French Macarons with Pomegranate
For the French Macaron:
- 71gm sliced blanched almonds
- 117gm powdered sugar
- 2 large egg whites at room temperature
- 53gm sugar
- 1 tablespoon of pomegranate flavoring
- food colouring: red, pink, fuchsia
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- 200gm dark chocolate
- 150ml whipping cream
- 15gm butter
1) Preheat oven to 140 degrees C.
2) Place almonds in a food processor; process until as fine as possible, about 1 minute. Plus in intervals of 15 seconds and then stop to allow the blades to cool a bit. Add powdered sugar process until combined for another minute.
3) Pass almond/sugar mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. If you find large pieces of almonds in your sieve, just transfer in sieve to food processor and blitz again. Sift again, pressing down on clumps. Repeat until less than 2 tablespoons of solids remains.
4) Whisk egg whites until foamy and light. Start adding the sugar by hand to combine. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes more. Then beat on high speed for 2 minutes more.
5) The beaten egg whites will hold stiff, glossy peaks when you lift the whisk out of the bowl. Add flavouring and food colouring, if desired, and beat on highest speed 30 seconds.
6) Add dry ingredients all at once. Fold with a spatula from the bottom of bowl upward, then press flat side of spatula firmly through middle of mixture. Repeat just until batter flows like lava (about 35 to 40 complete strokes with the spatula).
7) Rest a pastry bag fitted with a 4-5mm round tip inside a glass or a cup. Transfer batter to bag. Dab some batter remaining in bowl onto corners of 2 heavy baking sheets, lined with parchment parer or use silicon mat.
8) With piping tip 1.5cm above sheet, pipe batter into a 4cm round, then swirl tip off to one side. Repeat, spacing rounds 2cm apart. Tap sheets firmly against counter 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles. Allow the macarons to dry a bit (the tops should be dry when touched).
9) Bake until risen and just set, 13 minutes. Let cool.
10) To prepare the ganache, heat whipping cram almost to a boiling point, remove from the heat. Pour over the chocolate, cover and allow to rest for few minutes. Use a whisk to homogenise. Leave to thicken at room temperature before using.
11) Pipe or spread chocolate ganache on flat sides of half of cookies and top with remaining half.