Okay, last macaron post for the week (or probably for the year) before we go on our Christmas break up in the mountains. As you can tell I’ve been on a macron overdrive ever since we got back to Geneva. I was going to give myself a break from all that macaron making but after my festive macarons went a little awry last week, I was tempted to fix the ‘kinks’ and get it right this time. It was a case of ‘make-or-break’ situation for I only had 1 aged egg-white sitting in the refrigerator.
I was working on a time crunch (not exactly the right mindset for making these petite little things) and boy was I relieved when I got the candy swirls right this time round! Phew! When I popped these into the oven, all I could think about was ‘Rise, oh feet, Rise!’ and they did rise albeit being a little lop-sided.
Nonetheless, like a proud mama, I’m pleased to present my ‘Candy Swirl Macarons with Peppermint Mocha Ganache’! Yeah, you heard me right… Peppermint Mocha Ganache – a flavour inspired by my all-time favourite Starbucks beverage!
I trawled the internet for inspiration and thought long and hard how I could get the flavours to come together. Questions like ‘Should I do a mint macaron shell with a coffee ganache? Or the other way round?’. In the end, I infused espresso powder and the peppermint essence together with the cream before heating it up to incorporate into the dark chocolate ganache. The taste was unbelievable! The espresso together with the dark chocolate ganache was like mocha, strong and robust but not overtly sweet for the mint aftertaste kicked in thereafter. This truly was one of my most unusual creations! 😉
Candy-swirl Macarons with Peppermint Mocha Ganache
Makes about 14 filled bite-sized macarons
For Macaron Batter
- 1 egg white (preferably aged for 3 days) brought to room temperature
- A pinch of Cream of Tartar
- 38g icing sugar
- 36g powdered almonds
- 30g granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of powder-based red colouring
- Line baking tray with 2 pieces of parchment paper.
- Sift powdered sugar with the powdered hazelnuts to ensure that there are no lumps.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg white until they begin to foam. At this stage, add the pinch of cream of tartar and the granulated sugar gradually. Continue beating until very stiff and firm. When you invert the bowl, the egg white batter has to stay put. That’s the time you know when you should stop. I decided to play it safe and whisked the egg white batter for about 5 minutes before stiff peaks were formed. Continue to beat the egg whites on high for another 1-2 minutes.
- Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in 3 batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula (ideally). Stop folding when the mixture is smooth and there are no streaks of egg white. I used about 40 strokes to incorporate the dry mixture into the egg whites. Add the powdered red colouring sparingly over the batter and slowly scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
- Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch circles, evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
- Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons and to remove the air-bubbles in the macarons.
- Leave the macarons out in the open for at least 30 minutes to an hour. This step is important to allow the top of the macaron shell to dry up so that you get a smooth surface for the macarons. You will know when to pop the macarons into the oven when you touch the macarons and the batter does not stick to your fingers. Be careful not to leave them out too much for it will give you crunchy macarons and you don’t want that. This step is important and if you skip it, your macarons might flatten . While waiting, preheat oven to 140 degrees C.
- Bake for 15 mins and let cool completely before removing from baking sheet.
For Peppermint Mocha Ganache filling
- 50g of dark chocolate (chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon of Peppermint extract
- 1 teaspoon of Espresso powder (I cut open a Nespresso capsule and used the espresso powder)
- 4-6 tablespoons of cream
- Infuse Peppermint extract and espresso powder in cream for 30 mins to 1 hour.
- Place the chopped white chocolate into a medium size microwave safe mixing bowl. Set aside while you heat the cream mixture.
- Heat the cream mixture in a small saucepan until just boiling.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave to stand for two minutes. This will give the chocolate time to soften.
- Stir the ganache until smooth. If all the dark chocolate has not melted then place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds. Remove and stir until smooth.
- Leave the chocolate ganache to cool until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Spread peppermint mocha chocolate ganache on the macaron shell.
- Sandwich and you are done!
It’s recommended that you let the flavours sit inside the macaron for 1 day before having them.
I guess this much about wraps my macaron journey for the year! Phew.. after countless batches of macarons and close to 20 ‘almost perfect’ ones, I think I’m done making these little ones for a little while… going on a teeny-weeny break before the new macaron adventures begin in 2012. Hope you found my macaron making adventures a little useful or rather a little entertaining for this noob-baker like me. I also hoped that it inspired you to try making some of these one day. It can be rather fulfilling and addictive (as you can tell from my many macaron posts).
Once again, happy holidays to you all! Have a smashing good time celebrating the festive season.. As for us, we’re off to the mountains sipping our Vin Chaud (mulled wine) and hoping not to fall too much on my bum this time round whilst snowboarding.
I’ve been busy in the kitchen… Click here to check out my baking adventures in Geneva.