Dark chocolate, raspberry and pistachio macarons

 I used my chocolate loving friend’s birthday as an excuse for making these, and then I kept half for myself… Having a bitter filling for the macaron shell is a good idea, otherwise all that sweetness is bit of a shock to the system. I’m also a sucker for the green and red combo.

Macaron shell ingredients:
200g  icing sugar
100g ground almonds
2 tbsp cocoa powder
half a cup of egg whites at room temp (about 3 eggs)
a pinch of salt
40g caster sugar
2 or 3 non-stick or silicon reusable baking liners

Chocolate ganache, raspberry and pistachio filling:
120g 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
120ml double cream, at room temp
Handful of shelled pistachios
50g raspberries
Freeze dried raspberries


Macaron shell method:

  1. Tip the icing sugar, cocoa powder and ground almonds into the bowl of a food processor and blend for 30 seconds (if you don’t have a food processor sieve the icing sugar, cocoa powder and ground almonds into a bowl and stir till evenly combined)
  2. Tip the egg whites into a spotlessly clean and dry mixing bowl. Add the salt and, using a handheld electric whisk, beat until they will just hold a stiff peak.
  3. Continue to whisk on a medium speed whilst adding the caster sugar a teaspoon at a time. Mix well between each addition to ensure that the sugar is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next spoonful. The mixture should be thick, white and glossy. Add a little red food colouring paste to boost the brown colour.
  4. Using a large metal spoon mix 1 tablespoon of almond mix into the egg whites slowly. add the remaining almond mix in 2 or 3 batches and fold carefully.
  5. The mixture should be thoroughly incorporated and smooth but do not over mix or it will be too runny and your macaron mix will be too runny. It is better to under mix than over mix. To check the consistency of your batter pick up a little with your finger – it should form a little peak that dissolves back into the batter.
  6. Fill your piping bag with the mixture (I place my bag in a jug to hold it open) and pipe evenly sized circles onto the baking sheet – I do this by holding my nozzle at the centre point of each macaron close to the baking sheet and piping till the right size is achieved. If you see peaks after piping a whole row, the mix is not ready and needs a little more folding.
  7. When you’ve finished piping rap the tray a couple of times on the edge of a hard surface to ensure any air bubbles are got rid of.
  8. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas mark 3
  9. Leave the macarons until they have formed a dry shell, they should not be sticky, tacky or wet when tested with your fingertip. This normally takes about an hour but using a gentle blow dryer on them does reduce the time a little. This drying time is important as it ensures the macarons have a glossy surface and their trademark ‘feet’.
  10. Bake the macarons on the middle shelf of the oven for about 10 minutes (all ovens are different so keep an eye on them! This is only a guideline time – mine normally take 8 minutes) the macarons should be firm with the slightest amount of give. *
  11. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack.
  12. If you wish to decorate the macarons as I have done in the photos dip a course bristle paintbrush in red food gel and then lightly in water to slightly wet it. tap the brush sharply on your finger or a mug over the macarons to spray them lightly with food dye.

*tip: if your macarons are too brown lower the temperature of the oven and cook for slightly longer. Or place tin foil over the macarons half way through the cooking process.

Ganache method:

  1. Combine the double cream and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water until the chocolate is melted and forms a glossy mixture.
  2. Allow the ganache to cool, stirring occasionally *don’t worry if the ganache splits a little.
  3. With an electric whisk, whisk the ganache until it forms a lighter airier mix – this tends to fix the splitting issue!

Assembly:

  1. While the chocolate and cream are on the heat, toast the pistachios in the oven for about five minutes. Allow to cool and then remove the brown skin (this can be a little fiddly).
  2. Tear the raspberries apart and place a little piece of each in the centre of the flat side of 1 of each macaron shell pair.
  3. Place the ganache in a piping bag and pipe generously around the raspberry of the shell. Sandwich the filling with the other empty macaron shell (see 1st photo).
  4. Grind the pistachios in a processor until they are breadcrumb-like.
  5. Combine the ground pistachios and freeze-dried raspberries on a plate an roll the sides of the macarons in it to coat the ganache (see 2nd photo).

Makes about 24 macarons

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Raspberry and White Chocolate Macarons

These macarons are very delicate and have the perfect flavour combination of sweet white chocolate and tart raspberries. I use the plain shell recipe from Annie Rigg and the filling is of my own creation. For the sake of your own sanity don’t attempt to make macarons on a humid day as it effects the drying process.

This recipe makes about 20 filled macarons depending on size.

Macaron shell ingredients:

200g  icing sugar

100g ground almonds

half a cup of egg whites (about 3 eggs)

