Wednesday 26 June 2013

Chocolate & Salted Caramel Macarons

Finally success with chocolate macaron shells *dances around kitchen* Last week just the thought of a chocolate shell was really irritating, but two successful batches and embarassing kitchen dancing and all is well in my macaron world.  I left the baking of one batch in the care of my 15 year old son and they turned out just fine; that's not an enormous typo, I left 3 trays of carefully mixed, precison (ha!) piped, air dried macarons in the hands of a minor!  I'm such a control freak when it comes to baking I almost turned down an impromptu dinner at my favourite restaurant to stay home and bake them... Dinner was fabulous; I did text home requesting photographic evidence of the results, sparking a simultaneously amusing and frustrating sequence of messages. Our dinner companions were incredibly patient, indulging my photo snapping and message checking, next time my phone stays in my bag.

Another success this week was the salted caramel chocolate ganache, a revelation, I love the hint of salty, slightly bitter caramel with silky smooth ganache. For the first batch of shells I used Bournville cocoa, and for the ganache, Callebaut gianduja, a hazelnut flavoured milk chocolate. The macarons weren't as chocolatey as expected but I really liked the combination. I used a darker coloured, dutch processed cocoa and a semi sweet chocolate with 45% cocoa solids for the next batch. The macarons photographed for this post are from the second batch, they had a deeper chocolate flavour and I thought a more adult taste but it didn't stop my kids eating them. I liked both, possibly leaning towards the lighter version but then I love milk chocolate.

Now that I've found a reliable recipe for the shells I'm just about ready to tackle that recipe from the Pierre Herme book, the one that covers about 3 pages, with chocolate caramel ganache and a square of rice bubble chocolate caramel madness hidden in the centre...

chocolate macarons

110g egg white (about 3 large eggs) at room temperature
37g caster sugar
175g icing sugar
95g almond meal
20g cocoa powder

line baking trays with baking paper, I used 3

put the icing sugar, almond meal and cocoa powder in a food processor and blitz for about 2 minutes press the nut/sugar/cocoa combo through a sieve, if you have a large quantity that won't go through the sieve reprocess it with half of the sieved mixture then sieve again

in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until foamy, gradually add the caster sugar then whisk on medium speed until you have a firm, glossy meringue

tip half the nut/sugar/cocoa powder over the meringue, fold in with a spatula, lifting under the meringue and turning the bowl, don't worry about knocking the air out of the mixture, that's part of the process  repeat with the rest of the powder  fold until a ribbon of batter disappears back into the mixture after about 20 seconds 

use a dab of the mixture under the corners of the baking paper to stick it to the tray  transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 10mm plain tip  pipe 3cm rounds, about 2 cm apart, onto the baking trays  tap the trays on the bench to release any air bubbles then let them sit for 30 mins to an hour 

while the macarons are drying preheat the oven to 150ÂșC  bake for 20 mins  remove from oven, leave to cool on the trays for 5 mins then transfer the macarons on their sheets of baking paper to wire racks and leave to cool completely

pair each shell with a similar sized partner; pipe a small mound of ganache onto the underside of one shell and gently press the other on top

store in an airtight container in the fridge  they are best after 24 hours but will keep for 3-4 days

chocolate, salted caramel ganache

225g chocolate, milk or semisweet
115g caster sugar
2 tsp glucose syrup
2 tbsp water
190ml cream
1/2 tsp fleur de sel, or any other flaked sea salt

chop the chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl

in a small pan combine the sugar, syrup and water  stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar  increase heat and bring to boil, do not stir  use a wet pastry brush to dissolve any crystals that form on the sides of the pan  boil until the caramel is medium amber colour, swirl the pan occasionally but no stirring!  remove from heat, add the cream and fleur de sel, prepare for frantic bubbling, stir until combined  pour caramel over the chopped chocolate, leave for 5 mins then stir until smooth  allow to cool completely and thicken to a piping consistency before filling the macarons

the macaron recipe is a combination of many I have tried including,  Syrup and TangTartelette and Bakers Royale; the ganache is adapted from sel et sucre

those wacky texts from my son, in charge of macaron baking...

Thanks for stopping by; I'd love to hear from you, there's a comment section below :)


Kathy K said...

Oh my god Sally - they look so delicious. I'm going to stake out your house so I'm able to tap on your door when you finish the next batch. You are so clever..

simmer and boyle said...

I'll bake some next week Kathy; keen to try out a new product... Want to be a taster..?

Ramona said...

Wow... you made the most perfect looking macarons I've ever seen!!! I'm still afraid of trying to make macarons but your post definitely encourages me :)
xox Amy

simmer and boyle said...

thanks so much Amy! Definitely give them a try; I'd love to see a photo when you do :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful macarons!! I'm yet to attempt chocolate shells, but seeing yours, I might give it a go!
Wondering if there's a typo in your recipe tho... Should it be 195 of almond meal? (You've only got 95 listed.)
Off to age some egg whites....

simmer and boyle said...

Hi Clare, thanks for stopping by! I've double checked the measurements, it is an unusual ratio but that worked for me. I'm making them again next week so can triple check then. Good luck :)

simmer and boyle said...

Bit of a delay, but I've made them again and the quantities are correct; they are slightly crisper, more meringue like than the more traditional French or Italian method :)

Unknown said...

I don't know if anyone will see this, but, I just made these macs today and they turned out perfect! and that ganache....ohmygod. here's mine!

simmer and boyle said...

Katie they look great! If you are game to try another recipe check out the chocolate orange jaffarons, Italian method so less crisp.

simmer and boyle said...

and Katie if I can work out how, can I share a photo on the simmer & boyle Facebook page? Sally

Unknown said...

Oooh these look amaaazing! :)

simmer and boyle said...

thanks Vanessa, it's that shiny salted caramel ganache, definitely a winner ;)

The Orange Dahlia said...

What is glucose syrup? Can I use corn syrup in its place?

simmer and boyle said...

Glucose syrup is a sticky, clear syrup. The brand I use is made from corn so I think you'd be safe to substitute it with corn syrup :)