These chocolate macarons were part of the dessert table for my daughters birthday party and have to say I am a bit hooked. I thought these ones were the best I had tried yet, and I have made quite a few.
Although I did have a bit of a macaron disaster and dropped a whole tray on the floor getting them out of the oven. There's no saving a dropped macaron so I did the only thing possible when faced with this kind of situation.
Please don't judge me. Yup I ate them still warm. Macarons are such a funny thing, the ones that fell rounded side up were kinda ok, but the ones that fell 'feet' first stuck to the floor. I was home by myself and that ended up being my dinner - come on I said not to judge me.
Anyway that disaster had nothing to do with the recipe which is wonderful. Once again it's based on a Pierre Herme recipe.
Also have included a couple of pics of how I made the macaron tower. I didn't invent this they've been doing it in Paris for years and Adriano Zumbo recently showcased this dessert on Australian Masterchef.
You will need a styrofoam cone (available from craft shops), some paper (optional), lots of toothpicks and lots of macarons.
I wrapped my styrofoam cone in paper first so that you can't see the styrofoam through the gaps.
Next step is to pop the toothpick into the styrofoam cone leaving approx half a macaron width poking out and then carefully holding the sides of the macaron push it on. Continue inserting toothpicks and macarons around the tower trying to leave as little space between macarons as possible. On the top couple of tiers I cut the toothpicks in half.
I love the way these look on a dessert table, or as a center piece they add a nice element of height.
300g (10 5/8 ounce) ground almonds
300g (10 5/8 ounce) Icing (confectioners) Sugar
220g Egg Whites, (7 3/4ounce) aged at least 3 days, separated into 2 lots of 110g (3 7/8 ounce)
120g ( 4 and 1/4 ounces) dark chocolate, I used an 86% dark for this one.
dash Brown Food Colouring - (optional only)
300g (10 5/8 ounce) Granulated Sugar
75g (2 5/8 ounce) Water
1. Melt chocolate in microwave in short bursts on med low and set aside to cool slightly.
2. Mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together and pulse a few times in food processor to make almond meal finer. Do not over process as the meal can become oily. Sieve into a large bowl. If required add colour and 110g (3 7/8ounce) of the egg whites to the sugar/almond mixture but don’t mix in.
3. Place remaining 110g (3 7/8 ounce) of egg whites in bowl of mixer fitted with the whisk.
4. Pop granulated sugar and water into saucepan stir to combine and cook without stirring to 118C. Brush down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water as required to avoid the sugar crystallizing. Once the mixture reaches 115C start mixing the egg whites on high. Once the sugar syrup reaches 118C remove from heat and immediately pour in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl continuing to whisk on high.
5. Continue to whisk the meringue on high until the side of the bowl is only a little warm to touch, around 50C.
6. Pour in the cooled melted chocolate and then add the almond mixture and using a large spatula fold the mixture together until it starts to shine and forms a ribbon that stays visible for about 30 seconds.
7. Add the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe in lines onto parchment lined baking sheets. To make the macarons as even as possible I apply a constant slow pressure to the piping bag and count a few numbers like up to 2 for each one.
8. Set aside for about 30 minutes or until the macarons have formed a skin that doesn't stick to your finger.
9. Meanwhile preheat oven to 140C (285 F). Once ready bake the macaroons for around 13 to 15 minutes depending on size, they should not be browned. Remove the baking trays and immediately slide off the macarons and the parchment onto the work surface and let cool completely before removing the shells.
10. Once cooled match disks into like sizes and sandwich together using dark chocolate ganache.
Dark Chocolate ganache
350g (12 3/8 ounces) dark chocolate