My Recipe Box

Mint Chocolate Macarons

RATE IT

Yields about 40 macarons

  • by Jacqueline Mercorelli from Sweet Macarons

For the filling:
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 6 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. heavy cream
  • 1-3/4 oz. white chocolate with 35% cacao content (such as Valrhona Ivoire)
  • 1/2 tsp. acacia honey (or other mild honey)
  • 1 Tbs. crème de menthe (optional)
  • green paste or powder food coloring
For the shells:
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1-1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. powdered egg white
  • Pinch of salt
  • Few drops of lemon juice
  • Green and yellow paste or powder food coloring
  • Chocolate or green sprinkles
  •  Valrhona Perles Craquantes or chocolate chips, for assembly
Make the filling (one day ahead):

Infuse the mint with 1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. of the cream by heating them over low heat just until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat and let the mint infuse for 1 hour. Strain using a fine-mesh sieve.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave. Bring the infused cream and the honey to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the melted chocolate in 3 parts and stir with a spatula to obtain a mixture that is smooth, shiny, and elastic. Add the remaining cream and mix well (with an immersion blender, if necessary), being careful not to incorporate air into the ganache. Refrigerate overnight.

Prepare ingredients for the shells (one day ahead)::

Separate the egg whites from their yolks and whisk together. Refrigerate in a covered container overnight.

Roast the almond meal at 300ºF for 10 minutes and allow to cool. Mix the almond meal and confectioner's sugar in a food processor, making sure they don't overheat.

Bake the shells:

Remove the egg whites from the fridge and let them come to room temperature.

Mix together 1 Tbs. of the sugar and the powdered egg white (if using). In a stand mixer, gently beat half the egg whites with the salt and 2 drops of lemon juice. When the whites begin to foam, incorporate the sugar-egg white mixture in three additions, raising the mixer speed after each addition until all the sugar is added. The meringue will become structured and begin to form soft peaks. If they reach soft peaks before the syrup is ready (next step), reduce the mixer speed and continue to run on low speed until you're ready to proceed.

While beating the egg whites, put the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Make sure not to stir once the syrup begins to heat. When the syrup reaches 230ºF on a candy thermometer, and the egg whites have reached soft peaks, increase the stand mixer speed to high, and gently pour the syrup in a steady stream down the side of the mixer bowl. Turn the speed down to medium and beat this mixture as it cools to 100ºF.

Heat the oven to 300ºF and put 2 baking sheets on racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.

While the meringue cools, use a spatula to mix the remaining half of the egg whites with the sugar-almond meal mixture to achieve what looks like almond paste, then add enough green food coloring (and just a little yellow) to tint the batter pale green. Slowly incorporate the Italian meringue into this mixture with a rubber spatula, starting from the middle of the bowl and moving upward and out. (This is what the French call macaronnage.) The batter should fall back upon itself in a heavy ribbon.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8- or 1/4-inch tip. Pipe the macaron shells in staggered rows onto perforated baking sheets covered with silicone-lined baking paper or parchment paper. Decorate the shells with sprinkles. Place the shells in the oven on the heated baking sheets. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Remove the shells from the baking paper (if you're using regular parchment, you may need to place the paper over a damp surface to remove the shells easily). Let the shells cool down a bit, turn them over, and make a small indentation on the flat bottom with your thumb to make room for the filling.

Assemble the macarons:

Add the crème de menthe to the ganache and beat the mixture to firm peaks. Transfer it to a pastry bag  with a tip and use it to fill the macarons, piping a dollop of filling onto one shell, topping with a few Perles Craquantes or chocolate chips, and gently topping with the second shell.that with a second shell.

Photo: Sigrid Verbert

header

MEET THE CHEFS FROM SEASON ONE

Cookbooks, DVDs & More