Mexican Chocolate Macaron Shells
Mexican Chocolate Filling
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch cayenne
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place egg whites in a bowl on counter while preparing cookie sheets, up to 2 hours. Use a 1 1/2 -inch round cookie cutter to trace circles on two pieces of parchment paper. About 20 circles will fit on one sheet. Flip sheets over and place on rimmed cookie sheets. Set aside.
- Whir cacao nibs in a spice or coffee grinder until fine. If you don’t have a spice grinder, pulse nibs in a food processor as best you can. Add powdered sugar and pulse several more times. Add almond flour, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne to food processor bowl. Run on high speed until combined. Sift mixture into a bowl, discarding any large pieces that won’t fit through sifter mesh.
- With whisk attachment of a mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed for one minute. Very gradually, add in granulated sugar into eggs with mixer running. Once all sugar has been added, scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until eggs are glossy, thick, and just hold a stiff peak. (A stiff peak is when beater is pulled from bowl and meringue holds its shape without flopping over.)
- Pour almond flour mixture into egg whites and use a silicone spatula to fold in slow strokes from bottom of bowl. Mixture will seem dry at first and then come together. Keep folding gently until egg whites and flour mixture is combined and falls off spatula in a ribbon.
- Pour batter into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, such as a Wilton #24. Alternately, cut about a 1/2-inch opening in piping bag. Pipe batter onto prepared circle templates, releasing pressure on bag when circle is filled.
- From a height of a few inches, drop cookie sheets onto counter. Let batter set for 30-60 minutes until tops feel a bit dry when lightly touched. An oscillating or ceiling fan on low near cookie sheets can help.
- Preheat oven to 300°F. When cookies are ready, bake for 16-18 minutes or until shells lift effortlessly from parchment. Let cool on cookie sheet until room temperature.
- Make filling. Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Make sure bottom of bowl does not touch water. Place chocolate chips, cream, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt in bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted. (Mixture will look grainy because of cinnamon.) Remove bowl and stir in vanilla extract. Prepare an ice water bath in another bowl and set chocolate bowl inside, stirring every 10 minutes until chocolate is thickened and cool. Scoop into bowl of an electric mixer and beat using paddle attachment until loosened and fluffy.
- Place filling in a piping bag fitted with a #12 tip, or snip tip. Pipe filling onto half of shells, not quite to edge. Carefully sandwich with remaining shells.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve, then bring to room temperature. Macarons are best when made ahead and can be refrigerated up to a week and frozen 3 months.
Recipe developed for Imperial Sugar by Bridget Edwards @Bake at 350.