An Occasion for Chocolate Macaroons

Kyly and Jay get Hitched

 

 

I suppose it’s only natural, with two elder sisters ‘ being only 11 and half months apart in age that their weddings fell only a few months apart. However, my grandfather thinks weddings/engagements have become infectious in our family and gives me 5 months till I’m hitched! I beg to differ, plus, being the (healthy) free spirit that I am, I am immune to the romantic-wedding-bug that seems to be lingering around our house. My grandfather will just have to wait, besides I have other sisters that are welcome to get married, although they are a bit young so I hope they too are not acceptable to any romantic bugs .

 

 

Any who,back to the weddings. Both Carina’s and Kyly’s weddings were fabulous, and as much in personality and taste do they differ (despite their proximity in age) as too did their weddings. Carina’s wedding was… well, very Carina and Kyly’s was… well, very Kyly. Carina’s was very traditional and so quite formal (see four posts down for pics); and Kyly’s was anything but traditional and so completely informal. In true Kyly style she opted for a less traditional wedding garb: a short wedding dress, lace gloves, a petite veil and to finish the look, a pair of Ox-blood Doc’s – and did she not look cute? Her, now, husband Jay too expressed his idiosyncrasies through his shoes as he wore Skate shoes. The two of them are such an adorably original couple!

 

 

Aside from their unique wardrobe, the décor at the wedding too stood out – and that is partly the reason why I wanted to do a post on their wedding. For those of you who don’t know my sister, Kyly is a highly creative-perfectionistic-mad-woman. She made all the decorations for her wedding and they were beautiful! She sewed all the bunting, and you can’t see in the pictures but bloody hell it was neat! The origami boxes, that you see my macaroons in, she made. She made tons of the bloody things each table had about 5 unique origami boxes on them – filled with sweets and chocolates (of course). She also made clay name placements, tiny windmills, paper flowers and so much more – it all looked so beautiful.

 

 

The wedding also, naturally, was a huge party and, naturally, I danced my heart out. The food was amazing too – Lamb by the dozen! Oh and to top it off, again going against the traditional wedding vein: dessert was ice-lollies — which is a lovely treat when you’re boozed!

 

 

Oh and, her husband (Jay) designed their wedding invite (pic above). I must say, Jay is pretty damn good at getting his likeness 😉

 

You know what? I love weddings, I think I might just have one 😉 perhaps there is some sort of bug going around 😉

 

 

Now onto macaroons. I know most of you are so sick of seeing a macaroon post – to tell you the truth I am a bit too. However, they are so delicious and pretty and they look so nice in the origami boxes my sister made that I couldn’t resist. Also, they are quite tricky to make. A lot of people I have spoken to haven’t been able to make them. They often find their macaroons crack in the oven, or melt together. So here is what I have discovered works:

 

  1. Firstly, I don’t think aging your egg whites is completely necessary – I didn’t and mine worked
  2. Size does matter – eggs are not just eggs! I find that 3 Pick n Pay LARGE free-range eggs are perfect (3 large egg-whites = approximately 90g)
  3. Don’t over or under beat your egg-whites. You want stiff peaks, as soon as you reach stiff STOP beating! Otherwise your whites will become too dry and your macaroons will have too much air in them. And don’t under-beat cause then you wont have enough air in your whites.
  4. Sift your icing sugar and almond flour and grind any left-over big pieces of almonds. I find it works well if you blend your icing sugar and almond flour together in a food processor – it combines them nicely.
  5. You don’t have to be too careful. When you fold your icing sugar and almond flour into your stiff egg-whites you want to bash out a lot of the air. I find about 25-30 folds works well.
  6. But, don’t over-fold! Your mixture must not be too runny. I have read online that a lot of people refer to the batter looking like ‘lava”. OK, (for me) I disagree. Since I have never encountered lava I have always thought it to be quite runny – that’s what it looks like on TV! So I would rather suggest a batter that resembles a thick crumpet batter. To test, spoon a bit of the macaroon mix onto a plate, if within ten seconds, it gives a bit and the top settles a bit, it’s ready. You want your macaroon blob to spread a little (like 2mm in diameter) and the top to smooth out.
  7. BE CALM AND WAIT FOR A SKIN. Once you have piped your macaroons you want to leave them t until a skin forms. Only when you can touch them and none of the batter sticks to your finger are they ready for the oven. It can take anywhere from 15mins to an hour for a skin to form.
  8. Set your oven to 150 degrees Celsius and make sure it is 150, I use an oven thermometer to make sure my oven is at 150. I find a thermal-fan oven works well.
  9. Leave your macaroons in until you can remove them from the parchment paper – about 17mins. Around 6 minutes in you can open the oven door and turn to rotate your pan if your oven does not cook evenly. Oh and wax paper is NOT the same as baking paper, so NEVER use wax paper your macaroons will stick!
  10. Allow them to cool before taking them off the parchment paper.

 

 

Recipe:

 

 

Chocolate Macaroons with Dark Chocolate Ganache

 

 

Ingredients:

110g almond flour

200g icing sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder

90g egg whites (3 large egg-whites)

pinch of cream of tartar

40g caster sugar

Pre-heat your oven to 150 degrees celcius

In a food processor blend the icing sugar with the almond flour.

In an electric cake mixer beat your egg whites until they are foamy, then add the cream of tar tar.

Continue to mix and once the mix starts looking like shaving-cream, add your caster sugar bit-by-bit (about a spoon at a time).

Blend your egg whites until they are form stiff peaks.

Sift your icing sugar and almond flour, and process any big bits of almonds that don’t fit through your sieve.

Fold the icing sugar and almond flour mix into your egg-whites.

Fold until the mix resembles a thick cake/crumpet batter.

Place the mix into a piping bag and pipe small rounds onto parchment paper (baking paper).

Leave until a skin forms on the surface of your macaroons.

When the surface has formed a ski, and when touched with a finger leaves no batter, pop into the oven for 15-17minutes or until the macaroons come away from the parchment paper when lifetd.

Dark Chocolate Ganache:

250g 70% cocoa rich chocolate

125ml cream

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl. Set the cream on the stove and bring to the boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until melted. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.

When thick and cooled, pipe onto a macaroon half, then sandwich together with another macaroon half.

 

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