The cookery writer, Maja Vase has conjured up some wonderful, black-coated French macarons, inspired by BLACK SNOWBALL.
Velvety, deliciously salty liquorice ganache is sandwiched between two, crispy, sweet almond discs. The result is a tiny taste explosion of the ingredients featured in BLACK SNOWBALL: liquorice, salt and black pepper.
Number of servings: (30-40 macarons)
• 150 g icing sugar • 150 g ground almonds • 1 tsp edible black coal dust • 110 g egg whites • 150 g sugar • 50 g water
Sieve the sugar, ground almonds and coal dust into a bowl, and stir 55 g egg whites into the mixture. Heat the sugar and water in a small pan until it reaches 118º. Whisk the remaining 55 g egg whites to stiff peaks in a bowl and trickle the 118º sugar syrup into the egg whites, whisking constantly. Keep whisking until the meringue is viscous and glossy and almost cool. Fold a little of the meringue into the almond mixture, before carefully folding in the rest. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a little, round icing nozzle and pipe little circles (3 cm in diameter) onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake the discs for approx. 10 minutes at 150º (fan) and allow them to cool.
• 150 g good quality milk chocolate • 75 ml double cream • 75 ml salty liquorice syrup • 1/3 tsp edible black coal dust • Black pepper
Melt the chocolate in a bain marie and then remove the pan from the heat. Bring the cream, liquorice syrup and coal dust to the boil in a small pan, and then pour it over the chocolate, while stirring in the centre of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue stirring until the ganache comes together and gets a beautiful, glossy surface. Hand blend the ganache and place it in the fridge for a few hours to set. Transfer the liquorice ganache to a piping bag with a little, round icing nozzle and pipe the ganache on to half of the macaroon discs. Grind a little black pepper on top. Assemble the macarons with the remaining discs. Store the finished macarons in the fridge until ready to serve.
You can easily assemble the macarons a couple of days before serving, so the discs and the filling 'fuse' and achieve the correct, sticky, soft consistency. If you cannot get hold of black coal dust, you can use edible coloured powder instead.