We are bringing you a treat. . Spooky Jack O'lantern macarons with chocolate orange centres. Perfect if you are looking for ideas for a kids party for example… Macarons have never looked so spooky.
So let's get baking…
Macaron Shells (makes approximately 15-20 macarons)
50g egg organic free-range whites or water from a can of chickpeas (if vegan)
60 grams ground almonds
90 grams gluten-free icing sugar (with no added flour)
33 grams caster sugar
An edible food pen in black
Orange food colour powder or gel, not liquid!
Chocolate & orange Ganache
50ml cream or vegan cream
50g dark chocolate
½ tsp orange extract or dried orange (optional leave out if you don't like chocolate orange)
Piping Bags x 2
Mon Dessert silicone baking mat/baking paper with 3.5 diameter circle templates underneath
1) Filling: Put your chocolate, a few drops of orange extract, zest or dried orange powder and cream in a non-metallic bowl. Put in the microwave for 30-second bursts. Mix until smooth. Pour into a piping bag.
2) Harden in the freezer and take out once you have finished your shells. Squish about in the bag to make sure you have an even consistency. If too hard pop in the microwave again for 10-second bursts until you have a smooth ganache that is easily piped.
1) Macaron Shells: Pop your powder into a bowl check there are no lumps and extra course bits, if so rub with your fingertips to ensure they are gone. You want smooth fine powders.
2) With a stand mixer or electric mixer with a clean bowl and with clean beaters, whisk your egg whites and caster sugar and cream of tartar on high for around 5 minutes until you have stiff peaks.
3) Tip in your almond/icing sugar/food colour mixture into the meringue and fold using a spatula until it has incorporated with the meringue. You don't have to be too gentle with this, You want all the powder incorporated with no sneaky dry bits! It needs to be smooth!
4) Fill a piping bag with macaron mixture and pipe into 3.5-4cm rounds onto a macaron mould or parchment. This recipe makes enough to make around 35-40 individual macaron shells. you may need to pipe twice.
5) Once piped, slam the tray down on your kitchen counter several times to eliminate any air bubbles in your piped macaron mixture. Leave your trays to rest in a cool area for 15 mins. They are ready to bake when they have turned matt and you are able to gently touch the surface of the shells without anything sticking to your finger.
8) Preheat conventional ovens to 150 degrees Celsius with the oven door slightly open (wedge a spoon in the door). For fan ovens with good aeration preheat oven to 120 degrees Celsius (with the door closed). Bake each tray of macarons individually for 30 minutes. If you are using a silicone mat the baking can be a little longer. It's all about trial and error with your specific oven! Do not be afraid to put them back in the oven if they are not done. They should have feet and come off relatively easily from the mat/paper.
9) If they still do not come off after 30 minutes, leave the macarons to dry out and turn off your hot oven for a further 15 minutes. Then peel off the macarons slowly and let them dry upside down. Don't worry if they are not smooth on the bottom. A porous base allows the filling to go inside more.
10) Once cool take half of your shells and draw on pumpkin mouths with your food pen refer to the video guide above.
14) To fill, pipe a 1.5cm blob of ganache onto the underside of an undecorated shell. Top with a pumpkin macaron shell and repeat the process until all your shells have been sandwiched.
15) Place macarons into a box and leave in the fridge for ideally 1-3 days to mature and absorb the filling flavours and become really moist. But don’t worry if you can’t resist eating them straight away I often can’t! You could always eat a couple and save the rest to mature…
*All ingredients are weighed in grams for consistency - use an electronic kitchen scale to weigh out ingredients.
* Use a tall glass to prop up your piping bag, this way they will be easier to fill.
* Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is at the right temperature and check for hot spots.
* Macarons are best served at room temperature or 20 minutes out of the refrigerator.
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