If you regularly read my blog, you know that I *love* macarons. I tried one many years ago and was in love. Then one day several years ago, my Dad and I decided we were going try to bake them.
Of course we couldn't just make one, we made a whole day of it... We made 6 flavors and about 600 macarons.
Since then, I have been practicing and baking them with all sorts of different flavors. Today I present to you the chocolate orange ganache macaron!
You know those little chocolate oranges that you wack on the table to break the orange apart that are popular at Christmas? That is what inspired this flavor!
The oranges and satsumas came from my garden... that is what I love about California. The rest of the country is covered in snow and we can walk outside and pick fruit!
(I used oranges for the flavor and satsumas and oranges for the photoshoot)
If you've never made macarons before, let me tell you, these are very finicky cookies. In fact, the French don't consider them cookies at all, they are actually considered little pastries (as I was told by a Parisian in one of the patisseries, or rather, scolded, for thinking they were cookies).
Here are a few tips...
Never make them on a rainy day. They will not turn out.
When you are folding your almond flour into the meringue, you have to get it just right. The right consistency is like that of molten lava.
You have to have a scale to weigh your ingredients. The tbsp and cups do not work.
You have to be in the right mood. Seriously. If you are stressed, they will not turn out because you will mess something up in the process.
Materials needed:Materials needed:
- silicone spatula (I use this one)
- parchment paper or silat (I like this silpat made in France)
- electric mixer (your hand will get tired whipping the meringue, I use a Kitchenaid, I actually use this super professional one in cherry red, but the entry level model is a nice start too! They actually make a "mini" one now too! )
- a food scale (yes, you need this. I use this one)
- Food coloring (the gels or dry powder works best, not the liquid store stuff)
- A macaron template (either make one or get one here or here. It makes piping easier)
- food processor (for the cream filling, I use this one)
260g almond flour
250g powdered sugar
15g cocoa powder
210g granulated sugar
210g egg whites
brown food coloring, *optional*
brown food coloring, *optional*
1. Mix almond meal, cocoa powder, and the powdered sugar in a food processor. Be careful not to grind too long, otherwise it will form a paste.
2. Sift the almonds, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. Set aside.
3. Weigh out granulated sugar.
4. Weigh the egg whites. Beat them slowly on a low speed until foamy. SLOWLY add the granulated sugar to the egg whites as you beat. Once all mixed, increase speed to medium and beat until a firm meringue forms. You want a firm meringue with glossy peaks but not stiff peaks. They should defy gravity and remain in the bowl if you turn it upside down. If you tilt your bowl to the side and they are sliding out, keep beating.
5. Add the food coloring gel and mix. To make mine a richer brown color, I used "chocolate brown" food coloring.
6. Then fold in 1/3rd of the almond/sugar mixture into the meringue with a silicone spatula. Once combined, add another third of the almond mixture. Add last bit. This batter requires more deflation during this step since it creates such a poofy meringue.
7. Add the batter to a piping bag. Pipe in rows using your template onto parchment paper.
8. Pick up the pan and beat until the counter. The cookies need to rest on the counter between 30-60 minutes. They are ready to go in the oven when they are dry to touch (the shell shouldn’t stick to your finger)
9. Set the oven to 300F.
10. Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes one sheet at a time. They are done when they look kind of matte and seem firm when you lightly tap on them. You can always rescue a slightly overcooked one with the maturation process that comes later, but you cannot rescue an undercooked one!!
11. Remove from paper once completely cool. If they stick they stick to the paper, they aren’t cool yet.
Chocolate Orange Ganache Filling (adopted from this French website)
150g dark chocolate, finely chopped
100g heavy cream
zest of one orange (or clementine/satsuma)
50g of fresh squeezed orange juice
1. In a small saucepan, heat the cream with the zest of one orange. Do not let it boil, just when it starts to steam. Leave it to infuse for 30 minutes. I turned it off the heat and covered the saucepan while it infused.
2. Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.3. After 30 minutes, bring the cream just to a simmer (just to get the cream hot enough to melt the chocolate)
4. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute. Then, gently stir the chocolate and cream until the chocolate has melted. Do not whip it, you want to gently stir it as not to add air into the ganache. Next, add the orange juice and gently mix in until combined.
5. Next, pour into a dish and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before placing in your macaron shells. You can store the ganache in the fridge for longer (I do not know how long, probably until the cream expires?)
Either pipe or spread the ganache over one macaron shell, then place another on top. Store in an airtight container for 24 hours in the fridge. Take them out of the fridge 2 hours before eating them. Resist the urge to eat them immediately - I promise they will be better on the second day!
*note* You can use either fresh orange, clementine, or satsuma for these cookies - they will all taste good!
I thought these were a great alternative to the peppermint chocolate ganache to make for the Christmas holidays as I know there are quite a few peppermint haters.
This is a great website with lots of info on Macaron Troubleshooting!
They are really really good. You can't eat just one.
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