a pinch of salt

40g caster sugar

2 or 3 non-stick or silicon reusable baking liners

Method

  1. Tip the icing sugar and ground almonds into the bowl of a food processor and blend for 30 seconds (if you don’t have a food processor sieve the icing and ground almonds into a bowl and stir till evenly combined)
  2. Tip the egg whites into a spotlessly clean and dry mixing bowl. Add the salt and, using a handheld electric whisk, beat until they will just hold a stiff peak.
  3. Continue to whisk on a medium speed whilst adding the caster sugar a teaspoon at a time. Mix well between each addition to ensure that the sugar is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next spoonful. The mixture should be thick, white and glossy.
  4. Using a large metal spoon mix 1 tablespoon of almond mix into the egg whites slowly. add the remaining almond mix in 2 or 3 batches and fold carefully.
  5. The mixture should be thoroughly incorporated and smooth but do not over mix or it will be too runny and your macaron mix will be too runny. It is better to under mix than over mix. To check the consistency of your batter pick up a little with your finger – it should form a little peak that dissolves back into the batter.
  6. Fill your piping bag with the mixture (I place my bag in a jug to hold it open) and pipe evenly sized circles onto the baking sheet – I do this by holding my nozzle at the centre point of each macaron close to the baking sheet and piping till the right size is achieved. If you see peaks after piping a whole row, the mix is not ready and needs a little more folding.
  7. When you’ve finished piping rap the tray a couple of times on the edge of a hard surface to ensure any air bubbles are got rid of.
  8. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas mark 3
  9. Leave the macarons until they have formed a dry shell, they should not be sticky, tacky or wet when tested with your fingertip. This normally takes about an hour but using a gentle blow dryer on them does reduce the time a little. This drying time is important as it ensures the macarons have a glossy surface and their trademark ‘feet’.
  10. Bake the macarons on the middle shelf of the oven for about 10 minutes (all ovens are different so keep an eye on them! This is only a guideline time – mine normally take 8 minutes) the macaroons should be firm with the slightest amount of give. *
  11. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack.
  12. If you wish to decorate the macarons as I have done in the photos dip a course bristle paintbrush in red food gel and then lightly in water to slightly wet it. tap the brush sharply on your finger or a mug over the macarons to spray them lightly with food dye.

*tip: if your macarons are too brown lower the temperature of the oven and cook for slightly longer. Or place tin foil over the macarons half way through the cooking process.

Ingredients for filling:

75g white chocolate finely chopped

2.5 tablespoons double cream

half a teaspoon vanilla extract

150g mascarpone cream

6g freeze dried raspberries

roughly 100g fresh raspberries

Method for filling:

  1. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Put the cream and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and heat until the cream comes to boil.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave to melt for a minute or so.
  4. Stir until smooth and then leave to cool. Cover and refrigerate until thickened.
  5. Place the mascarpone in a bowl and whisk with a hand held electric whisk till thick and fluffy.
  6. Combine the white chocolate ganache, freeze dried raspberries and mascarpone cream and mix till thoroughly incorporated.
  7. spread the filling onto one macaron shell, top with a little piece of fresh raspberry and sandwich the shells.

Coffee and Marshmallow Fluff Macarons

Macarons require a lot of patience and good timing but if all goes well they are a tiny masterpiece. However, humidity affects the drying process so I encourage you to choose a dry day, or expect the worst. This is an Annie Rigg recipe but I’ve included a few handy tips.
 
Ingredients:
200g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
1/2 cup egg whites at room temperature (about 3 eggs)
pinch of salt
40g caster sugar
2 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 1tsp boiling water OR 2 tsp coffee extract
2/3 silicon or non-stick reusable baking liner
Method
  1. Tip the icing sugar and ground almonds into the bowl of a food processor and blend for 30 seconds (if you don’t have a food processor sieve the icing and ground almonds into a bowl and stir till evenly combined).
  2. Tip the egg whites into a spotlessly clean and dry mixing bowl. Add the salt and, using a handheld electric whisk, beat until they will just hold a stiff peak.
  3. Continue to whisk on a medium speed whilst adding the caster sugar a teaspoon at a time. Mix well between each addition to ensure that the sugar is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next spoonful. The mixture should be thick, white and glossy.
  4. Add the coffee flavouring and mix till evenly blended. This produces a golden colour. If you want a darker shell add a little brown food gel/paste colouring – but not liquid!!
  5. Using a large metal spoon mix 1 tablespoon of almond mix into the egg whites slowly. Add the remaining almond mix in 2 or 3 batches and fold carefully.
  6. The mixture should be thoroughly incorporated and smooth but do not over mix or it will be too runny and your macaron mix will be too runny. It is better to under mix than over mix. To check the consistency of your batter pick up a little with your finger – it should form a little peak that dissolves back into the batter.
  7. Fill your piping bag with the mixture (I place my bag in a jug to hold it open) and pipe evenly sized circles onto the baking sheet – I do this by holding my nozzle at the centre point of each macaron close to the baking sheet and piping till the right size is achieved. If you see peaks after piping a whole row, the mix is not ready and needs a little more folding.
  8. When you’ve finished piping rap the tray a couple of times on the edge of a hard surface to ensure any air bubbles are got rid of.
  9. If you want to scatter any edible decorations or liquid food colouring on the macarons you can do so at this stage.
  10. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas mark 3
  11. Leave the macarons until they have formed a dry shell, they should not be sticky, tacky or wet when tested with your fingertip. This normally takes about an hour but using a gentle blow dryer on them does reduce the time a little. This drying time is important as it ensures the macarons have a glossy surface and their trademark ‘feet’.
  12. Bake the macarons on the middle shelf of the oven for about 10 minutes (all ovens are different so keep an eye on them! This is only a guideline time – mine normally take 8 minutes) the macaroons should be firm with the slightest amount of give.
  13. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack.
  14. Once cooled, pipe or spread enough marshmallow fluff onto one macaron shell so when it is joined and pressed to another, a little filling shows round the edges.
  15. I sprayed my macarons to create a golden sheen.