Paul Hollywood’s chocolate macarons
- A challenge
- June 2022
- Makes 32
- Hands-on time 20 min, plus standing time, Oven time 15 min
Macarons always wow people, and you’d be surprised by how few ingredients you actually need for them. They make an excellent gift on a surprisingly low budget.
Paul advises to “take your time, be patient and enjoy the process.” Give them a go!
Recipe extracted from Bake by Paul Hollywood, published by Bloomsbury on 9 June 2022 (£26) Photography © Haarala Hamilton.
- 13.2g (5.7g saturated)
- 20.2g (19.7g sugars)
For the chocolate filling
- 300ml double cream
- 150g good quality milk chocolate, chopped
- 100g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 30g butter, softened
- For the chocolate macaron paste
- 3 large free-range egg whites (see Tips)
- 240g ground almonds
- 240g icing sugar
- 40g cocoa powder
- For the swiss meringue
- 3 large free-range egg whites
- 240g caster sugar
- Specialist kit
- Cook’s thermometer
- 2 paper piping bags (or piping bag fitted with 1cm plain nozzle)
- First make the chocolate filling. Slowly bring the cream to the boil in a small pan. Put all the chocolate into a bowl and pour on the hot cream, stirring as you do so. Continue to stir until the chocolate is fully melted and smoothly combined. Add the butter and stir until incorporated, then set aside to cool and firm up.
- Line 4 x baking trays with baking paper. Using a pastry cutter as a guide, draw circles, about 4.5cm in diameter, on the paper, leaving a 2cm gap between them. Turn the paper over on the baking tray.
- For the macaron paste, put the egg whites into a large bowl, add the ground almonds and sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder (see Know-how). Mix to form a thick paste.
- For the swiss meringue, put the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl is not in direct contact with the water. Using a balloon whisk, whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture reaches 65°C (use a cook’s thermometer to check). Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or use an electric hand mixer to whisk the mixture until it has cooled and you have a stiff, glossy meringue – this will take at least 5 minutes. Gradually fold the meringue into the chocolate macaron paste, a spoonful at a time – the mixture will be stiff, so this will take some effort.
- Spoon the meringue into a paper piping bag and snip off the end to create a 1cm opening (or use a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle). Pipe the mixture evenly over the marked circles on the baking paper. Leave to stand, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes or until a skin forms. This helps to prevent the surface from cracking.
- Heat the oven to 130°C/gas 2. Bake the macarons for 15 minutes until risen and set. Leave to cool completely on the trays before assembling.
- To assemble, spoon the chocolate filling into a paper piping bag and snip off the end. Pipe a little filling onto the centre of half the macaron discs, leaving a narrow border around the edge. Sandwich together with the remaining macaron discs.
Egg yolks can be beaten with a little salt and frozen in labelled freezer bags for up to 3 months. Use for pastry glazes, custards, quiches, mayonnaise etc
The macarons can be made 2-3 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
For a super smooth finish, you can whizz the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor briefly, then sift into the bowl before mixing with the rest of the ingredients (see step 3).
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