After the last attempt, I thought I’d try something a bit more complex – especially since I was giving these macarons to friends. One of my friends is lactose-intolerant, so macarons are brilliant, and I thought I could substitute the cream in the ganache with coconut cream, and use very dark chocolate.
It turns out 80% cocoa solids do not make a very nice ganache with just cream. I ended up having to add about a cup of sugar. Also, I was very lazy, and I didn’t use a double boiler, so my chocolate heated too much and separated. Here’s a nifty note for dealing with that: just chuck it in a food processor to re-emulsify it. Works like a treat.
To colour the shells, I didn’t have any powdered or gel food colouring, so I dropped liquid food colouring into the almond meal, and put it in the oven at about 90°C to dry it out again. The almond meal ended up clumping, so I had to process and sift it afterwards =_=”
I also coloured the meringue with food colouring when I added it to the dry ingredients. It turned impressively blue!
I used a tall glass to hold the pastry bag while loading it. Much easier than trying to load one-handed.
Note: if your shells seem to brown in the oven, shield them with a few oven trays above them.
Coconut and Dark Chocolate Macarons
125g almond meal
145g icing sugar
100g egg white
Blue food colouring (optional)
200g dark chocolate
100mL coconut cream
1 cup sugar
Colour the almond meal with blue food colouring, and oven at a low temperature until dry.
Cool the almond meal and process with icing sugar. Sift almond meal and icing sugar into a bowl.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt at a low speed until foamy.
Add sugar and whip to stiff peaks.
Drop in food colouring, and fold meringue into almond meal mixture, adding the almond meal in quarters at a time.
Pipe 4cm diameter rounds of macarons.
Tap the tray on the bench to eliminate large air bubbles.
Rest for 1 hour or until shells are no longer sticky.
Cook at 140°C for 20 minutes.
Cool for 30 minutes and then remove macarons from tray.
Heat coconut cream and sugar on the stove until boiling and all sugar has dissolved.
Remove cream from heat and pour over chocolate and stir.
If chocolate does not melt, zap for 20 seconds at a time in microwave, stirring in between.