Trying to get used to my new oven in Pennsylvania is well, trying. The first large batch of these chocolate shells were a disaster. They developed flat feet and then spontaneously combusted. The ones on the ends of the baking sheet did anyway. Burned beyond recognition. I congratulated myself because I had not had such a spectacular macaron failure in quite some time.
Once I figured out the less hot part of the oven, the next round went better. Then there was the consequent issue of where exactly in the house to photograph them. Still learning where the best light is.
No one who has a country house has a right to complain about anything. Seriously. So I'll just move on to one of my favorite subjects...avocados.
I can't get enough of them lately. Slathered on a piece of dark German million grain bread then drizzled with a bit of olive oil with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. At 75 cents a piece in the market recently I over bought and had to find more uses for them.
A quick search revealed Alton Brown's Avocado Buttercream recipe , the wheels started turning and I was off to the macaron races.
I went with mini sized shells in case the filling flavor did not work but this unusual buttercream with it's smooth avocado flavor was the perfect complement to the crunchy, chewy chocolate shells.
Mini Chocolate Macarons with
Avocado Chocolate Chip Filling
- 90 grams of egg whites - aged at least 2 days. Let them sit out on the counter uncovered.
- 25-50 grams of fine granulated sugar
- 200 grams of powdered sugar (minus 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 110 Grams of almond flour*
*You can buy almond flour that has been ground with or without the skin. I use the later (blanched). The former looks really nice if you are not coloring the shells. You can also grind your own almond flour by putting whole or sliced almonds in a food processor or blender. If you do, make sure you throw a little of the powdered sugar in to prevent the almonds from forming a paste.
- Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together or pulse them together briefly in a food processor. Make sure there are no large pieces.
- Remove 2 tablespoons of the mixture, discard and replace with the cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Whip the egg whites. When they start to get foamy, slowly add the sugar. Continue whipping until you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing slides out. (I also add a pinch each of salt and cream of tartar)
- Add the powdered sugar/almond/cocoa mixture to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. No more than 50 strokes all together. The batter should have a "flowing like lava" consistency.
- Fill a Pastry bag and pipe small circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a Silpat.
- Let the macarons dry until they harden a bit.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- I keep the oven door propped open with a dish towel or wooden spoon. Try to refrain from obsessive peeping to see if they get feet.
- Let cool completely and then match up the shells into pairs according to size and pipe in the filling.
I halved the amount of Alton Brown's Recipe and mixed in 3/4 cup of cute mini chocolate chips.