Macaron adventures


Macarons are gluten-free but they have plenty of sugar so this is a sometimes treat. I was a bit wary as there were so many blog posts about disasters making these delicate biscuits, and plenty of warnings in the superstitious vein. I felt sure it would take many goes to get this right. Fortunately I found the recipe and instructions that made this a relatively easy exercise. Read Brave Tart’s posts about macarons before you attempt these.
Dessert

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I made mine with vanilla flavour only in the shells and filled them with homemade lemon curd. The very happy tasters said it was like little bites of lemon meringue pie.

My second batch I added ground coffee to the macaronage and filled them with the left over avocado chocolate mousse, pictured in the white spoons. But the latest batch, a colleague told me, were the best yet. So here is the recipe.

Ingredients
Shells

  • 2 egg whites
  • 5 tablespoons of caster sugar
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • 1 cup of hazelnut meal + 2 tablespoons extra
  • pinch of salt

Filling

  • 100g of dark chocolate
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of kahlua (but next time will double this, or replace with instant coffee powder

Method
Follow the instructions on Bravetart’s post for the shells. Let them cool before filling.

The filling is a ganache. Heat the cream gently with the kahlua, until bubbles show but don’t bring to a boil. Place the chocolate in a metal bowl over the top of simmering water. Use a bowl that covers the saucepan opening so very little steam escapes. Pour the cream over the top of the chocolate and stir until its smooth and well-combined. Remove from heat, add the butter and stir to combine. Let this cool, stirring occasionally. I put mine in the fridge to hurry it along, but monitor so it doesn’t go too hard too quickly. When cold and thick, whip it with a hand/stick mixer so it’s more like frosting.

Match up your shells so they are equally sized pairs, pipe filling onto one, then sandwich the shells together, twisting slightly.

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