When I was thinking of what to bake for this year's holiday dessert, I was actually inspired by Trader Joe's Candy Cane Jo-Jo's. Never had them? They are like Oreos but with flakes of candy cane in the filling. So I thought, how I can French-it-up?
And the peppermint chocolate ganache macaron was born.
- 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)
I also couldn't stop taking pictures of them.
Chocolate Macaron Shells (get the printable recipe HERE)
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.Peppermint Chocolate Ganache
1 cup heavy cream
9 ounces dark chocolate chips (or bittersweet chocolate, chopped)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 tsp - 1 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp salt
crushed candy canes in a separate bowl
- In a sauce pan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat (the purpose of this is to get the cream hot enough to melt the chocolate!)
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for a minute.
- Add the peppermint, salt, and butter. Whisk until glossy and smooth. (If you like your ganache more pepperminty, add 1 tsp, if less, then add 3/4 tsp)
- Cover in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour (If you chill it too long until it is hard, that's okay, just use a spoon to whip it up and it will get soft again!)
- Once chilled, scoop the ganache into a piping bag with a round tip. Pipe on one of side for the macaron at the edge. Place the other macaron shell on, sandwiching the ganache in the center.
- Roll the macaron in the crushed candy canes in the bowl so that they stick to the ganache!
- Store in an airtight container and refrigerate! These taste best served the next day, so resist the urge and let them rest overnight! They will keep for several days in the fridge in an airtight container.
I feel like I could sell these they were so good!
I've included some outtakes from this photoshoot. Chloé the cat decided to do some photobombing and I thought I'd share...
***Jaws Theme Music Starts***
Why yes, I'l take a lick of the candy cane...
She left... then came back for another round. "What?" she says??
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