Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dark Chilli Love

As they say, pratice makes you perfect! Although I have a long way to get to perfection, but one can dream..
And so the Macaronia continues...

After my successful attempt at the macarons, I wanted to try out some different, and maybe daring flavours, as making regular macarons, well, its boring and anyone can do that! So I started thinking about making chocolate macarons, especially because I had just bought the 'great' Van Houten dark chocolate powder. Then began the quest for finding the best chocolate macaron recipe, which I found through my bible blog/site of Syrup and Tang which by the way is the best guide to making macarons. Although I must say I had posed a few important questions to the owner Duncan Markham who never replied :(
On his site, he mentioned a French Chocolate Macaron recipe cited by David Lebovitz. Amazing and fool proof was the recipe and the guidelines were perfect and meticulous.

Of course, I always have the urge of trying something new and different, and thought of giving this recipe a little twist shall we say. I added some spice and made a different ganache instead of the routine chocolate ganache (which I am sure is great as well). the ganache I made was a raspberry Thai chilli ganache, very easy to make and leaves that tangy spicy taste lingering for minutes!

And so here it goes:

100 gms powdered sugar/confectioners sugar)
50 gms almond meal (finely powdered almonds)
25 gms Van Houten or any other unsweetened cocoa powder
2 egg whites (at room temperature)
Lemon Juice - few drops
65 gms sugar

For the Ganache
3 tbsps raspberry preserve (I used a Bio type, but anything goes)
1 tbsp Thai chilli sauce (the hot n sweet types)

  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the baking trays with parchment paper, draw the little circles for the macarons if you like.
  • Grind together confectioners sugar, almond meal and the cocoa powder for 30 seconds. Pass this mixture through a fine sieve.
  • In a very clean bowl, add the egg whites, squeeze in a little juice of lemon or a pinch of salt. Whip the egg whites in a standing mixture (as I don't have one of these yet, you can use a standard hand held beater as well). Beat the egg whites while adding bit by bit the 65 gms of sugar. Beat the egg whites till the strong peaks are formed, normally I beat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Carefully fold in the dry mixture in batches, make sure not to break the egg whites, but rather just swirl the mixture around, with a very light hand. 
  • When you don't see any traces of egg whites, and when the mixture turns glossy and falls easy, stop mixing. Take a piping bag with a 2 cm plain nozzle, and fill in the mixture. 
  • Pipe the batter on the parchment paper, make sure to hold the piping bag 90° to the parchment paper. Pipe in on the pre-made circles or make 1 inch circles while keeping 1 inch apart each piped macaron.
  • After you have finished piping all the batter, tap the underside of the baking tray to get rid of the air bubbles. If you aren't too comfortable with this, then tap the baking tray slightly on your working counter. Let the mixture rest for 20 minutes at least. 
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes. At the end of the 5 minute mark, the so called feet should have been formed, as mine!!! As each oven has its own temprament, I suggest nudging the so-called feet of the macaron, and if they move reluctantly, they are done.
  • Take out the tray once the baking is done, and take off the parchment paper and place on a pre-cooled surface. After a couple of minutes of cooling off, remove the macaron from the baking sheet. If they do not come off easily, try scraping them off with the back of a knife. Leave the macaron to cool further on a wire rack.
For the Ganache:
  • Simply take 3 tbsps of the Raspberry preserve and add in 1 tbsp of the Thai chilli sauce
  • Take the reverse sides of two macaron and layer them with the above made ganache. And VoilĂ , there are ready. For better tasting macarons, try to wait for 12-24 hours before munching on them

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