Apple & Elderberry Macarons
Peaky batch. After making macarons a number of times, it’s still pretty hit or miss with these little diva shells. I got the beautiful peaky shiny meringue. I got the ‘magma’ flowing mix with the almond meal. I piped, tapped the trays and waited. Yet there were still stubborn peaks on the macaron shells. I’m thinking my magma wasn’t quite flowing right.
One thing about macarons. Whether they are smooth and pretty or not so pretty slightly deformed mounds – they all taste the same. Good same. Yummy same.
On a recent trip home from a snow weekend, we stopped by a berry farm. I know fresh berries aren’t in season during winter, but the farm was open, and there were berry products which we could taste! Free tastings are always good right? There were berry jams, berry wines, syrup, sauce – all things berrilicious. I left with a wonderful jar of chunky and sticky fig jam and a smooth and shiny apple and elderberry jelly.
This is the first time I’ve filled macs with ganache and am really glad to say they’re a perfect fit. I used the apple and elderberry jelly to flavour the white chocolate ganache and the subtle fruity flavours came through just enough. Could have done with a bit more of a fruity hit but I didn’t want to add on more jelly as the sugar high from one of these mamas would have been ridiculous!
Summer’s on the way (read BERRIES galore!!), so next time I’ll add fresh berries to the ganache instead.
In the meantime, here’s the recipe. I’m off to enjoy another round of Glee marathon before I break into Season 3. Yes, I’m a Gleek!
200g almond meal
200g confectioners’ sugar
150g egg whites, divided into two 75g portions
Line baking trays with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Process almond meal with confectioners’ sugar in a food processor. Sieve out any large bits of almond.
Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat on medium until all the sugar is dissolved.
Meanwhile, place 75g of egg whites in a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment.
Continue cooking until the sugar syrup reaches 118 C. While the sugar is cooking, begin whisking the egg whites. They should reach stiff peaks by the time the syrup is at 118 C. If it whips too fast, turn down or turn off the mixer.
Turn the mixer speed to low. Carefully pour the sugar syrup in a slow stream into the mixer.
Turn the mixer speed to high and let the meringue whip for several minutes until it has cooled and appears glossy and firm.
In a large bowl, combine the almond meal mixture with the remaining 75g of egg whites until partially combined.
Scoop the meringue on top of the almond meal mixture. Using a spatula or dough scraper, carefully fold the meringue in, trying not to deflate it.
The final batter should be thick and flow slowly like magma. Do not overmix.
Pipe 1 ½” rounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Let the sheets sit for about 20 minutes to let the shells harden.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160 C.
Bake one set of macarons for 12-14 minutes, rotating once.
Let tray cool for a few minutes before removing from the silicone mat. Let finish cooling on wire racks.
APPLE & ELDERBERRY WHITE CHOC GANACHE
50ml pouring cream
100g white chocolate
5 tbps apple and elderberry jelly
Bring cream just to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate, stand until melted (5 minutes), stir until smooth and glossy. Refrigerate until firm yet still pliable (45 minutes-1 hour) then stir until smooth. Add jelly, stir till fully combined.