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Friday, January 14, 2011

milk chocolate passionfruit macarons.

These are probably my best attempt at macarons so far. They have a nice dome, adequately chewy interior, not too soggy and best of all, perfect feet. Every single one of them. I am so proud! Well, if you can just overlook the fact that the tops are not completely smooth.
Let's talk milk chocolate passionfruit ganache. I think the flavour combination keeps things interesting. Usually when you see a ganache, you'll automatically think hey! It's something super rich and chocolaty! But no, not in this ganache. You bite into one, and your taste buds go searching in the chocolate flavour profile archive. Then slowly, a fruity element kicks in and your taste buds go bonkers. 

What is this weird flavour? Passionfruit?

Ding ding ding! Bingo! 

The passionfruit cuts through the richness of the milk chocolate and makes you want to go for one more. Nah, maybe two. Or no one would notice I took three...
The only thing I don't quite like about using cocoa in the macarons shells is that it hides the wonderful flavour of almonds. And again, I firmly believe almonds should partner with light, refreshing fruity flavours. Although passionfruit is used here, it doesn't really count because the chocolate interferes. Nevertheless, it's a good macaron.
There are gazillions of macaron recipes out there, tutorials on how to make the perfect macaron shell but how many sources of how to fill a macaron are there? We can make a blemish-free macaron shell, but what's the point unless you know how to fill it? I think many of us bakers are often greedy and overfill the tiny rounds which can only lead to frustration and dirty fingers. This problem is even more prominent in fluid fillings, (warm) ganache included.

So, I would like to include my humble suggestion using ganache as an example (if you don't wish to fumble with a pastry bag that is). Spread a decent layer of ganache on each half of a macaron. Decent layer can mean about the usual amount you would fill one pair macaron shells. Freeze it briefly just to let the ganache harden and not flow all over the place. Then, to create what I like to call a "spare tyre" effect, sandwich two shells together and twist like you would an oreo. The filling should peek over the edges just a little. And there you have it! A macaron filled with double the usual amount and chaos free!
Of course, you can always add in another dollop of ganache before sandwiching the two halves together... I mean, no one is looking or anything...

Chocolate Passionfruit Macarons
recipe from Canellle et Vanille

Chocolate Macarons

100 grams egg whites
25 grams sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
225 grams powdered sugar
125 grams almond flour
15 grams cocoa powder
pinch of salt
Cocoa nib for topping *I just used cocoa powder since I don't have any nibs

Separate the egg whites at least 24 hours prior and even let them sit at room temperature for a few hours before starting to make the macarons. This will help them get rid of some moisture and become more acidic, which will help form a stable meringue.
Whip the egg whites and the lemon juice until they are almost fully whipped. Sprinkle in the sugar while still mixing. Continue to whip to a full meringue.

Sift the powdered sugar, salt, almond flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the meringue into the dry ingredients and fold until a shiny mass is formed. We want it to spread a bit but not too much.

Pipe the macarons onto a silicon mat and sprinkle with cocoa nibs. Let the macarons dry at room temperature for 20 minutes or so. Bake them in a 300F for about 8 minutes. Rotate the sheetpan and bake for another 8 minutes. *It took me 18 minutes. Everybody's oven is different so judge based on your senses.

Milk Chocolate and Passion Fruit Ganache
100 grams milk chocolate
40 grams passion fruit puree
20 grams heavy cream
15 grams butter

Chop the milk chocolate into small pieces. Boil the passion fruit and heavy cream together and pour over chocolate. Stir until incorporated and the ganache forms. Wait a couple of minutes for the ganache to cool a bit and add the softened butter. Stir to create and emulsion. Let it harden a bit until it is pipeable and fill the macarons.

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