I think I’m improving in the macaron department. I’m no longer abjectly terrified that something is going to go wrong in one of the many seemingly simple and yet completely complex stages of the recipe. I’ve scaled all the way back to just slightly nervous and questioning of my decisions while still taking *minimal* risks.
While macaron batter is portrayed as this delicate flower that will be destroyed at the littlest wrong move, I did some reading and it turns out that while the egg whites still need to be whipped to stiff peaks and the carefully ground and sifted almond flour needs to be folded in, after this and before piping the macaron shells the batter actually wants to be roughly folded/mixed upwards of 60 times before it is ready to pipe.
For these delightful macarons (seriously they turned out so much more even and normal looking than my previous batches) are comprised of a dark chocolate shell, recipe courtesy the Korean edition of the Laduree cookbook, and an espresso buttercream, recipe courtesy yours truly and the ingredients I scavenged in my kitchen.
The espresso buttercream ended up having a delightful texture that I am pretty sure was the result of me not being patient enough and pouring a mostly hot shot of espresso into my bowl of whipped butter…causing it to all but melt. So then I scrambled and added more butter and powdered sugar than planned, and I also threw in a couple spoonfuls of cocoa powder in order to deepen the brown color since the single shot of espresso wasn’t quite cutting it.
As you can see I drizzled a little bit of white chocolate over the top of the shells and sprinkled on a little bit of espresso powder, mostly for decoration and picture taking purposes, but also a tiny bit to mask any imperfections on my shells.
If I had actually thought ahead I might have added some chopped up chocolate espresso beans to the top as well!
I served up these treats with some espresso, and let me tell you, there is no better pick-me-up than some fresh baked sugar and caffeine! :O Perfection in a tiny package.
Mocha Macaron Recipe
Chocolate Macaron Shell:
*Recipe from the Laduree Macaron Cookbook
Almond flour 260g
Powdered sugar 250g
15g unsweetened cocoa powder
65g dark chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
6 egg whites, room temperature
1. Pulse the almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor until it is combined and finely ground.
2. In a clean stand mixer, whip the egg whites until foam begins to form. Add 1/3 of the sugar and beat for 1 minute until the sugar is combined, then continue adding additions of sugar and beating to combine. You are looking for stiff peaks to form and for the mixture to become glossy. Add in the cooled dark chocolate and mix until just combined.
3. Add in the almond mixture and carefully fold it in with a spatula.
4. Put the batter into a pastry bag/piping bag and pipe 3-4cm circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let the macarons rest for 30 minutes uncovered at room temperature before baking at 150C/300F for 14-15 minutes.
5. Let the macarons rest on the sheet until completely cooled then carefully remove them from the tray. (The Korean text is much longer because the actual recipe tells you to do this trick with putting water under the parchment paper, but I didn’t do that and they turned out just fine).
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 shot espresso, cooled slightly
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
~4 cups powdered sugar
1. Place 1/2 cup of the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth. Add in the espresso and beat until combined.
2. Add in about one cup of powdered sugar, the cocoa powder and then the remaining butter, and beat to combine. Add in the rest of the powdered sugar in one cup increments–adding or subtracting from the amount above to reach your desired consistency. (Remember you are going to pipe this onto macaron shells so it needs to be relatively pliable but not too soft).
Take the cooled macaron shells and match up pairs that are relatively size matched. Turn over one shell of each pair and pipe buttercream on to the overturned shells. Sandwich with the other half of each pair and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve–removing them from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to consuming so they can come to room temperature.
**I drizzled my macarons with some melted white chocolate and sprinkled a few espresso grounds on to the top for flavor and decoration–feel free to do the same or leave them plain!