Black currant macarons

Black currant macaronsMacarons filled with black currant ganache

Macarons (basic)

Makes about 60 shells (30 assembled macarons)

90 g egg whites (from approx. 3 large eggs), preferably aged at least overnight and brought to room temperature

110 g almond flour (almonds ground to a powder)

200 g confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp caster sugar

  • In a blender or food processor, grind the almond flour together with the confectioner’s sugar; set aside. (You don’t actually have to do this, but I do it to break down whatever big lumps are still present in the almond flour)
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg whites using an electric mixer, starting at medium speed. When the mixture starts becoming frothy and opaque, turn the setting to high speed. Gradually add the caster sugar, beating continuously, until the mixture forms a meringue (becomes glossy and forms soft peaks).
  • Sift the almond flour mixture over the meringue. Using a spatula, carefully fold them together until the resulting batter is uniform in color and has the consistency of flowing lava (this should take about 30-40 folds). Tap the sides of the bowl several times during folding to get rid of excess air in the batter (this could cause the macarons to crack during baking).
  • Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain 1-cm (diameter) nozzle. Pipe out 3-cm (diameter) circles, each about 2.5 cm apart, onto non-stick baking paper placed on a baking tray. Rap the baking tray on the counter/table to get rid of excess air that could either crack the macarons or make them hollow.
  • Leave the piped out batter in a cool, dry place to set. They are ready for baking when the surface is completely dry and not sticky when touched.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 150°C-160°C for 12-14 minutes, taking care not to let the exposed surface turn brown. When finished, slide the baking paper (with the macarons) out from the baking tray and onto the countertop/kitchen table to stop further cooking. Leave them to cool for a few minutes before attempting to remove from the sheets. The ideal macaron should just slide off the baking paper (or pop easily out if using a silpat); the bottoms should be dry, but still a bit soft at the center.

Black currant ganache

Makes enough filling for about 30-40 macarons

400 g white chocolate, grated or chopped into small pieces

186 ml heavy/pouring cream

125 ml black currant puree (or alternatively, black currant jelly)

30 ml light corn syrup (omit if using black currant jelly)

15 g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

  • Pour the cream, black currant and corn syrup into a saucepan, then bring to a boil.
  • Pour the hot cream mixture over the white chocolate. Let stand for a minute to allow the chocolate to melt.
  • Whisk the mixture until well-blended. Set aside to cool a bit. 
  • When the mixture is about 40°C in temperature, stir in the butter a little at a time. Continue stirring until the mixture is glossy.
  • Spoon the ganache into a piping bag with a 1 cm nozzle and set aside in the refrigerator until set. (This may take as much as 12 hours, so it is advisable to make the ganache the day before.)

 

Assembling the macarons

  • Place half of the macaron shells foot-side facing up on a flat surface.
  • Pipe a small amount of the filling onto these shells (just enough to cover an area that is approximately 3 mm short of the edges).
  • Top with the remaining shells.
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