Chocolate Macaroons

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To me, macaroons means the delicious sunken sand-coloured hemispheres with a slight chew that we got at Pesach (/ Passover) that were pipped to the post for my favourite festival treat by cinnamon balls.

These delicious, ganache-filled sandwiches, which have recently become the new cupcake (though I’m sure something else has in turn become the new them) have always been “macarons”.

In fact, of course, the two are the same – and the latter feature two of the former sandwiched around whatever flavoured filling (of the right consistency) you might like to pair with the shells. In spite of the reputation, I don’t think these are super-hard to get right. Have a go!

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Chocolate Macaroons
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This makes a boatload of macaroons (see the picture) - they bake so quickly that making a huge batch is little more work than making far fewer, so you might as well go all-out. That said, I've never managed to pipe anything without making an amazing mess, and no doubt this mess rises exponentially the more you make. I think this might be the most I could manage without coating the entire kitchen with batter. Some recipes suggest almond flour rather than ground almonds - but I think these should have a nice, slightly gritty texture, so would push for the latter.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 40
Ingredients
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 250 grams ground almonds
  • 250 grams icing sugar
  • 50 grams cocoa
  • 250 grams caster sugar
  • 250 grams super-dark chocolate
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 50 grams butter (salted will add flavour)
Instructions
  1. Whisk (use the electric!) the egg whites, along with half the caster sugar at a medium speed for a couple of minutes, then even faster for a bit. Once the mixture starts to firm, add the rest of the sugar, and keep beating to stiff peaks. The stiffer it is, the more room you have to 'lose air' as you fold this is, so take your time. It should look glossy and brilliant white.
  2. Mix the ground almonds, icing sugar and cocoa powder, and fold into the egg whites with a large spoon, using a figure of eight action, until completely incorporated.
  3. With a piping bag, pipe large-marble-sized blobs onto baking paper, leaving space for these to flatten themselves. You'll probably need several batches, so have a large table or surface to lay out a number of lots ready to bake.
  4. Important: leave the blobs to sit for 25 minutes, until slightly drier.
  5. Bake on a baking tray for 12 minutes at 165 degrees C. Be brave about believing that they are done at this point.
  6. After cooling for ten minutes, the shells should be easy to lift and set aside.
  7. For the ganache, melt the chocolate in a bain marie (a bowl sat atop a pan of boiling water), add the cream and stir quickly to mix in. Add the butter, and stir this in too. Allow to cool until thick enough to spoon, but not set.
  8. Press the tip of your thumb into the flat side of a shell to make extra space for ganache, and generously add ganache, pressing another (intact) shell on top. Twisting may help to spread the filling evenly.
  9. Refridgerate overnight before serving (oh, go on, you can have one!) and store up to a week (genuinely) in the fridge in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before eating.

 

2 thoughts on “Chocolate Macaroons

    • Excellent! What did you think of the ganache? That was the only thing I wasn’t totally convinced by – I guess because you often have more creamy / jammy fillings….

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