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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jaffa Macarons with orange dark chocolate ganache

Orange and chocolate are another food pair that complement each other perfectly, in my opinion. It is the kind of chocolate that I love, chocolate orange or even better, orange with dark chocolate.

Jaffa is the Australian sweet with soft chocolate centre covered with orange flavoured, red coloured hard candy. The candy is popular in Australia and New Zealand that the term Jaffa has become associated with chocolate orange flavour, which is the name of my new macaron concoction, Jaffa Macaron. It is  filled with dark chocolate ganache mixed with orange marmalade. The filling provides a more complex flavour to the macarons. It is bittersweet with a little tang and sweet citrusy aroma.

These macarons are made for my friend's, Lucy, birthday, which I am guessing that her fiancee will end up having most of them as Lucy is on a diet campaign for her wedding in the next couple of months.

Well, in fact, macarons has moderate calories, provided you consume in moderation (I know it is quite hard to be sensible with these little beauties and stop at just one macaron). One macaron with chocolate ganache (about 3-cm size) contains about 100 calories. See, it's not too bad if you only have one macaron a day. It is a much better option than a whole piece of cake.

One macaron a day won't hurt

 I mixed the chocolate ganache with my homemade orange marmalade. The choc-orange ganache tastes so heavenly that I can just devour on it on its own without any meringue shell!

 Jaffa Macaron, with orange dark chocolate ganache recipe
makes about 25 3-cm macarons

Macaron shell ingredients
100 g egg white (about 3 extra large eggs, aged 24- 48 hrs in advance and at room temperature)
110 g almond meal (almond powder, ground almond)
160 g pure icing sugar (powder sugar)
60 g caster sugar (fine sugar)

Chocolate ganache ingredients (macarons filling)
100 g semi-sweet chocolate (about 50% or more cocoa content), cut into small pieces
80 ml thickened cream (whipping cream)
1/2 cup orange marmalade
20 g butter, cut into cubes

Macaron shells - Method
Note: for more details on macaron making instruction, you can visit my 'Basic Macaron Recipe' blog here and 'I heart Macarons' blog here.

1.Sifting almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder together by pushing them through a sieve.

2. Using electric mixer, beat egg white on a high speed until foamy, gradually add caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating the egg white until achieving a glossy stiff peak.

3. Mix egg white into almond meal mixture. Stir quite vigourously to break the egg white into dry ingredients for the first ten stokes or so. Continue to mix the egg white with dry ingredients until well combined (try the motion of lift, fold and push the mixture to the side of mixing bowl). The mixture should be thick, glossy and well-blended. The batter will look like a very thick cake batter.

4. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1-cm plain nozzle (#11).

5. Pipe mixture onto a tray lined with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat (Silpat) about one-inch in diameter and one inch apart. 

6. Tap trays on a kitchen bench a few times to flatten the piped macarons and remove some air bubbles.

7. Leave the piped shell uncovered at room temperature for 30-60 mins until you can touch the shell without them sticking to your fingers.

8. Pre-heat the oven to 160c/180c (convection/conventional) about 15 mins before baking.
9.  Reduce the temperature to 140c/160c (convection/conventional) and bake macarons for about 13-15 mins. Baking time will depend on the macaron size.

10. Remove macarons from the tray and put them on cooling racks. You may need a serrated knife to help removing macarons. Spraying a little water onto the hot tray underneath the paper also help releasing macarons (the steam gives that magic releasing power). 
11. Once they're completely cool, sandwich two shells together with chocolate ganache. Keep the macarons in a covered container in the fridge. They can be kept upto 5 days (or longer). Macarons taste better after they have been chilled for at least 12 hours.

Making orange chocolate ganache

1. Put chocolate pieces in a seperate bowl.

2. Heat thickened cream in a small pan over medium heat. When it comes to the boil, remove it from heat and pour over chocolate pieces. Let it sit for about 10 seconds, then stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted. Scatter the butter pieces and stir until it's melted.

3. Mix orange marmalade through chocolate mixture until combined.

3. Chill the ganache until ready to use. It needs to be chilled at least an hour or more until it's firm enough for the filling.

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