Chocolate Black Cat Macarons

October 31, 2022

So here it is Halloween! I can hardly believe. Once again, I’ve taken a break from blogging since Easter. Last year I did have a good excuse – major home renovation. This year? I got nothing. I won’t even try. But perhaps you will forgive me when you take a peek at these divine, spooky sweet Chocolate Black Cat Macarons I’ve whipped up for Halloween 2022! These sinful little delights boast a crisp outer shell surrounding a lusciously chewy center filled with a silky, dark as your soul, decadent chocolate ganache.

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I mean, think about it…You get to dress weird, drink booze and eat candy for dinner. In fact, all of that fun stuff is encouraged. How could you go wrong on such a day! Our modern holiday of Halloween, actually has Irish origins. Today’s celebrations are derived from the Celtic holiday of Samhain. Samhain was Celtic New Year. It was a harvest festival which marked the dying of the sun-god and a turning to the colder, dormant half of the year. On this night, the Celts believed the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its lowest point. The dead could more easily travel back over to our side, and if we weren’t careful, we could accidentally wander over in to their world and be trapped-a good reason to stay close to home and bonfires, no doubt! This belief likely gave rise to our Halloween legends of ghosts, ghouls and witches wandering about on this night in particular. I’ve posted some great Halloween recipes in past years ranging from the historically based traditional recipes such as:

Soul Cakes (Traditional Halloween/ Samhain)

Yeasted Irish Barmbrack Bread (traditional Halloween/Samhain)

Irish Tea Barmbrack with a Whiskey Honey Glaze (traditional Halloween/Samhain)

To the more whimsical offerings such as:

White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels

Halloween Cookies & Cream Owl Cupcakes

Mini Mummy Brownie Bite Cupcakes

As well as some wonderful boozy libations to kick your celebrations into high gear:

Fireball Cider Cocktail

Or this Roasty Toasty Cocktail

A few year’s ago I managed to combined whimsical and boozy altogether in my Halloween treats with these adorable – I mean terribly frightening Itsy-Bitsy Tipsy Spider Cupcakes.

or how about these Black Velvet Frankenstein Cupcakes

A couple of years ago, I had a howling good time making these little rascals:

Reese Cup Werewolf Cupcakes

I loved making these boo-tiful Spooky Ghost Cupcakes!

And last year’s offering was these diabolically delicious <a href="http://<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iLOaolI8Fgc&quot; title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>Malted Chocolate Devil Cupcakes!

So yeah, I’m breaking out of the cupcake mold this year by going with these Black Cat Macarons!

Macarons can be notoriously finicky to make. I was definitely worried that the trick might be on me when I set out to make these, but I had taken efforts to get everything right. My egg whites were aged overnight, my bowls were wiped squeaky clean and I had sifted, pulsed in a food processor and sifted again. I had thoroughly read the recipe several times over. I found watching this video from Sugar Geek Show was also very helpful as far as my batter folding technique.

Truth be told, I didn’t get these to come out perfect the first time. My shells were cracked. Could’ve been I didn’t let them age enough to form the proper skin. Could’ve been I over mixed. Not sure. Yet, I persisted and Voila! So don’t despair ya’ll. Macarons are difficult, but not impossible! I think they are without a doubt worth the effort. And the good news is that even the ones that don’t look purty, still taste delicious!

All right, now that you’ve done all your prep work, get ready to make some amazing bakery quality level Chocolate Macarons! Now I realize I didn’t give you much time to get these done for Halloween – seeings how today is actually Halloween and this recipe calls for aged egg whites. But think of it this way, you will be more than ready to make these spooky macarons next year, or you could just leave the ears and kitty faces off and still be able to enjoy these fabulous treats. The choice is yours. I suppose if you are a real rule breaker you could just make these without aging the egg whites – but you didn’t hear that from me! I did make these Baileys & Coffee Macarons once and did not use aged egg whites. They came out just fine but from what I hear, aged egg whites are the preferred ingredient. But what the heck- Halloween is the perfect time for being naughty! Bake up a batch of these tricksy spooky darkly delicious Black Cat Macarons before the sun sets today! Happy Halloween ya’ll!

