The drier weather here in KZN means that these fussy little confections are easier to make now than in the humid summer months. And macarons ARE easy... once you've figured out their foibles!
These ones are filled with ginger & clementine dark chocolate ganache.
It's a rich and zesty combination of flavours that pairs wonderfully with a cup of strong mocha java!
3 egg whites (100g-110g), at room temp. Aged for 2-3 days.
2 Tbs (30ml) caster sugar
200g icing sugar
125g finely ground almonds/ almond flour
A few drops of orange gel food colour
Prepare 2 large baking trays with parchment.
Make sure that the parchment is flat and that the trays aren't warped.
Put the almond flour and icing sugar into a food processor and pulse until well mixed and finely ground.
Sift into a bowl. Discard the large granules which don't pass through the sieve.
Whisk the egg whites at low speed with an electric beater until frothy, then add the caster sugar.
Beat until soft peaks form; mix in the gel colour.
Beat until the colour is mixed in and the meringue is thick and glossy.
Sift the almond flour / icing sugar mix into the meringue in two batches - folding in between.
Once again discard any large granules of almond flour
Use a spatula to gently fold the batter until it is loosened and falls in "ribbons" from the spatula. (It is worth watching a few YouTube videos to see the consistency you're aiming for).
Transfer the mixture to an icing bag with the tip cut off or one fitted with a large plain round icing nozzle (not more than 1cm diameter).
Pipe small dots of batter beneath the corners of the baking parchment, to keep it in place on the baking tray.
Pipe your macaron rounds - about 3-4cm diameter, about 2cm apart. Pull your piping tip to the side - this leaves a tiny tail, which should settle.
Rap the tray twice on the counter to release any hidden air bubbles.
Leave the macarons to stand for 15-30minutes until they form a "skin" - ie. when touched with a clean, dry finger they aren't sticky.
Turn the oven on to pre-heat to 150'C during this time
Bake at 150'C for 15-20 minutes.
Check that they're not browning as the end of the baking time approaches.
Remove from the oven.
Leave to cool for 5 - 10minutes, then remove the shells from the trays. If the macarons are undercooked, they will stick to the parchment. You can pop them back into the warm oven for a few minutes just to dry out a little more.
(Macarons are best after being filled and left for 24hrs - the filling rehydrates them a bit.)
Recipe by Tea, Cake & Create
160g dark chocolate, cut in small even sized pieces
80ml fresh cream
Zest of 2 small clementines
1tsp ground ginger.
Heat the chocolate and cream together in a double boiler or in a microwave on low/medium power.
Stir until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
Mix in the ground ginger and clementine zest.
Allow the ganache to set at room temperature until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
Spoon or pipe onto a macaron shell; place another shell on top.
Refrigerate filled macarons overnight (the flavours are even better once matured).
Bring to room temperature before serving.