Confession time... When I set this month's We Should Cocoa theme, I was so busy trying to come up with an ingredient that hadn't already been picked, I didn't spare a second to think about what I was actually going to make myself... and I have to admit, I was a little stumped at first! As the days and then initial weeks went on, I had a few ideas, and as luck would have it, each time I had an idea, someone submitted the same bake a few hours later on the linky... I mean - seriously, it happened three times!!! And then last weekend, it finally hit me - a Mint Chocolate Macaron! Of course!
These little emerald beauties that you see today are actually the second attempt to make a Mint Chocolate Macaron, the first attempt being perfectly edible and tasty, but had a few technical difficulties. Firstly, I used a peppermint essence rather than an extract, and the resulting mint flavour was practically non-existent. Secondly, I used a liquid food colour, and the combined liquid from the essence and the food colour affected the stability of the meringue, meaning that my macarons didn't rise or develop feet. Finally, I coloured the mixture a beautiful pale peppermint colour, which just turned brown and unattractive in the oven. All that being said, they did taste just fine, and I promise none of those issues would arise from this version of the recipe!
Ingredients (makes approx 20 shells/ 10 macarons)
40 grams ground almonds
65 grams icing sugar
1 egg white
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (not essence)
green food colour gel
100 grams double cream
100 grams good quality dark mint chocolate (I used Green & Black's)
- Mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together well in a bowl, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add the caster sugar and egg white, and whisk together until it forms stiff glossy peaks. Once the mixture has stiffened, add the gel food colouring, and whisk until the meringue mixture is evenly coloured.
- Add the almond mixture, and the peppermint extract, and fold into the meringue base. Do this gently, and with as few turns of the spoon as possible. You are aiming for a consistency similar to shaving foam, if you stir too much the mixture will become runny, and the macarons won't rise properly.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag, and pipe the macarons onto a sheet of greaseproof paper, leaving plenty of room between each to allow for spreading.
- Set aside for 60 minutes until the macarons form a shell, and are no longer sticky to touch. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees, and then bake for 15 minutes or until the shells peel easily from the greaseproof paper.
- Remove the shells from the paper and place on a cooling rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the ganache filling. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it just starts to bubble. Add the chocolate a little at a time and whisk into the cream. Continue until all the chocolate has been added, and the mixture is thick and glossy. Transfer the ganache to a bowl to cool.
- Once the macaron shells have cooled and the ganache has set, transfer the ganache to a piping bag, and fill half the shells. Sandwich the macarons together, and refrigerate for 60 minutes.