For this month’s Mactweets Mac Attack Challenge we were asked to create a macaron inspired by a favourite childhood summer memory.
Basketfuls of sweet cherries immediately came to mind:
Un, deux, trois, allons dans les bois, Quatre, cinq, six, cueuillir des cerises, Sept, huit, neuf, dans mon panier neuf, Dix, onze, douze, elles seront toutes rouges !
The two big cherry trees in the garden provided an abundance of delicious fruit every year, making cherry picking one of the highlights of the season.
Whether small pale yellow and red cherries or big dark, black ones, their crisp, sweet flesh has always been a favourite treat.
And cherries and chocolate make a marvellous flavour combination — perfect for macarons.
These macarons filled with rich kirsch-infused dark chocolate and maraschino cherry ganache are simple to make and taste sublime.
Macarons with chocolate kirsch filling
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 12-14 minutes per tray
Yield: approx. 30 assembled macarons
Ingredients for the shells
- 90 grams (3 ounces) of egg whites (equal to whites of 3 large eggs), at room temperature
- 125 grams (4 ½ ounces) of ground almonds or almond flour
- 125 grams (4 ½ ounces) of icing sugar
- 125 grams (4 ½ ounces) of caster sugar (superfine sugar) divided into two equal portions
- a few drops of food colouring
- Pulse the almond powder and icing sugar in a food processor just until a fine powder is obtained. Then sift the mixture into a large bowl. If using almond flour, you may simply sift the almond flour and icing sugar together.
- Place the egg whites in a bowl and add half of the caster sugar. Begin beating the whites and sugar at low-medium speed. After 2 minutes, when the mixture starts to rise and holds its shape, increase the mixer speed. Continue beating at medium speed until firm peaks are obtained. Add a few drops of food colouring if desired along with the rest of the caster sugar and beat until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Transfer the beaten egg whites to a larger bowl (if necesssary) and add all of the almond powder mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold the mixture until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated, taking care not to overmix. The batter should be smooth and glossy and have a lava-like consistency. It should form a ribbon when dripped from the spatula.
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Fill a large pastry bag half full with batter and, using a 2-cm (1/2 inch) tip, vertically pipe the mixture into balls each about the size of walnuts. Tap the trays against a hard surface a couple of times to flatten the shells.
- Allow to the macarons to sit for 20 to 30 minutes until a “skin” forms and they are no longer wet when lightly touched.
- Bake at 160 degrees C (325 degrees F) for 12 to 14 minutes. Shells should be smooth and shiny, with the characteristic “foot” or ridge underneath. You can tell when they’re done by very lightly tapping the side with a knife or fork. The macaron top should not slide but remain firmly on its foot.
- Remove macarons from the oven. Lift the parchment paper slightly while spraying a small amount of water onto the hot tray and let the paper fall back. The steam produced by the water will allow the macarons to come off easily once they have cooled.
Dark chocolate kirsch and maraschino cherry ganache
- 100 ml heavy cream
- 125 grams (4 ½ ounces) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 25 grams (1 ounce) butter
- 50 grams (2 ounces) maraschino cherries, drained.
- 3 tablespoons kirsch
- Chop the maraschino cherries into small pieces and set aside a small bowl with the three tablespoons of kirsch.
- Place chocolate pieces in a heat-proof bowl.
- Heat the cream over medium heat until boiling.
- Remove cream from heat and pour over chocolate, stirring until melted.
- Stir in butter, cherries and kirsch. Cool until thickened.
To fill the macarons, first sort macaron shells and pair similar sized ones together. Then, using your thumbs, make a small dent on the underside of each shell.
Using a knife or spoon, place a small amount of filling over the dent and carefully press another macaron shell over it, twisting gently to spread the filling evenly.
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Check MacTweets for this month’s round-up on September 25th!