Chocolate Lilikoi Macarons with Coconut Flakes

After making the Lilikoi ganache a few days ago, I just needed to pair it with a macaron shell. But as I’ve been busy with the London 2012 Olympics, it was hard getting motivated to make a mess in the kitchen. However, I put my apron on yesterday and indulged in my obsession.
As I’m a chocolate lover, I thought this combination, along with a touch of coconut would be perfect. I have to admit, out of all the macarons I’ve made, these are probably my favourite so far! And as my husband and a friend of mine can attest, I’m a bit mad about macs! 😉
I followed the basic chocolate macaron recipe from Mad About Macarons, by Jill Colonna, and added my Lilikoi Ganache.
Chocolate-Lilikoi Macarons, with Coconut Flakes
Ingredients
  • 150g egg whites (aged overnight)
  • 100g caster sugar (super fine sugar)
  • 180g ground almonds (I use the Tesco brand)
  • 270g icing sugar
  • 15g raw cocoa powder
Process
  • For purposes of being organised and making things easier on myself, I measure everything out first and set it all aside. It’s essential to have a digital scale for making macarons.
  • Additionally, I prepare my baking sheets and cut my parchment paper and lay it all on a flat surface, at a level, which is comfortable for piping the mixture later. (I usually use three baking sheets with this recipe.)
  • Also, prepare your piping bags. Depending on their size, you may need one or two disposable bags for the macaron shells, and one for the ganache.
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  • Sift icing sugar, ground almonds and cocoa powder together through a sieve. Set aside.
  • Whisk the egg whites to until a foamy white.
  • Add caster sugar all at once. (Jill recommends gradually, but I find it makes no difference at all.)
  • Continuing whisking at high speed until you have glossy form peaks and no liquid. What I do is check continuously by slightly turning the bowl on its side. If the egg whites move, then the mixture is not ready. Once you can turn the bowl upside down and the egg whites do not move or fall out, the mixture is ready. However be sure not to over-whisk, or your macaron shells will be too dry and crack in the oven.
  • Fold the prepared egg whites into the ground almond mixture. At this point, if you’re adding a colour, do so. I didn’t use colouring in these, as the cocoa powder is already providing it.
  • Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients.
  • Work the mixture (macaronnage) with a plastic spatula until a smooth mixture is achieve. Do not over-mix this either. About 4-5 minutes is enough, or until you achieve a soft and brillant mixture that forms a “ribbon” on the spatula.
  • If you over-mix, the macarons will be flat when you pipe and not provide the desired “pieds”, which make the macarons so special.
  • Transfer the mixture to the piping bags. I use disposable plastic bags and cut the bottom once the mixture is inside.
  • Pipe out onto the parchment paper on the baking sheets, making the rounds in your preferred size. For medium sized macarons, they should be about 3 cm in diameter.
  • Sprinkle coconut flakes over macaron rounds.
  • Leave for 30 minutes to set (crouter). You can check if they are ready, but touching slightly. If they feel hard to the touch, they are ready for the oven.
  • About 10 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 160C, fan setting.
  • Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until they do not move when touched. I check them frequently, about every 4 minutes and more often after that to ensure I do not burn the bottoms. You will also see the “pieds” start to develop about 2-3 minutes after they are in the oven.
  • If you need to move the baking sheets around in the oven for a more even baking, do so.
  • Once they are done, remove the parchment paper with macarons onto a cool surface, such as a marble countertop. Let cool about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the macaron shells from the parchment paper, by removing the paper from the macaron, instead of the other way around. This ensures that you do not leave any macaron stuck to the paper.
  • Turn the shells upside down and pipe the ganache onto them. Remember the shells are sandwiched cookies, so you want to pipe the ganache only onto half of them.
  • Place in fridge for 24 hours before serving or freeze for later use.
  • If you’re like me, you’ll eat a few before packing them away! 😉
There’s only one thing that really bothers me about macaron making and that’s the amount of refined sugar used in them. While the almonds make this cookie gluten-free, the sugar of course is something that keeps me from eating all of them at once. I have to figure out a way to make them refined-sugar free… that’s my next challenge! Wish me luck!