“He loves me, a little, a lot, tenderly, passionately, madly, not at all”.
We English are black and white- he either loves you or he does not. The French are shades of grey- he will love you in all kinds of love, or not at all. Where we believe in those secure and affable relationships, the French are content to sip on their wine and cohabit in the present.
Double chocolate. Macaron. Exquisite, divine and a classic. The French don’t cook in one layer like many Brits, the French have layers of desire ingrained into their food. And by layers I do not mean lasagne. Take the macaron for instance, it isn’t inclusive of a quick whisk, tip and bake. The macaron is a layer of gentle folding, artful piping and of course the lovers embrace- in our language that means sandwiching. How romantic.
I reckon it’s impossible to savour the great macaron and not relate it to either the French or love- both are synonymous. If somebody gifts you macarons- or takes you on a sweet macaron date then he must have all kinds of love for you- and if not, then he wants you simply for that moment. Is that so bad? Love is in all shades. Macarons are the epitome of love. And the French of course.
Recipe + Method
185g ground almonds
25g cocoa powder
300g icing sugar
4 egg whites (large)
40g golden caster sugar
225g dark chocolate
5 tbsp double cream
Start by sifting together the icing sugar, ground almonds and cocoa powder- better yet just use a food processor – then sift the mixture into a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and then gently fold in the powdered mixture adding a bit at a time. The end result should be very glossy but thick and not droopy! I then got hold of a pastry ring 3cm in diameter, I recommend using your ruler to find the right size if a pastry cutter this size isn’t at your disposal; pencil around the pastry cutter onto baking paper, about 5cm apart (no less). Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle ad pipe these into the circle. Now let them sit for about 10-15 minutes- this step is called the croutage to allow the macaron to dry. This is crucial; it’s the difference between cracked and wonderfully smooth macarons. Don’t miss this step. Place the macarons into the oven at 150C (fan assisted) and bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool completely
Meanwhile, make the filling. In a bowl over simmering water melt all the ingredients together and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes- best to check on it every 10 minutes as it won’t take long to set. We want it at piping consistency.
Once the macarons and filling are ready to assemble, gently peel away the paper and pipe and sandwich the macarons together.