midnight macarons

dark chocolate macarons with a vanilla vodka buttercream filling

I have something extra special for you.

They’re my midnight macarons. Dark chocolate macaron shells, filled with a creamy vanilla vodka buttercream. As an extra special touch, I dusted them with luster-dust so that they’d resemble the stars in a moonless sky.

It wasn’t easy getting here though. Two failed attempts & a lot of frustration took place before I reached these miraculous little gems.

I learnt a bunch along the way too. For example, I learnt that I’d really wished someone had told me that chocolate macaron shells were the hardest macarons to make. Or that cocoa is very absorbent & if you take too long, your shells will crack during baking.

No one told me that luster-dust is an incredibly addictive substance. All that glitter. All that sparkle!

The most important lesson that I learned, is that I have a very long way to go before I can consider myself a master of the macaron.

Ingredients, macaron:
– 200g icing sugar
– 100g almond meal
– 25g cocoa
– 100g egg whites
– 1/8 tsp cream of tartar (omit if using a copper bowl)
– 65g sugar
– black food colouring (optional)

Directions, macaron:
1. combine your icing sugar, almond meal & cocoa in a blender & pulverize for a couple of minutes. Sift your ingredients & set them aside.
2. combine your egg whites & cream of tartar in a bowl. Beat until the egg whites begin to froth up. Add in 1/4 of your sugar & beat until incorporated. Keep adding in your sugar slowly whilst beating your eggs until is has all been added & your egg whites have reached stiff-peak consistency. If using food colouring, add it in now.
3. sift your icing sugar & almond mixture in to the bowl with the egg whites (yes, you are sifting them a second time). Gently fold them into the mixture using a rubber spatula until there are no longer streaks of egg whites.
4. transfer your mix into a pipping bag fitted with a round nozzle.
5. preheat your oven to 180C.
6. pipe your macarons onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. They should be about 2.5cm in diameter & spaced approx. 2cm apart.
7. give your baking sheet several firm taps on the counter & then stick them into the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes. remove from the oven & allow to cool before filling.

Ingredients, buttercream:
– 120g unsalted butter, room temperature
– 200g icing sugar
– 15ml vanilla vodka

Directions, buttercream:
1. combine all the ingredients in a bowl & beat together until light & fluffy.
2. transfer into a pipping bag & fill your macaron shells.
3. place your macarons in the fridge for 24 hours before consuming.

Tips:
*** I decided this time not to “age” my egg whites. Usually they are aged in order to remove the excess moisture from them. ***
*** cocoa is more moisture absorbing than icing sugar, therefore the macarons need to be baked immediately or else they will dry out & crack during the baking process. ***
*** I also decided to go with the french-meringue rather than the italian-meringue this time. Reading has led me to believe that this will improve the texture of the end product. A french meringue is also much easier & faster to make. ***

……..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.

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