Time for another chocolate-based item, as who doesn't like chocolate?
I turned to my trusty Simply Heaven Chocolate recipe book and decided to try out a kitchen gadget I got for Christmas- a macaron mat and kit. These are delicious little mouthfuls of happiness and I was a bit nervous to make them myself, but I figured the kit would be able to help me.
Milk and White Chocolate Macarons
(adapted from Simply Heaven Chocolate)
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup cocoa
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup caster sugar
80g white chocolate melts
30g unsalted butter
100g cream cheese
1/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
Combine the icing sugar, almonds and cocoa in a food processor and process until super fine. Sift and remove any coarse pieces of almond.
Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Continue beating, gradually adding the sugar until dissolved.
Fold the almond mixture into the egg whites until just combined. Pipe onto tray then stand at room temperature for 30 minutes until the macarons form a light crust.
Bake at 150 degrees C for 22-28 minutes or until firm to the touch. Allow to cool on the trays.
To make the filling, combine the chocolate and butter and melt in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Beat together the cream cheese and extra icing sugar then beat into the chocolate mixture. Chill until firm enough to spread.
To assemble, spread chocolate filling on to half of the macarons and top with the remaining halves, pressing together gently.
The kit came with a piping squeeze container and a silicone baking sheet that had circles for guides on it. I was not sure which guide to use as there were two circles, so I did some to the larger circle and some only filling the smaller circle.
When they had cooked, I discovered that I needed to pipe to the outer circle- Now that I know that, my next batch will be more even. I was very pleased with the biscuits themselves though.
I sandwiched them together with filling and they were the perfect size to accompany a cup of coffee.
The verdict- Time consuming but delicious! I am happy to make these again as a lot of time was waiting for them to form a skin, then waiting for them to cool.