Saturday 28 December 2013

Champagne Macarons

Dear readers,

I wanted to create a recipe using popping candy and I thought that champagne macarons would be the perfect vehicle for this ingredient. It was also a great time of year to eat champagne macarons and I had managed to save a little champagne from my birthday earlier in the month.

I was unsure on how to incorporate the popping candy since the 'pop' would disappear if it came into contact with anything wet. I came across this recipe where the popping candy had been coated with white chocolate to protect the chocolate from the moisture in the buttercream.

I used the same base recipe and method as I did for my Kaffir Lime and Coconut Macarons, and followed the idea of coating the popping candy from The Little Loaf.

Champagne Macarons
90g egg white
140g + 200g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
44g caster sugar
45ml champagne
100g butter
100g white chocolate
50g popping candy
Gold edible lustre

This recipe will make around 32 macarons (64 shells).

Sieve the almonds and 140g of the icing sugar together. Whisk the egg whites until they become stiff, then add the caster sugar and whisk until stiff again. Fold in the sieved icing sugar and ground almonds. Stir a few times until the batter has a runny consistency. Pour the mixture into a piping bag and pipe circles of the mixture onto silicone baking sheets. Bang the baking tray gently on a flat surface to help the circles flatten and remove excess air. Leave to rest for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the macarons in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 140°C. Place a wooden spoon in the door of the oven to hold it ajar for the duration of the cooking. Bake for 18 minutes, then set aside to cool before removing from the baking sheet. Gently dust the shells with gold edible lustre.

Gently melt the white chocolate in the microwave. Pour in the popping candy, mix well and then pour out onto baking paper. Allow to cool then peel off of the baking paper and break it up into small pieces.

Sieve 200g icing sugar and cream with the butter, then mix in the champagne. Pipe the buttercream onto the base of one shell, place in a couple of pieces of popping candy chocolate, add a little more buttercream and glue together with another shell. Repeat until all shells have been glued together.

The chocolate certainly helped protect the popping candy from the moisture in the buttercream, however, after a couple of days the 'popping' had significantly reduced. Therefore, I would recommend eating the macarons as quickly as possible after they have been made.

I left the piped macaron circles to rest by a radiator, since it was the middle of December when I made these. If the circles are dry to touch then they are ready. If they are not, leave them to rest a little longer.

The champagne flavour was very subtle but it was detectable. I was thinking about combining the champagne with another flavour in the shells, but I am very glad that I decided not to because I am sure that it would have taken away the champagne flavour in the buttercream.

I found these macarons to be more successful (structure-wise) than my previous Kaffir Lime and Coconut Macarons. I was quite impressed when they baked first time with perfect feet and a lovely sheen on the top! I think that the banging of the piped circles is a very important step when making macarons.

I couldn't resist including a photo with my beautiful red sparkly Christmas nails!


I wish you all a wonderful New Year. I will be abroad working with chocolate and hope to post about it soon!