Plenty Of Oooo But They're Not Macaroons!

Plenty Of Oooo But They're Not Macaroons!

French Chocolate Macarons

After all our savoury makes it's time for the Gents to return to sweet treat land! Today's adventure sees us tackle the rather fashionable French macaron. With the likes of shops such as Laduree and virtually every contestant in the Great British Bake Off, the macaron is a very popular patisserie treat.

With their distinctive shiny shell and puffed foot, they are available in almost any conceivable colour and flavour combination. These small almond meringue biscuits are normally served in pairs and sandwiched with a complimentary filling. The exterior should be crisp, whilst the interior chewy and moist. We're making chocolate macarons with a chocolate ganache filling, by Home Cooking Adventure.

Start by weighing out your dry ingredients; ground almonds, icing sugar and cocoa powder. Blitz in a food processor until very fine before sieving into a mixing bowl. Discard any almond bits that can't be sieved. In a clean bowl whisk your egg whites (with a small pinch of salt), gradually adding your granulated sugar, until you have cloudy peaks of meringue that hold their shape.

Gently fold in your dry mix, taking care not to knock the air out of your meringues. Combine well until you have a smooth mix that is one colour. Pipe equal sized discs of mixture onto prepared baking sheets, tap each sheet to release any bubbles, then set aside for about 30-60 minutes until a skin forms on top. If you're using baking parchment you can draw your circles to ensure every one is identical, but as we're using silicone sheets we're simply going by eye.

Once the surface of your discs are touch dry, bake in a preheated oven until the bottoms have puffed up. Leave to cool completely before attempting to remove from your baking sheets as the macarons will be very soft when warm.

To make your ganache, heat your cream until it starts to boil around the edges then pour over your chocolate. Let it sit for a minute before stirring until smooth. Add your butter and mix until glossy then leave to cool.

Finally sandwich together two macarons with a dollop of the ganache and leave for at least 24 hours before serving to allow the middles to become chewy.

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