Chocolate Black Cat Macarons

  • Servings: 18
  • Difficulty: moderate - attention to detail required!
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Sugar Geek Show – design inspired by Posh Little Designs

Ingredients:

For the Shells:

  • 50 grams almond flour
  • 114 grams powdered sugar
  • 7 grams cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 57 grams egg whites aged overnight in the fridge and brought to room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 28 grams granulated baker’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the ganache filling:

  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • 2.5 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Royal Frosting:

  • 1 Tablespoon meringue powder
  • 2 Tablespoons warm water
  • 120 grams powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • green and black gel or powdered food coloring

Directions:

Preheat oven to 320ºF and line a 1/2 baking sheet with parchment paper and a macaron template or a macaron silicone baking mat as I did.

Sift together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and almond flour, twice if not blended.

Pulse the mixture in a food processor 8-10 times to make the almond flour mixture even finer and texture and to blend the ingredients together. 

Whip the egg whites on low to frothy consistency and slowly add the sugar in thirds.

Once the egg whites turn white and you can see some lines forming in the surface from the whisk, add cream of tartar, whipping on medium until soft glossy peaks form.

Add the vanilla to the meringue during the soft peak stage. Then continue whipping on medium-high until you get stiff peaks that start gathering and bunching on the inside of the whisk.

Add 1/3 of your almond mixture to the meringue. Fold your spatula under the batter and around the edges and then cut through the center until almond flour is mixed in. Continue with the rest of the almond flour and folding until homogenous. (see video)

Gently press the spatula on top of the batter while you turn the bowl to take out some fo the air from the meringue. Continue folding around the outside edge until the batter forms a ribbon and moves like lava. 

Your meringue is ready when it forms a ribbon off the spatula and the batter that settles almost dissolves all the way back into the rest of the batter but still leave a bit of a line. 

Place the majority of the batter in a piping bag fitted with a 1/4 inch piping tip – like a Wilton #12 or Ateco #802. Place a tiny bit of the batter in a separate piping bag fitted with a small round tip. This will be to add the ears to your macarons.

Pipe small rounds about 1″ in diameter on the macaron template.

Go back and using the second piping bag fitted with the small tip add the triangle ears to the top edge of every other macaron round, being sure that the ears level with the height of the round batter.

Drop the pan onto the table 5-6 times from about 5″ above the table to release bubbles. Use a toothpick to remove big pockets of air trapped under the surface. Use a very small amount of water on your fingertip to smooth any rough spots. 

Allow to dry, uncovered until a crust forms on the surface. About 30 minutes – 2 hours or until a dry film develops over the surface of the cookie. For humid areas put a space heater nearby to help dry the cookies faster. 

Bake at 320ºF for about 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned. If not quite brown baked, bake for an additional 1 minute. Cooled cookies should pull away from the parchment paper without sticking. If they do stick, they were not baked enough.

For the Ganache:

Place all the ingredients into a heatproof bowl and microwave for one minute. Let sit for 5 minutes then whisk until smooth. Heat for another 15 seconds if not fully melted. Place into the fridge for 20 minutes then whisk until smooth. It should be the texture of peanut butter.

For the Royal Frosting:

Combine water and meringue powder in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Add extract and whisk on medium high for about 2-3 minutes.

Mix in powdered sugar until combined.

The icing will be very thick. Add warm water a few drops at a time until the icing is the consistency of toothpaste. 

Divide the thick toothpaste like icing into 2 bowls

Add black food coloring to bowl 1 until desired colors are achieved.

Mix well. 

Transfer finished black icing to a piping bag and seal closed.

Add green food coloring to bowl 2 until desired color is achieved. 

Mix well.

Transfer finished green icing to piping bag and seal closed.

For Assembly:

Once shells have cooled, evenly pipe rounds of ganache into the center of the bottom of each macaron shell. Top with “earred” shells to create a sandwich.

Decorate top “earred” shell with royal frosting to make cat’s eyes and whiskers. Or use mini M&M’s for the eyes as I did. You can draw the pupil on with food safe markers and stick the eye to the macaron by adding a small dot of royal frosting on the back.

Enjoy!

Happy Halloween!

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Black Cat Macarons:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Cuisinart Food Processor

Simple Baker Silicone Baking Mat for Macarons

Oxo 3-in-1 Egg Separator

King Arthur Flour Almond Flour

Ateco disposable piping bags

King Arthur Baking Company Black Cocoa– This is how I got the deep dark color of the macaron shells without using food color

Vanilla Bean Paste

Wilton Icing Colors – Gel will not thin icing


Baileys & Coffee Macarons

March 7, 2016

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Wow! This year’s St. Patrick’s Day recipes have been quite surprising for me. I’ve actually gone outside my culinary comfort zone with a couple of these and it has been a success. I told you how I’d approached that Irish Cheddar & Thyme Potato Soufflé with much trepidation. And lo and behold all was fine. Well, I was the same way about Macarons. Although I love them, I felt that I would just have to resign myself to purchase them in bakeries. I was convinced that if I were to try them at home, what with their reputation for being so notoriously finicky and sensitive, I was already doomed to fail. But look what I’ve got here for you today…Baileys & Coffee Macarons.

