I had half a packet of desiccated coconut left over from another project and had been looking for a use for it, then as I was looking for something else in that aisle in the supermarket, I happened upon the glacé cherries. Lightening struck. Cherry ripe macarons (fashioned after the Cadbury’s chocolate bar) were born.
Chocolate shells, filled with a chewy coconut and cherry concoction.
I upped the cocoa in the shells a smidgen from my usual recipe so they would be a bit more chocolatey, and upped the baking time a tad because cocoa gets veeeeery sticky.
Makes 30 filled macarons
140g ground almonds
120g powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
20g unsweetened cocoa powder
100g egg white (from approx. 3 eggs), room temperature, divided 50/50
100g granulated (white) sugar
250g glacé (or maraschino) cherries
80ml (1/4 cup) sweetened condensed milk
75g desiccated coconut
Prepare 2 parchment lined baking sheets.
Mix the ground almonds, powdered sugar and cocoa powder together then grind in a food processor until you have an extra fine texture.
Sift into a large bowl, re-grinding any bigger pieces of almond.
Add 50g egg whites and mix thoroughly into the almond mixture. Set aside.
In another bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the other 50g egg whites to stiff peaks.
Meanwhile, put the granulated sugar and water into a small saucepan and heat on medium-low to 118°C (244°F).
While whisking constantly on low speed (to avoid splashing hot syrup), slowly add the cooked sugar mixture to the beaten egg whites, pouring it down the inside edge of the bowl. Whisk at high speed until the mixture is cool, about 3 minutes. The mixture should increase in volume and become firm (you should get a beak when you lift the whisk) and shiny.
Scrape the meringue onto the almond mixture and incorporate with a rubber or silicone spatula until you have a homogenous batter that runs from the spatula in a thick ribbon and a trail in the batter melts back into itself within 20 seconds.
Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 7 – 9mm plain tip (this is best done in two batches, so you don’t overfill the bag). Pipe 60 equally sized rounds, about 4cm, in staggered rows onto the prepared sheets. Hold the piping bag upright with the tip just above the sheet and pipe without pulling upwards or swirling in circles, so the batter comes out in a round blob around the tip, and give a little sideways flick at the end to break the stream.
Tap the baking sheet firmly on the bench several times to release air bubbles and obtain a smooth surface. Leave the tray to rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes until a slight skin forms.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
Bake the macarons for 22 minutes, one sheet at a time, turning the sheet half-way.
Remove from oven and remove the parchment from the tray with the shells still on it and place on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes, until completely cool, then remove macaron shells carefully from the parchment.
Finely chop 100g of the cherries, puree the remainder in a food processor and combine both with condensed milk and coconut in a bowl. Add more condensed milk or coconut as needed to get a thick but spreadable consistency.
Spread about two teaspoonfuls of filling onto the flat side of half the shells, then top with the remaining shells.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge to mature for at least 24 hours before eating.