I seem to go through phases of using loads of egg yolks. I can’t bring myself to toss the rest, so then end up with a little bowl of egg whites in the fridge that is just waiting for me to do something with them.
I also took a trip up to the city a few weeks ago and went to Miette, treating myself to a Rose and Geranium macaron, made like the rest of their flavours using whole skin-on almonds, fresh blitzed, so that they retain little flecks of the almond skin.
These two things, and it being free from week on GBBO (they are after all, gluten-free), inspired these little lovelies.
I used almond meal from Bob’s, rather than whole almonds, but the flecks in them are down to peppermint leaves mixed in with the almond meal and icing sugar for flavour.
Peppermint and Chocolate Macarons – adapted from the Rose and Raspberry Macarons recipe from The Boy who Bakes by Edd Kimber. (NB. also many Macaron recipes on his blog @ theboywhobakes.co.uk)
170g icing sugar
160g ground almonds
120ml egg whites from about 4 medium eggs, divided into two equal batches
160g granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp dried peppermint leaves (note: this can be pure peppermint tea leaves)
100g finely chopped dark chocolate
100ml double cream
Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
Put the icing sugar, ground almonds, and peppermint into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fully combined. Sift this mixture into a large bowl, discarding any small particles that stay in the sieve.
Add the first batch of egg whites to the almond mixture, mix together to form a thick paste, then set aside.
Put 50ml of water and the granulated sugar in a small pan set over medium heat. Bring to the boil and have a sugar thermometer ready.
Meanwhile, put the second bowl of egg whites into a clean, grease-free bowl (note: Edd recommends using a stand mixer, but I find that it’s not enough mixture to work in my stand mixer?) and whisk them on medium.
Start whisking the whites on high speed when the syrup in the pan reaches about 110C on the sugar thermometer. Cook the syrup until it registers 118C. Pour the syrup slowly down the side of the bowl with the whites, avoiding the beaters.
Continue to whisk the meringue on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and the bowl is no longer hot to the touch but is still warm.
Scrape the meringue onto the almond mixture and gently fold together. It is important not to overmix the batter, it should fall in a thick ribbon from the spatula, fading back into the batter within about 30 seconds. If it doesn’t, fold a few more times.
Add the batter to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm wide plain piping nozzle. Pipe rounds about 2.5cm in diameter onto the prepared baking trays.
preheat the oven 170C/ 150C (fan)/340F/ gas mark 3, and leave the piped rounds to rest for about 30 minutes, or until the macarons have developed a skin and are no longer sticky. Bake for 12 minutes, then immediately slide the parchment onto the work surface and allow the macarons to cool for a few minutes before gently sliding them off the paper, and allowing to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Put the chopped chocolate into a medium bowl and set aside. Put the double cream into a small pan set over medium heat, and bring just to the boil. Pour over the chocolate and leave to stand for a few minutes, and then gently stir until just smooth and combined. Allow it to stand until thickened enough to hold its shape. Fill a piping bag, fitted with a small piping nozzle, with the ganache and pipe onto half the macarons.
Sandwich with another macaron.
They are pretty tasty!
It is a more subtle hint of peppermint flavour than you would get from using peppermint extract, and the taste of peppermint from leaves is different. If you prefer, you could add some peppermint extract to the mixture to enhance it, but I really like the effect of the bits of leaves in the finished macarons!