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And I swear to you, I did actually bake these. There was no cheating and buying them in a bakery and then taking pictures of them (not that I would even consider doing such a thing…) I made these all by my lonesome!

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Well, all by my lonesome along with some great tips and advice from Olivia at Liv for Cake. (You simply must take a look at her scrumptious blog!) Now, I won’t fib to you and say that making Macarons is easy-peasy. But it wasn’t a nightmare either. They key is you must follow directions to a T. There is no room for any slap/dash cooks here. An accurate kitchen scale is a must as well. There can be no short cuts, no skipping steps. If you can do this, you will be rewarded big time!

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These little gems are crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside and filled with irresistible Baileys & Coffee flavors. Soooo worth the effort. These Baileys & Coffee Macarons are to die for I tell you! They will be a big hit at your St. Patrick’s Day fête and folks will think you’re quite the chef!

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Baileys & Coffee Macarons

  • Servings: 20 -25 macarons
  • Difficulty: moderate - you must follow instructions closely
  • Print

recipe from: Liv for Cake

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

  • 120 grams egg whites (the whites from 4 large eggs), room temperature
  • 130 grams (4.6 oz) caster sugar
  • 140 grams (4.9 oz.) almond powder (also called almond flour)
  • 110 grams (3.9 oz.) icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder

For the ganache:

  • 200 grams milk chocolate
  • 100 grams heavy cream
  • 20 grams Baileys

Directions:

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Make a template for the macarons by tracing the outline of a 1 1/2″ cookie cutter. Once you have all of your circles drawn, flip the parchment paper over so that the ink/pencil does not transfer to the cookie. (Be sure to take a look at my helpful links below. There is a link for a silicone baking mat specially made for macarons, with the templates already printed on the mat!)

Place the almond powder, icing sugar, and espresso powder in a food processor. Process until just beginning to clump.

Sift and discard any bits that won’t pass through the sifter. Set aside.

Make sure the bowl of your stand mixer as well as the whisk attachment are clean and free of any oil or grease. If any is present you will not be successful when you attempt to make the meringue peak. Also take care that no tiny bit of yolk has made its way into the whites. Its presence will also doom a meringue.

Whip the egg whites until they’re the consistency of a loose foam. Continue whipping while slowly adding sugar. Whip to a stiff meringue.

Fold the dry mixture into the meringue. In order to achieve the proper consistency, you will need to fold the batter many times. Once the batter is ready it will be smooth and shiny and will run in a steady stream off a spatula to settle back into the batter.

Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted with the 1A tip.

Pipe the batter onto the templated baking sheet.

Once all of the macarons are piped, whack the baking sheet on the counter at least 3 times to get rid of any air bubbles.

Let the macarons dry at room temperature until dry to the touch. Approx 1 hour. DO NOT skip this step.

While macarons are drying, make the ganache.

Chop the chocolate finely and place in a bowl. Heat the cream until boiling and pour over chopped chocolate. Do not stir! Cover bowl with plastic wrap for 2 mins. Stir to combine and add Baileys. Place in fridge to set.

Once dry, bake macarons in a 300°F oven until they stick a little bit to the parchment, about 12 minutes.

Let cookies cool completely before gently removing from pans.

Pipe ganache into the center of one cookie, sandwich with another of the cookies and twist together. Let Macarons chill and age in the refrigerator overnight. They will taste even more amazing when the filling and the shells bond and blend together.

Enjoy!

Baileys & Coffee Macarons brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Helpful Links to Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Baileys & Coffee Macarons:

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Cuisinart Food Processor

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

Simple Baker Silicone Baking Mat for Macarons – I know I told you how to trace out a template for your Macarons on parchment paper, but here you have a silicone mat where it is done for you! I have already ordered one for myself!

Ateco 11 piece Plain Round Cookie Cutter Set

Oxo 3-in-1 Egg Separator

King Arthur Flour Almond Flour

Domino White Superfine Sugar (caster sugar)

 


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