Thursday, 4 August 2011

Macaroons Filled With Dark Chocolate Mousse

If you feel like having a little bit of indulgence with your morning coffee, then why not try these gorgeous macaroons - they are a real crowd pleaser. We've all seen the lovely pastel-shaded delicate French macaroons all over the place at the moment, but these are a little bit more naughty with the dark and delicious chocolate mousse sandwiched in the middle. The macaroons are lovely and sweet, whereas the chocolate mousse is dark, nearly bitter, to contrast. Start by making the chocolate mousse as it needs to chill for a couple of hours.

For the Mousse:
200g dark chocolate (at least 70%)
3 eggs, separated
120ml warm water

Place the broken chocolate and water in a bain marie. Melt very slowly and once the chocolate has melted give the mixture a good stir and take off the heat to cool slightly before adding the egg yolks. Stir each egg yolk into the chocolate mixture individually. Now beat the egg whites into soft peaks and slowly fold into the chocolate mix. Pour into container and leave to chill for at least 2 hours.

For the Macaroons (from Baking Made Easy):
125g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
40g egg whites
2 tablespoons water
110g caster sugar
50g egg whites

Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Put the icing sugar, ground almonds and 40g egg whites (you can buy cartons of egg whites near the milk section of the supermarket) together in a large bowl and mix into a paste.

Put the water and caster sugar in a small pan and heat gently to melt the sugar then turn up the heat and boil to 115C (soft ball).

Whisk the egg whites in a small bowl until medium-stiff peaks form, then pour in the sugar syrup, whisking until the mixture becomes stiff and shiny.

Spoon into a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle. Pipe a little mixture under each corner of the baking paper to stop it moving around. With the bag held vertically, pipe 4cm flat circles onto the lined tray about 2cm apart. The mixture should be quite loose to give a smooth finish. Give the tray 2-3 slams on a flat surface to flatten them. Leave to stand for 30 minutes to form a skin then bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes with the door slightly ajar, until firm. Remove from the oven, lift the paper off the baking tray and leave to cool on the paper.

When cool, pipe the chocolate mousse between two macaroons and serve.
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