Sunday May 19th is World Baking Day
It's a day to bake for fun, bake with friends or family, it's your day to bake brave! How about trying something new, something out of your comfort zone, or maybe using an unusual ingredient in your recipe. My Ancho Chili and Chocolate Macarons are crispy, chewy little chocolate gems that have a surprise in the center, a creamy, spicy chocolate filling that really adds just a touch of heat. Ooh la la Picante!
Ancho Chili and Chocolate Macarons
110 g. almond meal
1 teaspoon dry egg powder
100 g. aged egg white (egg whites that have been brought to room temperature, preferably overnight with a paper towel draped over top, this will help evaporate some of the water in the whites.)
50 g. granulated sugar
200 g. confectioners sugar
5 teaspoon dark cocoa powder
Ancho chili powder for dusting
1. Place confectioners sugar and cocoa in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to remove any lumps. Add almond meal and pulse a few times to incorporate sugar and almond meal. Do not over mix. Place in large mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Beat egg whites in an electric mixer until frothy then add dry egg powder and mix until soft peaks form. Add slowly the granulated sugar and whip on high until stiff peaks form. Do not over mix or Macarons will be dry.
3. Add meringue mixture to the dry ingredients and fold in quickly at first to beat out the air bubbles from the meringue. Do not over mix! The mix should flow like lava and a small streak of the mixture on the surface should disappear after a minute.
4. Place in a piping bag and with a plain 1/2 " tip, pipe out 1 1/4" to 1 1/2 " rounds on two parchment lined baking sheets. Holding the baking sheet in both hands, rap each baking sheet firmly on the counter two or three times. This smooths out the tops and helps form the "pied" or frilly foot on the bottoms of the macarons. Allow the piped macarons to dry, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes. The macarons should form a very thin, smooth crust where, if you tap it lightly with your finger, the batter will not stick to your finger. If after 15 minutes, the batter is still sticky, let it dry longer. This may take up to an hour on humid days.
5. Place baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. After the first 2 minutes, open the oven to allow any excess humidity to escape. Halfway through, swap oven racks and rotate the sheets for even baking. The macarons are done when they are baked all the way through and the shells are just hard. Take care to not under bake (insides will still be mushy) or over bake (tops will begin to brown). Remove them from the oven, and cool on baking sheet placed on a wire rack.
Ancho Chili Buttercream Ingredients
10 tablespoons butter, softened
4 oz. confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 oz. white chocolate
1 1/4 oz. dark chocolate
1. Cream butter in a mixing bowl on high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add confectioners sugar, cream, vanilla and spices, mix until incorporated then whip on medium high speed until light and fluffy.
2. Melt white and dark chocolate together in a microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring until melted. Cool slightly, add to butter mixture and mix by hand until blended. Fill a piping bag, using a plain 1/2 " tip, pipe half the shells and sandwich with the remaining shells.
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