dark chocolate & cardamon macarons

dark chocolate & cardamon macarons - gluten free

You know the old adage “if at first you don’t succeed”?

Well, at first, I didn’t.

If I’m being totally honest, at second I didn’t either.

I can safely say that macarons are one of those finicky, irritating little suckers that require every element (from ingredients to climate) to be monitored & accounted for.

Let’s be real here, there are 5 ingredients that make up the shell of a macaron, it shouldn’t exactly be rocket science!

…how ever two failed batches would suggest otherwise.

Knowing me & my complete unwillingness to accept failure though, would suggest that I wouldn’t give up without something to show for it. (and mel was more than happy to scoff down all the failed attempts).

Long story short, I conquered the mysterious Italian cookie & filled it with dark chocolate & cardamon. My mother would be appalled (she hates the wonderfully fragrant spice). Me, I’m chuffed.

I am absolutely. 100%. No doubt about it… tickled pink!

I thought I’d share some of the reasons why I failed…. learn from them & always remember that with the macaron, every mistake counts against you in a BIG way. So go big, or go home!

Mistakes I made along the way:
• over beating the egg whites
• not measuring my dry ingredients properly
• too many large chunks of almond
• not accounting for the humidity in the air
• oven too hot

Ingredients, macaron:
– 100g egg whites, room temp
– 40g sugar
– 0.25 tsp cream of tartar
– 200g icing sugar
– 120g raw almonds (or almond flour)
– colouring of your choice

Directions, macarons:
1. place your egg whites in a bowl, cover with cling film, & leave them out for 24 hours. This is called “aging” your egg whites.
2. once your egg whites have been ages, add the granulated sugar to them & heat them in a double boiler until all the sugar has been dissolved, gently stirring as you do. Set them aside until they have cooled.
3. place your almonds in a blender & grind them until they are as fine as you can get them. Add in the icing sugar & continue to blend them until it has all become a powder. Pass the mix through a sieve to remove any large chunks of almond.
4. add the cream of tartar to you egg whites & beat your egg whites until they reach soft-peak consistency. Once they have, add in your colouring & beat just a little to combine it evenly.
5. sift in your almond mixture to the egg mix. You want to gently fold the almonds into the egg whites making sure to scrape from the bottom of the bowl as you do. Once it has all been evenly distributed, pour the mix into a pipping back fitted with a 5mm nozzle.
6. pipe your macarons onto a parchment lined baking tray about 1.5cm in diameter, and 2cm apart from each other. Allow them to rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
7. bake them in a preheated oven for 24 minutes @ 145C. Rotate them half way through the time. Remove them from the oven & allow them to cool prior to filling.

Ingredients, filling:
– 125g dark chocolate, finely chopped
– 125g heavy cream (35% fat)
– 0.5 tsp ground cardamon

Directions, filling:
1. heat the chocolate & cream together in a double boiler until all the chocolate has completely melted. Add in the cardamon & remove from the heat. The mix will take a while to cool down, so check it every half an hour or so & give it a good stir. Once cooled, the mix can be pipped into the middle of each macaron using a pipping bag & the same pipping nozzle as was used for the macaron shells.

……..for a full history of our recipes, check out our archives. For the more sensitive tummies, check out our gluten-free archives….. and if you’re just interested in something pretty, check out our designed page.


7 thoughts on “dark chocolate & cardamon macarons

  1. macarons are my nemisis!! i dont know what it is, i follow direction to the pixel but i still cant get consistent results or ones that look like your picture. if i do, half are cracked on the sheet…i dissed my oven as being the culprit and the same day, the ignitor stopped working :P i need to keep trying!

    • I know exactly how you feel! After my first two failed batches, I was in complete distress. I read a whole bunch of sites & in the end the three tricks that ended up saving me were:
      – ageing my egg whites
      – increasing the amount of granulated sugar
      – dissolving the sugar into the egg whites using a double boiler.
      I swear, I knew from the second I started pipping that they were going to work. I made two more batches immediately after just to ensure it wasn’t a fluke.
      It still baffles me how EVERYTHING affects your outcome.
      Don’t give up, when they actually work, it’s so unbelievably satisfying that you may break out into spontaneous dance.

    • Ps. Maybe it’s time to apologise to your oven or else it may start cursing more of your creations.

    • Thanks Rosie! It took 3 batches to get to that level. You should have seen the first two….

  2. Since moving to Cyprus 2years ago I have not been able to make a decent macaron – humidity, maybe? I have tried every recipe, every tip, someone else’s oven….gahhhh! You name it, I’ve done it…..until yesterday!! I discovered and tried you recipe.
    I’ll admit, I was dubious about dissolving the sugar in warmed egg whites (I’d tried Italian meringue method macaron making) but I’m beginning to realise you may just be a baking genius!
    The oven temp didn’t state if it was fan so I put mine in a 130 fan for 22 mins turning halfway through. I didn’t process the ground almonds and sugar together so a slightly grainy result but I am soooo happy with the result! Just wish I could post a photo on here!!
    So, I’ve saved your recipe to my favourites and it will be my ‘go-to’ from this day forward!! Thank you!

    • Hey Katherine! That moment when you’re finally successful is always so satisfying. I have a sneaking suspicion that maybe the recipe worked out for you because when I myself was going through my macaron phase, I was living in Syros & battling my fair share of humidity. We were both in similar conditions so I think that’s why we had similar results. As for Italian meringue, it’s great for a lot of things, but for macarons the swiss meringue method is best (in my humble opinion). You can always send me photos by e-mail & I can post them up in the recipe & credit you. The oven is generally with-out fan, however home ovens don’t have a strong enough fan on them to really sway the recipe so much one way or the other. I’m really really glad you finally got your macarons, I read your comment & couldn’t help but smile.

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