More Magical Macaron-ing…Chocolate, Colouring & Shaping
Tuesday August 7 2012
I’ve had a few requests for additional macaron-ing techniques, & the cool thing is that you can use my original macaron recipe/technique to achieve these…
Those who have visited my Jen’s Just Desserts Facebook Page know that I have tried all different kinds of macaron techniques: food-coloured, hand-painted (with gel paste food colour + vodka), and/or shaped into fun characters & other shapes. Oh, & sprinkled, decorated, etc. etc. There are soooo many things you can do with macarons, above & beyond the de-luscious flavour combinations you can achieve! Here are just a few examples of my previous macaron madness:
But one thing at a time, right? So here’s one variation to start with already: chocolate macaron shells. Again, you just start with my original macaron recipe/technique & add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the recipe.* Be sure you sieve the cocoa powder along with the almond flour (finely ground almonds) & icing sugar. (Please be sure you discard the yucky stuff that doesn’t make it through the sieve). *Some may tell you to reduce the amount of almond flour by the amount of cocoa powder you’re adding, but I don’t do this, as I find I am discarding this amount of coarse almond flour anyway…
So just follow the recipe… yada yada yada & here’s the important part: the macaronage stage. Fold the macaron batter around 40-50 times, or until it “plops” back onto itself with no lumps or bumps. If you want to add food colouring to some or all of the mix – separate the batter into separate bowls – depending on how many colours you want to mix - once you have folded around 30 times. This will allow you to fold an additional 10-20 times to incorporate the food colour(s) into the batter(s). You just want to ensure that all of the batter is of the same consistency…
Here’s a hopefully helpful tip: To prevent your batter from oozing out of the piping tip before you’re ready to pipe, I put a bit of tape on the end…
If you are using a secondary colour to “overlay” or pipe accents onto the first batch of batter, don’t use a piping tip; instead, just snip off the end of the piping bag: approximately 1/4 inch in diameter. (& Once you are done with the accent work, you can cut a bigger hole to pipe full-sized macarons).
OK, so here’s a fun technique (& if you don’t have the time or inclination to pipe shapes &/or paint your macarons after they’re cooked). I piped regular round macarons, then added the accent colour by piping right over the round. This has to be done before the round/base shape has time to start drying.
You’ll know that your batters are the right consistency if the accent colour blends smoothly into the base shell; the accent colour should be “flush” with the base. This should happen on its own, but may be encouraged when you do the “tap-tap” of the tray on your countertop.
You can also pipe various shapes. My tip here is to make “exaggerated” shapes, because the batter will spread a bit.
And then here’s the TA-DAAAA moment of the accent colour baked into the base shell, so no further decoration required.
A few other notes that you may or may not find useful: Almond flour is the same as ground almonds. You can grind your own almonds or almond flakes; just be sure to ground them as finely as you can. (OK, now addicted to Crazy Jack, but Waitrose’s almond flour also seems to be a finer texture). And here are the infamous pastel eggs I favour. They’re organic/free-range & awesome!
Here’s the inside of the pastel egg. Look at the colour of these yolks! Oh, & don’t throw your yolks away after macaron-ing. You can make curd, or custard, or other yolk-y things.