Macaroons are considered dainty and beautiful treats and are surprisingly simple to make too. These delicious coffee ones have sweet almondy shells which are sandwiched between a salty and rich dark chocolate ganache – they are perfect when paired with the Salted Caramel Espresso martinis as an after-dinner showstopper.
In a food processor, place the icing sugar, ground almonds and espresso powder. Blitz together until fine in texture.
Sift this through a sieve into a large bowl and discard any larger bits that don’t pass through. In a separate bowl, use an electric whisk to beat together the egg whites until they resemble soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar – a tsp at a time – whisking to incorporate after each addition. Keep whisking until all the sugar is added and the egg whites are glossy and at stiff peak stage.
Tip the egg whites into the ground almonds and fold them through until fully incorporated, trying not to overmix.
Line two baking trays with baking paper. A good tip is to use a little of the macaroon mixture to stick the corners of the paper to the tray to ensure it doesn’t blow and flutter in the oven. Place the macaroon mixture into a piping bag with a small nozzle attached. Pipe 30 small circles (15 on each tray). Then bang the tray onto the work surface firmly a couple of times to knock any air bubbles out. Leave the macaroons to dry out at room temperate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
While the macaroons are drying, make the ganache. Finely chop the dark chocolate and place in a large heatproof bowl along with a pinch of Maldon salt. Pour the cream into a small pan and heat gently until it reaches scalding point but before boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and then without stirring, leave it to sit for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, use a whisk to mix and combine the chocolate into the cream – it will thicken and become smooth and glossy. Set aside.
After an hour, put the macaroons into the preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until crisp. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
Once cool, sandwich the shells together with the ganache. Dust them with cocoa powder and serve alongside salted caramel espresso martinis.