Jumat, 14 Oktober 2011

Coffee & Cocoa Macarons


I actually haven't baked any macarons for a while - I've just neglected to tell you about these ones! The shells are flavored with cocoa powder (and I always find those more prone to cracking, so don't worry if yours do, too.) The filling is a basic buttercream, with instant coffee granules and cocoa powder. I was worried that the coffee should have been dissolved rather than just stirred in, but as it happens, it was perfect this way. The granules retained a little crunch, and more bitterness, which was very pleasant in contrast with the sweetness.

I'll make another batch of macarons soon though, because I got a very special piece of equipment to try out! It's a silicone baking mat specifically for macarons, by Lékué. (I got mine for review from Ninas Mat.) In theory, it looks great - perfect for making all your macarons the same size. I'm excited to see how they turn out though, I'm a little worried that the mat itself will prevent the shells from rising properly... but we'll see!

Coffee & Cocoa Macarons
20 finished macarons

3 egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbsp caster sugar
200 g powdered sugar
110 g almonds
2 tbsp cocoa powder

Combine powdered sugar, almonds and cocoa powder in your food processor, and grind until very fine. Sieve. Re-grind any lumps or big pieces of almonds. Mix carefully (they tend to separate a little bit when sieving, since the sugar falls through first.)

Beat egg whites and sugar until you have a thick, glossy meringue. Don't overbeat. Stir in the almond-sugar powder, and fold together. Don't overmix this - most seem to say that you should use less than 50 strokes. (You can try it by dolloping a little batter on a baking sheet - if the peak falls down, it's ready. If it doesn't, try a few more strokes.)

Pipe small rounds on a baking sheet with baking paper. Leave at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, to form a skin.

Bake at 150°C for 10-12 minutes. (I constantly vary this time, depending on the batch. I use a convection oven.) Let them cool completely before filling. Unused shells can be frozen, or kept in an air-tight container for a day or so.

1/2 batch buttercream, see below
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
2 tsp cocoa powder

3 egg yolks
75 g sugar
82 g corn syrup (or if you're in Sweden, white baking syrup works perfectly)
225 g unsalted butter, softened

Beat the egg yolks until fluffy. Bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil, and immediately remove from heat. Pour over the egg yolks and beat at high speed until fully cooled. (Try not to get any on your beaters, or it will spin to the sides of your bowl.

Add the butter, a pat at a time, until fully incorporated. Divide the finished buttercream in half - you can save one half in the fridge or freezer, but you might have to re-beat it before using. Add cocoa and coffee to the half you'll be using.

Spread - or pipe - the cream onto half of the macaron shells, top with the remaining shells. Eat right away or freeze.

Recipe in Swedish:
Kaffe & Kakaomacarons