Chocolate Macaroons with gold leaf

These gorgeous chocolate macaroons are much easier to make than you might at first think, even if you’ve never made macaroons before. They are very enticing and so delicious. Check out my video on YouTube and watch me making them with master chocolatier Mark Tilling.

This wonderful recipe is from my latest cookbook for Thermomix TM5, I Love Chocolate I Love Thermomix, which is available on our e-shop. Mark Tilling is one of eight expert chocolatiers who contributed recipes for the book; I created all the Thermomix methods and added several of my own recipes too. It’s a beautiful cookbook and would be a lovely treat for yourself or a special friend.

For this recipe, and for all baking purposes, it’s very important for your unsweetened cocoa powder to have a minimum of 20% cocoa butter content. Cocoa butter from the cocoa powder is what delivers the true flavour of chocolate to both the filling and macaroons, and it also delivers tenderness to the macaroons. See my 1st tip below to learn how to choose a good quality cocoa powder and the brands I use.

These macaroons are a melt-in-the-mouth treat for any occasion, and are particularly wonderful as a gift. Wrap them in a clear cellophane gift bag and tie it with a beautiful bow, then enjoy the smiles of appreciation!

This recipe is suitable for Thermomix TM5.

Active Time 25 Minutes

Total Time HOURS

MAKES 15-20 MACAROONS

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Ingredients

Chocolate pastry cream

  • 60 g granulated sugar, unrefined
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 20 g unsweetened cocoa powder, minimum 20% cocoa butter content – see 1st tip
  • 2 rounded tsp custard powder
  • 250 g whipping cream or double cream – see 2nd tip
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds only

Chocolate macaroons

  • 120 g blanched almonds
  • 210 g icing sugar
  • 20 g unsweetened cocoa powder, minimum 20% cocoa butter content – see 1st tip
  • 100 g egg whites (3-5 large)
  • 25 g caster sugar
  • gold leaf or gold dust to decorate – optional, see 3rd tip

Method

  1. Chocolate pastry cream: cook all pastry cream ingredients 5 min/90°C/speed 4, transfer to a shallow bowl and cool approx. 30 minutes, then transfer to a piping bag and chill in fridge until ready to use.
  2. Chocolate macaroons: preheat oven to 130°C without fan/250°F/gas 2 and line two baking trays with silicone sheets or greaseproof paper; set trays aside.
  3. Grind almonds 12 sec/speed 10.
  4. Add icing sugar and cocoa powder, sieve 1 sec/Turbo/4 times, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Wash and dry TM bowl – it must be grease free at this point. Insert Butterfly whisk, add egg whites and caster sugar, whisk 5 min/speed 3 to form a stiff glossy meringue, then transfer to a large bowl and gently fold in ¼ of almond mix at a time.
  6. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm nozzle and pipe small round macaroons 2 cm diameter onto lined trays, leaving approx. 1 cm gap between each one. Place a small piece of gold leaf (if using) on top of every other macaroon. Set tray aside for 30 minutes to form a slight crust on macaroons – the surface should not be sticky if lightly touched.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes, leave oven on in case needed again, remove silicone sheet with macaroons from baking tray, cool them completely on sheet, then use a clean palette knife to lift one macaroon – if they are baked enough it will come off quite easily; if it sticks, return silicone sheet of macaroons to tray and bake a little longer… with macaroons you are aiming for the perfect combination of dry outside and soft chewy inside. Store in airtight containers up to 3 days.
  8. Assembly: Pipe a little pastry cream onto one macaroon (without gold leaf) and sandwich together with another macaroon (with gold leaf) until all macaroons have been paired. Chill in fridge at least 1 hour – they taste even better the next day if you can avoid eating them all straight away!

Janie’s Tips

  1. Many cocoa powders only have from 1% to 12% cocoa butter content and are not worth using for baking or desserts as they make cakes and biscuits very dry and flavourless. It’s easy to learn to read the cocoa butter content on labels: the cocoa butter (fat) amount should either be expressed as 1-1.5 g fat per 5-6 g serving, or as a percentage – look for 20-26% fat per 100 g and make sure there is no vegetable oil in the ingredients list. I use organic Green and Blacks cocoa powder with 21% fat content, organic Willie’s Cacao cocoa powder with 25.9% fat content, or any of several Fairtrade cocoa powders with 20-22% fat content.
  2. Edible gold leaf and gold dust are available online or at specialist baking shops, or you could omit the gold leaf/dust and still have wonderful chocolate macaroons!
  3. I like to vary the filling from time to time and one of my favourites is the raspberry ganache on page 110 in I Love Chocolate I Love Thermomix.
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