Rooibos Chocolate Chai and Sweet Spicy Chocolate Cinnamon Macarons

Ingredients

For the macaron shells
110g icing sugar
60g almonds, very finely ground
60g egg whites, (about 2 eggs) aged for either 5 days in the fridge, then for 24 hours at room temperature or a little over 24 hours on the countertop
40g granulated sugar
15g Roibos spiced tea blend, finely ground (with the almonds). I used Solaris Organic Rooibos Chocolate Chai
15g dark cocoa powder

For the filling
200g Dark chocolate couverture, finely chopped
150ml double cream
3 teaspoons Morrison’s sweet and spicy cinnamon paste. Alternatively use a good sprinkling of ground cinnamon

Method

For the macaron shells

  1. Prepare your baking tray and baking sheets with a stencil of circles. Draw circles on some baking paper using a (mathematical) compass about 2 cm in diameter. Then place some white parchment paper on the baking tray and flip the baking paper back around. Or use this macaron template.

  2. In a large mixing bowl mix the egg whites with an electric hand beater (alternatively you can use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) until it is thick and frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, whisking all the while, until the mixture turns into a thick glossy meringue. The consistency of the macaron batter should be similar to hair mousse or shaving foam. Make sure the meringue is not over-beaten or else it will be too dry.

  3. In a food processor pulse together icing sugar, almonds, cocoa powder and roibos spiced tea leaf blend until everything is finely ground and powdery. Sift the mixture 2 or 3 times to make sure there are no lumps.

  4. Place the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the meringue in three portions, giving it a quick fold using the macronnage technique described in my macaron tips section. Fold the mixture a few times to break the air. Continue until you get a smooth and supple mixture, thick in consistency so that when you lift the spatula it flows back in thick ribbons. Test a small amount on a plate – should the tops fall back and flatten by themselves then it is ready, if not give it a few more folds.

  5. Fill a piping bag with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (2 cm in diameter) on your prepared baking paper. Leave the macarons to rest and dry for about 15 to 30 minutes.

  6. In the meantime preheat the the oven to 150 degrees C. When the macarons are ready bake the shells for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Use a flat offset spatula to gently remove the shells from the baking paper and allow to cool further on a rack


For the filling

  1. Put the cream into a saucepan and bring nearly to the boil, so it is scalding hot.

  2. Place the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl, pour the hot cream over and allow the chocolate to melt into the hot cream. Finally, gently stir to mix.

  3. Leave it to cool long enough for it to be a nice spreadable consistency.

  4. Once the chocolate ganache has cooled stir in the cinnamon paste. Place in refrigerator for it to set and thicken further.

Assembling the macarons
Pipe small portions of the chocolate-cinnamon filling on one of the shells and gently cover with another shell. Do not press. Continue to do this until you have used up all of the filling and shells. If the ganache is really thick, simply use two spoons and spoon portions on the shells.


Storing Macarons
If you are not going to be using them right away you can store the shells in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

They freeze well too but it is recommended to freeze them unfilled. To fill them take the shells out of the freezer 48 hours prior to serving and without defrosting fill them. This way the flavors will be allowed to blend as they thaw.

Macarons taste best the next day. Prepare and fill them, then keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. This allows the flavors to intermingle with each other. Enjoy them at room temperature the next day.

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