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Black Cherry, Chocolate and Charcoal Macaroons

I became obsessed with Macaroon's about 5 years ago and baking them became a labour of love.. and a hit or a miss... they are hard work but if you get them right they are the most decadent sweet.... So when I found this recipe by Alessandro Zaccaro that uses activated charcoal I had to share it with you...

I'm going to also try making these with a dark chocolate and peppermint ganache ... like an after eight for a dinner party... I'll post the results, but for now here is the cherry and chocolate charcoal macaroon recipe... ENJOY!

Black French Macaroon Recipe

Preparation: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 14-15 minutes

Makes: 24 macaroons

Ingredients for the ganache 80g whole cream 200g white chocolate 1 knob of butter

Ingredients for the shells (almond dough + meringue)

Almond dough: 150g almond meal 150g powdered sugar 5g of activated charcoal powder 50r egg whites

Meringue: 50g egg whites 40g sugar

Ingredients for the syrup: 40g water 120g sugar

Ingredients for the filling:

Black Cherries in Kirsch

Making the chocolate ganache

Cut the white chocolate very finely with the aid of a knife.

In a pan, bring the heavy cream to a boil.

Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and wait a minute to allow the cream to soften the chocolate and then mix well with a spatula (that doesn’t allow chocolate to incorporate air). Add the butter and continue mixing. Allow to cool at room temperature and than refrigerate it covered with a plastic wrap.

Making the black macaroon:

Firstly measure out all the ingredients.

To make the almond dough add the almond flour, powdered sugar and activated charcoal together, then sift this mixture 2-3 times. Add the 50g of egg whites and stir with a spatula until soft and sticky and set aside.

To make the meringue, put the 50g of egg whites in a bowl. At low speed beat the egg whites and gradually add the granulated sugar. When the egg whites forms a light foam, stop beating.

In a small pot, bring water and sugar to a boil, use a sugar thermometer, which should reach 120°C.

Once the syrup has reached 120°C, the syrup must be added to the egg white foam. This process is quite delicate, so decrease the speed of the stand mixer to avoid any splashes of hot syrup and slowly pour the syrup in the middle of the bowl, then increase to maximum speed and mix until the bowl is cold again.

Now combine the almond dough and the meringue mixture together. To do this first pour 1/3 of the meringue in the bowl with the almond dough, add the activated charcoal and mix vigorously.

Add the remaining 2/3 of meringue to the dough with gently movements from the bottom upwards mix everything. To know when to stop mixing do a plate-test: Place a spoonful of batter on a plate, if the mixture becomes a smooth disc in a matter of 5-8 seconds, it means that the batter is ready to be put on the baking sheet.

You can buy a silicone macaroon baking mould sheet, which makes measuring the disc correctly much easier.

With the help of a pastry bag with smooth round nozzle, form circles with a diameter of 3-4 cm. Bang the baking sheet on the work surface many times and with the aid of a toothpick eliminate any air bubbles on the shells’ surface.

Leave to rest until when you touch the batter with your finger, the batter does not stick to it (it will takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes, depends on the air humidity).

Bake in preheated oven at 150°C for 14-15 minutes (place the pan on the lowest shelf of the oven, this will ensure that the macaroon is cooked well the form the feet and don’t become too hard in the centre).

Once you remove the baking sheet from the oven, allow to cool completely before removing the shells from the parchment paper.

Fill the macaroon. Pair the shells with an identical diameter filling them with white chocolate ganache and half black cherry.

Absolutely divine!

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