What do you get when you put two foodies in a kitchen with some almonds, sugar and a macaron recipe? In this case it was tons of laughter, some exploding butter and a batch of scrumptious almond and chocolate macarons!
I will be the first to admit that although I have made macarons a few times with reasonable success I am far from being an expert at making them. But I am always up for a challenge and simply couldn’t say no to food blogger Elmarie Berry when she invited me to make some in her kitchen.
I am a big fan of Elmarie’s recipes and styling, and baking with her was such fun! I honestly felt like I was getting together with an old friend with lots of chatting and laughter going on all morning… and a bit of macaron making in between, ha ha! We made rustic “Nigella-style” macarons using our own recipe and the flavour was just amazing. The almond macarons have the right combination of crunch and chewiness and are sandwiched together with smooth dark chocolate ganache, absolutely delicious!
A huge thank you to Elmarie for inviting me and to our photographer, Johann Van der Merwe from @LiveEatDrinkExplore for the beautiful pictures in this post. You can read Elmarie’s post about our collaboration by clicking here.
- Use this printable macaron template to help you get perfectly round, even macarons. Simply slip the template under your baking paper before piping. (Don’t forget to take it out again before you pop the tray in the oven!)
ALMOND AND CHOCOLATE MACARONS
For the macarons:
- ½ cup ground almonds
- 150ml icing sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp castor sugar
- ½ tsp almond essence
For the chocolate filling:
- 100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- ¼ cup cream
- 2 tbsp butter
1.) Place the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and blitz until fine. Sieve the mixture to remove any lumps and set aside.
2.) Place the egg whites and salt in a separate, clean bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Add the castor sugar and whisk again until stiff peak stage. Stir in the almond essence.
3.) Pour half of the almond mixture into the egg whites. Use a plastic spatula to fold the mixture a few times. Add the remaining almond mixture and fold in.
4.) Line a tray with baking paper. Spoon the mixture in a piping bag with an open nozzle. Pipe 4cm rounds onto the paper. Leave the tray to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 140ºC.
5.) Bake the macarons for 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely, then use a palette knife to carefully lift them off the tray.
6.) To make the ganache, place the dark chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream and butter until the butter has melted and the mixture has just reached boiling point. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a minute. Whisk well until smooth.
7.) Allow the ganache to cool in the fridge for 15 minutes. Use an electric beater to whisk the ganache until thick.
8.) Spread a teaspoonful of ganache onto the flat side of a macaron, then stick another macaron onto it. Repeat with the remaining macarons. Best served fresh!