring my meringue in pink and green, I will have matching shells for three different flavours!

pink raspberry macaron on white cake stand
pink raspberry macarons on white cake stand

I’ve used my normal macarons recipe, as below.

Macarons shell ingredients (for each colour)
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

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 the batter about 25 times. Don’t over do this.

macronnage[this is a picture from my other macarons recipe, showing the same stage]

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 centre 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.

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, the macarons were left for 2 minutes on its trays before I checked them. 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 dark chocolate ganache of different flavours

pink and green watermelon macarons on white cake stand

pink and green watermelon macarons on white cake stand

Filling Ingredients:
150g dark chocolate
150ml cream

3 drops each of watermelon/ raspberry / mint chocolate chip oil flavouring

Instructions:
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. Let it cool, and poor into 3 separate bowls. Add 3 drops of flavouring into each bowl and let it thicken in the fridge.

Spread a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.

The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells, so don’t eat it yet! These freeze well (up to 3 months).

Toblerone macarons


Toberlone macaron

I think I struck gold when I heard S say “oh how I miss black Toblerone…”. We were talking about how the Toblerone fairy had been visiting work and I was also wondering what macaron flavour I should try next (I haven’t repeated once since I started making them at the start of 2012. There’s always a slight variation.)

Hmm dark chocolate laced with crushed nuts, classic! Easy too as all I need to make for the filling is to melt the chocolate bar with the cream.

I’ve used a subtle chocolate flavour shell to let the filling stand out. I think it screams Toblerone, I wonder what my colleagues will think?

Macarons shell ingredients
150 g icing sugar
140 g almond meal
10g valrhona cocoa powder
110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
150 g caster sugar
38 ml water
1 g meringue powder

Making macarons shells

Sift the almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder, 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 the batter about 25 times. Don’t over do this.

macronnage

Scoop half into a piping bag fitted with a #12 Wilton tip, and pipe. To get even rounds, I hold the piping bag above the baking sheet, with the tip at a 45 degree angle. I squeeze the mixture in the centre of my rounds and as it is close to filling my circle, I stop squeezing and flick the tip from three o’clock to 6 o’clock. This ensures a smooth top.

You can sift some cocoa powder on the tops too if you wish.

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, I could see them rising nicely.

Once out of the oven, the macarons were left for 2 minutes on its trays before I checked them. They peeled off the baking paper quite easily. I then slid the whole sheet off the baking sheet onto my cool marble counter top. This causes a thermal shock and will make it even easier to peel off.

I paired these with a dark Toblerone ganache.

Filling Ingredients:
150g Dark Toblerone
150ml cream

Instructions:
Break up Toblerone 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. Let it cool and thicken in the fridge.

Spread a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.

The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells, so don’t eat it yet! These freeze well (up to 3 months).