Cat shaped French macarons with a dark chocolate ganache core then finished with fresh blackberries. Decorated with royal icing and glitter for Halloween. Dairy and gluten free.
FOR THE MACARON SHELLS:
- 106 grams of almond meal
- 106 grams powdered sugar
- 41 and 45 grams of egg whites divided
- 115 grams of granulated sugar
- 79 grams of water
- dash of cream of tartar or lemon juice for stabilizing
- Black powdered or gel food coloring
- Two piping bags fitted with round tips 12 and 3 (for ears)
FOR THE FILLING:
Dark Chocolate Ganache (Dairy Free):
- 1 cup dairy free dark chocolate
- 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp meringue powder
- 2 tbsp warm water
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- yellow and black gel or powdered food coloring
- Tipless piping bags
- Fresh blackberries rinsed and patted dry.
- Edible gold glitter or luster dust
- Edible ink pens
For the macarons:
- Wipe down the mixing bowl and whisk attachment with vinegar to remove any built up residue. This will ensure that the egg whites whisk up properly.
- Prep and measure all of the ingredients using a kitchen scale.
- Prep piping bags with a round tips. I use Wilton tip 12 and small tip 3.
- Line 2 baking sheets with silpat.
- Combine measured almond meal & powdered sugar together in a bowl. Sift one time to remove any lumps, discarding of them, then mix together to break up clumps.
- Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour the 41 grams of measured egg whites into the center of the dry mixture. Fold together until blended then add black food coloring and mix well until fully incorporated. The finished mix will be paste-like. Set aside.
- For the sugar syrup:
- To make the sugar syrup, heat granulated sugar and water in a pot on medium heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side. **Be careful to make sure the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot**.
- Once the thermometer’s temperature reaches approximately 200 degrees F, place the 45 grams of measured egg whites in the stand mixer and whisk on medium speed, to soft peaks.
- Add a drop of lemon juice or dash of cream of tartar to stabilize, THEN continue whisking.
- If the egg whites are at soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248 F, turn the mixer down to low speed to keep the egg whites moving.
- Watch the sugar syrup closely.
- As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees F, remove from heat.
- Quickly increase mixer speed to medium and begin slowly pouring the sugar syrup down the side of your mixing bowl into the meringue until thoroughly combined.
- THEN increase the mixing speed to high and whisk sugar and meringue together until glossy and stiff peaks form and the meringue has cooled. (The meringue should keep its form.)
- Gently transfer finished meringue into the almond/powdered sugar mixture in thirds, making sure that it’s fully incorporated before adding the additional 3rd of meringue.
- Start the macaronage process by folding the batter in a circular motion, going around the edges of the bowl, then once through the center. Repeat these steps until smooth and thick ribbons of batter run off the spatula.
- **Be careful not to over-mix**
- You want the batter to be slightly thick, but not so thin that it does not hold the ribbon shape. Err on the side of caution.
- Transfer batter to the prepped piping bag(s). You will only need a small portion of batter in the piping bag fitted with tip 3.
- Pipe 1 1/2 inch rounds about one inch apart on the lined baking sheet.
- Be sure to hold the piping bag about 1/2 inch directly above the baking sheet when piping the rounds holding the bag steadily. Continue to pipe until you’ve filled an entire baking sheet.
- Then go back and add the triangle ears to the top edge of every other macaron round, being sure that the ears level with the height of the round batter.
- *Tap the macarons on the counter three times to release air bubbles.
- *Pop any air bubbles that might’ve come to the surface, using a scribe or a toothpick.
- Before placing the macarons in the oven, let them to rest until a proper skin has formed on the outside of the shell. This can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Test by touching the piped rounds to make sure they’re dry to touch and that no batter comes off on fingers.
- Preheat oven to 305 degrees F.
- Once dry to touch, place the macarons in the middle rack of the oven.
- Feet will form halfway through the baking process.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool fully before removing the shells from the silpat/parchment paper.
- Once macarons are completely cool, gently remove from parchment paper/silpat.
- Repeat the same steps to bake the remaining macaron batter.
- They’re ready to decorate and fill.
FOR THE DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
- Heat dark chocolate in a double boiler until smooth.
- Heat coconut milk to simmer in a separate pot until simmering.
- Slowly pour heated coconut milk into the dark chocolate stirring until completely combined.
- Allow to cool, then transfer to a piping bag to fill the macarons.
- Evenly pipe rounds of ganache into the center of the bottom of each macaron shell. Top with second shell to create a sandwich.
- Then add the blackberries around the dark chocolate ganache until they cover the shell. Each macaron will fit 5-6 blackberries.
- Pipe one more dollop of ganache in the center of the bottom macaron and top with the cat faced shell. Repeat steps for all macarons then dust with glitter. Transfer to the fridge to mature 12 hours or overnight.
- Serve and enjoy!
Macarons with fresh fruit have shorter shelf life. I recommend eating within 24 hours of making, or 2 days max. Shells will soften and potentially breakdown if sat for much longer.
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