Monday, November 4, 2013

Clove Macarons with Chocolate Ganache Filling

I don't know why but these seemed to be the perfect November French macaron flavor. I love love love clove, probably much more than most people. The word love is even in clove. 

So, it's confession time. Sometimes when I am rummaging through my spice cabinet and come across jars of powdered or whole cloves I will open and sniff. I know. Pathetic. At least I haven't graduated to putting out lines on the kitchen counter and snorting it. The aroma just evokes crisp air and general  Fall into Winter coziness to me. 

So it was inevitable clove would find it's way into macaron shells on this blog.

The first week of November officially ends the Halloween funsanity and takes me into a serious countdown to Thanksgiving mode. It's all about the planning, the recipe gathering, tweaking and testing, the invites and the table decorations. I thrive on it. 

I'm not sure this recipe makes the cut, as clove can be an acquired taste. That's ok for now. I'm fine with the idea of eating these all by myself instead of foisting them upon guests.

The strong chocolate ganache flavor was a perfect pairing. It seemed to take some of the edge off the bite of clove. Fall's end in a macaron. I clove it.

Clove Macarons with 
Chocolate Ganache Filling

For the clove shells:

Use a kitchen scale for precise measurements.

  • 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
  • 2 tablespoons clove powder
  • 110 Grams of almond flour*
  • Pinch of cream of tarter
  • Pinch of salt
*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.

  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.
  • 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 and discard two tablespoons of the mixture and whisk in the 2 tablespoons of the clove powder and 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. Add  the pinches of salt and cream of tartar.
  • Add the powdered sugar/almond/clove mixture to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. The batter should have a "flowing like lava" consistency.  Make a peak of the batter and if it does not disappear after 5-7 seconds, keep folding. If it's running all over the place, you will probably have to start over. 
  • Place a pastry bag fitted with a round shaped tip in a tall water and and fold the edges down around the glass.
  • Fill the pastry bag with the macaron batter, twist the open top to secure and pipe circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a Silpat. 
  • Let the macarons dry for about a half hour or until they harden.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Place the macarons on the middle rack in the oven. I keep the oven door propped open with a dish towel or wooden spoon.
  • I place another empty baking sheet on top to prevent the shells from becoming toasted and discolored.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • When checking them after 10 minutes or so,  if the ones in the back of the sheet seem to be cooking faster that the ones in front, flip the tray around.
  • To test to see if they are done, peel the baking paper or silpat back, if the shell comes off easily, they are done.
  • If you do have a problem with the shells sticking to the surface when removed from the oven, lift up the baking paper and pour a bit of water underneath. this will steam them off the paper.
  • Transfer to a baking rack and let cool completely before matching up the shells into pairs according to size and then fill.
For the Chocolate Ganache:

I used this chocolate ganache recipe from Joy of baking

1 comment:

  1. I love cloves! I know they are a little overpowering for some, but they add that distinctive bite!


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