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Halloween Chocolate Orange Macarons

Ingredients:

Macarons:

100g Ground almonds

100g Icing sugar

40ml water

100g Caster sugar

2 x 40g Egg whites. 

(this is approx 2 large egg, but it's important to weigh the whites)

Gel red & yellow food colouring

(I use Sugarflair in Christmas red and melon)

2-3 tsp orange flavouring

Black edible paint

 

Filling:

100ml double cream

150g dark chocolate

Orange flavouring (to taste)

 

Method

1. Add the ground almonds and icing sugar to a food processor, pulse just a few times to break up any big lumps, don't process for too long or you could start releasing the oils in the almonds. Sieve the almond and icing sugar mix into a large bowl. Add the first 40g of egg whites and mix to a paste, at this stage add the orange food colouring and orange flavouring. (the colour will get lighter later in the process so make the orange darker than you think you'll need.) Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan dissolve the caster sugar in the water, bring to the boil over a high heat, keep boiling the liquid until a thermometer reads 119C. Whilst you syrup is heating start whipping your second batch of egg whites, either in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer, keep whisking the egg whites until the syrup reaches 119C, then slowly pour the hot syrup slowly, in a continuous stream, into the egg white, whisking the whole time, until the mix is cool.

3. Once cool add about half the meringue mix into the orange paste, stir gently to loosen the paste, be careful not to knock the air out of the meringue, then incorporate the rest of the meringue, continuing to fold gently until thoroughly mixed.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then using the bottom of a large piping nozzle dip the nozzle into the macaron mix and mark out circles on your parchment, this will ensure you get evenly matched macarons, (see pic below). Pipe out your macarons, you should be left with a bit of a bump on top of each macaron but that should settle within a few minutes, so you have smooth shiny macaron tops. 

5. Leave the macarons for 30-45 mins to form a skin, you will know when they are ready when you can touch the top with your finger and you don't lift any mixture. If the mixture is still sticky leave for another 20 mins.

6. Preheat a non-fan oven to 125C and bake for 20-22 mins. Once out of the oven place the baking tray on top of a damp teatowel, this helps loosen the macarons from the parchment.

 

Filling Method:

1. Add the cream and chocolate and cream to a large bowl, microwave for 30 seconds, twice, stirring in between, continue to microwave at 10-sec intervals until the chocolate is completely dissolved and the cream is fully incorporated.

2. Flavour the chocolate mix with the orange flavouring, adding a little at a time, tasting until your happy with the amount of orange. Leave to cool at room temperature.

 

To Assemble:

1. Once the macarons shells are cool you can paint on fun jack o lantern faces, with the black paint and a fine paintbrush, but be gently the shells are fragile.

2. Pipe a small blob of chocolate filling on one macaron shell, then twist on the second macaron shell, this twisting motion will help to distribute the filling, macarons do not need a lot of filling, so air on the side of caution when filling.