These were born out of an epic white chocolate/eggnog truffle fail. Last year after several attempts to make eggnog truffles, I stashed the goopy unmanageable results in the back of the freezer and forgot about it until a recent clean out.
After defrosting the mixture and a tentative taste test, I found out the mixture was still tasty but alas, still too goopy to form truffles. So I resurrected it as a French Macaron Filling. Of course nutmeg flavored shells came to mind and a perfect holiday French Macaron flavor was born.
Tasty, spicy and sweet, I can imagine sitting cozy around a December roaring fireplace chewing on these with a hot cuppa something.
For extra punch, you can add rum to the eggnog ganache.
Nutmeg Macarons with Eggnog
For the nutmeg French macaron 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 ground nutmeg
- 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 nutmeg 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/nutmeg 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 Eggnog White Chocolate filling:
- 8 ounces white chocolate cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup Eggnog
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
- Place white chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
- Heat eggnog and butter together in a saucepan until just boiling.
- Pour hot mixture over the white chocolate pieces and let stand for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir together until the chocolate pieces have dissolved. If you still have some pieces left, place the mixture in the microwave for 5-10 seconds on high.
- Stir in rum if desired.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.