These mocha macarons feature an espresso-scented shell and an espresso ganache filling!
Author:Kate Wood, Adapted from Tessa Huff
Total Time:1 hour 5 minutes
For the macaron shells:
1-1/2 cups (144 gm) almond flour
1-1/3 cups (145 gm) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons espresso granules
120 gm room temperature egg whites (from about 3-4 large eggs)
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (120 gm) sugar
For the espresso ganache:
5 ounces extra semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped or in morsels (I recommend the Artisan Collection by NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE® Extra Semi-Sweet variety)
1 teaspoon espresso granules
½ cup heavy whipping cream
Additional chocolate, if desired
To prepare the macarons:
Line two of three baking sheets with parchment paper templates or silicone baking mats set over the templates and fit a large piping bag with a plain round tip.
In a food processor, combine the almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, and espresso granules and process the mixture for 1-2 minutes, stopping once to scrape down the bowl, until the almond flour is finely ground. Sift the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard any large chunks left in the sieve or grind again until fine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a whisk attachment (make sure both are clean and grease-free!), whisk the room temperature egg whites on low speed until they begin to foam, form small tight bubbles, and turn opaque. Over the course of a couple of minutes, very gradually increase the speed to medium while slowly adding the granulated sugar. Mix on medium-high until stiff peaks form.
Using a flexible rubber spatula, scrape the meringue off the whisk attachment into the bowl with the almond mixture. Begin folding the meringue and almond mixture together, five to ten folds. Scrape in the meringue from the mixer bowl and continue to fold the mixture until incorporated, rotating the bowl as your go. Every so often, gently deflate the meringue by smearing the batter around the side of the bowl. Stop folding once the correct consistency is achieved: the batter should flow very slowly like lava.
Fill the prepared piping bag with the macaron batter. Holding the bag straight down, pipe the macarons. I prefer to use a stencil to ensure the macarons are the same size. Once one baking sheet is full, tap the bottom of the sheet a few times in each corner with the palm of your hang. Set aside and repeat with the remaining prepared baking sheet(s). Set the piped macaron shells aside to rest for 20 to 40 minutes, until a skin forms over the shells and the tops feel dry to the touch.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the center position.
Bake the macaron shells once sheet at a time for 12 to 14 minutes, until the tops feel secured to the feet but wiggle very slightly when nudged.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Let the macaron shells cool on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes. Repeat to bake and cool the remaining shells.
To prepare and use the filling:
Place the chocolate in a medium heat-safe bowl. Warm the cream on the stove or in the microwave until just barely steaming or about to bubble.
Pour the cream into the chocolate and add the espresso granules. Whisk until the chocolate is smooth and feel free to microwave in 15 second increments until the chocolate has melted.
Allow the mixture to set up slightly, either on the counter or in the fridge while stirring often, until it is a slightly thickened fudgy consistency that will move through a piping bag.
Fit a piping bag with a round tip and squeeze 1-2 teaspoon sized dollops into the center of half of the macaron shells.
Top with an additional macaron shell and allow to set up. In the meantime, feel free to gently warm and melt a small about (about 1/3 cup) of chocolate and drizzle or piping decorative stripes on top of the sandwich cookies. Enjoy!
Using a macaron stencil is helpful in making sure your macaron shells are uniform in size.