Raspberry and dark chocolate macarons
I thought it was about time that I made a chocolate macaron, being an obsessed chocoholic- but not just any chocolate macaron- something that would lift us from this winter gloom. Nothing says summer and warmth more than fresh berries, and since raspberries and dark chocolate are a perfect pair, I had my next macaron creation in my head in about 2 seconds! As I am writing this now, it is windy, freezing and pouring buckets outside, I am nursing a cold and Soy is overseas, so these macarons are a much needed lift in spirits! I also discovered that crème brûlées are very good for macaron-making. All the egg yolks go into making the crème brûlées, and the whites age happily in the fridge until it is time to make a batch of macarons.
I’ve been very jealous reading other food writers based in the US as it’s summer there, and everyone’s trying out recipes for ice-creams and sorbets with fresh berries and stone fruit. I found some very sad-looking fresh raspberries, and so decided to get frozen berries. I have a complicated relationship with frozen food. I think I am generally dubious about frozen food in general, even though I know fresh produce that is snap frozen retain their nutrients and can be just as good as fresh. I have to say, I do love the frozen baby peas from Aldi, and looking at these plump raspberries, they look pretty good too, don’t they?
I think I spent the most time grating my chocolate with a knife… but it was worth it! I just love this picture, as dark chocolate and raspberries are one of my favourite pairings of all time. Soy really doesn’t like chocolate and orange, and though my sister loves chocolate and mint, I’m not really a fan of mint in general. But I think we all agree on a berry and dark chocolate combination, so it satisfied everyone’s likes. All I did for the dark chocolate and raspberry ganache was to add a quantity of roughly chopped raspberries to my original ganache recipe, using dark chocolate this time.
I suppose it’s no secret that I like pink, and I think it was very big of Soy to allow the amount of pink we have on our website so I was completely in love with this shade of blush pink I envisioned for these macarons. And I just had to add some sprinklings of gold dust for an extra luxe feel!
I definitely think macarons are all about practice, and though I managed to pipe my filling on my macaron shells before dark for the first time, I think I still need lots of practice! And I have received many offers from friends who have said they will support me in my efforts to continue practising by eating my macarons up!
I think these raspberry and dark chocolate macarons are my favourite of the macarons I’ve made so far. The raspberries add both sweetness and a tang that undercuts the richness of the dark chocolate and balances out the flavour of the macaron as a whole. Then again, I think that by being chocolate, they do have an unfair advantage. Aesthetically, I absolutely love the dark brown and blush pink combination- it makes me think of a very chic wedding!
I know there are cooks out there for whom ideas for new creations come naturally. This is something still new to me, and I still have moments where I think “Wow, did I really manage to think that up? Did I really make that myself?” and I am grateful and thankful for the experience. I really look forward to experimenting with new flavours and sharing the recipes, so please leave me a comment and tell me, what flavours would you like to see next?
Raspberry and dark chocolate ganache macarons
adapted from Baroque Bistro Patisserie
RASPBERRY AND DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING
400g Fresh Cream
400g chocolate (dark couverture, at least 50% cocoa solids)
80g raspberries, chopped roughly
RASPBERRY MACARON SHELL
600g sifted TPT (300g Almond meal with 300g icing sugar)
120g egg whites
300g Caster sugar
120g egg whites
Step 1. MAKING YOUR FILLING:
Chop your chocolate to a very fine (grated) consistency.
Chop your butter into small cubes.
Commence boiling the cream.
Pour ¾ of the boiled cream into the grated chocolate and let sit for a few minutes to commence melting the chocolate.
Commence mixing with a spatula in a slow circular motion taking care not to incorporate any air.
Once you have a shiny and homogenous mixture, pour the remaining cream over the chocolate and repeat the mixing process. Check the temperature of the chocolate (not more than 55°C).
Add the butter and mix until the butter has completely absorbed into the chocolate. Add the chopped raspberries and mix gently.
Cover your ganache with clingfilm and leave in the fridge to set.
Step 2. MAKING YOUR MERINGUE SHELLS:
Mix the TPT with the egg whites, mixing vigorously until you have a smooth paste.
Mix the caster sugar, water and colour, commence cooking.
Place the aged egg whites in a Kitchenaid mixer with the whisk attachment.
Once the sugar has reached 115°C commence whipping your egg whites until they reach ‘soft peak’ consistency.
When the sugar reaches 118°C remove from the stove and pour slowly on the still mixing egg whites.
Turn the speed to maximum for around 1min and return to medium for another 2min and then let the meringue cool to around 50°C whilst mixing slowly.
Using a spatula commence incorporating the meringue into the TPT and egg white batter. Work the mix gently from the sides to the middle until you reach a homogenous, shiny texture.
Step 3. PIPING AND COOKING YOUR MERINGUE SHELLS:
Using a piping bag with no. 11 tip, pipe the shells onto a baking sheet according to the size template.
You should stop piping before the mix reaches the outside edge of the template.
Tap the tray gently on the side of the bench until the macaron reaches the size of the template.
Remove the template from beneath your baking sheet.
Leave the macarons outside at room temperature for 15 min or until they have formed a skin and are dry to touch.
Cook the macarons according to the cooking guide for your type of oven
Once cooked, slide the paper off the tray and let the shells cool (preferably on a wire rack)
Step 4. ASSEMBLING YOUR MACARONS
Pull the shells from the paper gently and turn them upside down.
Pair your macaron shells according to size and lay them out on your bench.
Put your raspberry and dark chocolate ganache into a piping bag.
Fill one half of your paired macaron shells filling them generously but keeping a space of approximately 3mm from the edge of the shell.
Pick up the macaron filled with ganache in one hand and the empty pair in the other and close the macaron by gently twisting the two shells together from left to right.
Remember to let the filling spread regularly all the way to the edge of the shells.
STORING AND SERVING
Put the finished macarons on a tray and leave them in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Prior to serving, let the macarons return to room temperature.