I love desserts and I really enjoyed making these during my time at Leith's School of Food and Wine. I developed this recipe whilst we were taste testing our herbal infusions. We ended up with a lot of samples and I wondered it they could used to make macaroons. These were my favourite, using our Mint Fiesta herbal infusion combined with a rich dark chocolate ganache they make our take on 'After Eight' Herb Macaroons.
Makes 50 paired macaroons (works if you only do half a recipe). This is quite a technical recipe but makes wonderful macaroons.
- 200g ground almonds
- 200g icing sugar
- 160g egg whites (about 5 medium)
- 75ml water
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon (or 1 tea bag) of Jekka's Mint Fiesta herbal infusion
- 350g good quality dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids)
- 250ml double cream
- Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
- Thoroughly mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together in a food process and sift into a large bowl (discard any coarse pieces).
- Sieve in Jekka's Mint Fiesta herbal infusion.
- Put the almond mixture into a bowl, and using a spatula, mix in 80g unbeaten egg white to create a smooth paste (you can add food colouring at this point, but I choose not to).
- Bring the water and sugar to the boil to make a sugar syrup.
- Meanwhile in a large bowl whisk the remaining 80g egg white to soft peaks using a hand-held electric whisk.
- When the sugar syrup reaches 115 Deg C pour it over the whisk egg whites
- Whisk until stiff peaks.
- Using a spatula, stir one third of this mixture into the almond paste.
- Then carefully fold in the remaining meringue.
- Continue to fold until it just becomes smooth, uniform, gentle flowing and a little shiny.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a 5-8mm plain nozzle with the macaroon mixture and pipe into little mounds, about 2-2.5cm in diameter, onto the prepared trays.
- Set aside for 20-30 minutes.
- Heat an oven to 160 Deg C/Gas mark 2.5.
- To check the macaroons are ready lightly brush the top of one; the batter should not stick to your finger.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the macaroons have formed a crisp shell base.
- Leave to cool completely before removing from the baking sheet.
- To make the ganache:
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces, ideally about 1cm in size, and put int a heat proof bowl.
- Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to the simmer and pour over the chocolate.
- Leave to cool until it begins to thicken around the edges and whisk on a slow speed for 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer to a piping bag.
- To serve sandwich together the pairs with the chocolate ganache.
If you love the sounds of this recipe and herb-based cooking check out our Master Classes.