Chai Masala Macarons

Because I had a day off and wanted a project. Chai Masala Macarons, with garam masala spices in the cookies and salted caramel as the filling. You get a punch of black pepper to offset the sweetness and the other spices round it up.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
85g butter, in small cubes
1/2 tea spoon fleur de sel
140g egg whites
90g sugar, two times
160g almond powder
160g icing sugar
1 tea spoon garam masala
gel food coloring
ingredients

***

1. In a large, thick bottom pot, combine the sugar and water. Try to avoid the sugar getting on the sides.
sugar1

2. Turn the heat on medium and let the sugar bubble away. Gently swirl the pan if needed, but leave it mostly alone. It will bubble up and thicken.
sugar2

3. Then it will go from light yellow to amber to copper. The second it reaches copper, remove from the heat.
sugar3

4. Drop in the butter and whisk it in. The sugar will foam and bubble up. Add the cream and whisk it in. Stir in the fleur de sel. Transfer to a heat proof vessel and set aside to cool.
caramel

5. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
prep

6. For the spices, you want to grind them finely.
spices1

7. But remove the cardamom pods.
spices2

8. In a food processor, combine the almond powder, icing sugar, and spices.
dry1

9. Pulse until blended. Set aside.
dry2

10. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, pour the egg whites.
egg1

11. On low speed, beat until foamy. Add the first 90g of sugar. Increase the speed and beat for a further 2 minutes.
egg2

12. When it gets shiny and more opaque, add the remaining sugar. Increase the speed again and beat for an other minute or two.
egg3

13. Add the food coloring of your choice (I used yellow).
egg4

14. Beat until stiff peaks form. Remove from mixer.
egg5

15. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl.
combine1

16. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the eggs.
combine2

17. Keep folding, from the outside in and going underneath the mixture until it becomes more supple, and ribbons slowly, slowly meld back into the mass.
combine3

18. Transfer to a piping bag. If you have someone to help you have them hold the bag. if not, a mason jar will do.
piping

19. Pipe cookies of about equal sizes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bang tray on the counter top a few times to let air bubbles out. Set aside so the outer shell dries (about 15-30 minutes)
bang

20. Heat the oven to 290F. Bake the shells 15 minutes.
cookies1

21. Allow to cool fully on a cooling rack. Then smear one cookie with caramel and sandwich with another. Transfer, uncovered, to the fridge for 24h. Cookies will keep, covered, for about a week.
assemble

 

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Dark chocolate fudge with pistachioes

Dark, decadent, very chocolaty. By using the evaporated milk rather then the more usual sweetened condensed milk these have a softer texture, midway between a mousse and a ganache. It also allows the chocolate to shine, as it’s not fighting the sugar. If you’d rather have the thick and chewy texture, use sweetened condensed milk.

Ingredients :
350g good dark chocolate
1 tin evaporated milk (unsweetened condensed milk)
150g (shelled) pistachios
30g unsalted butter
a good pinch of fleur de sel

ingredients

***

1. Butter an 8×8 inch dish and line with parchment paper leaving two sides sticking out.
pan

2. Shell the pistachios and remove most of the papery skins.
pistachio-shell

3. Put the pistachios into a ziploc bag. Smash with a rolling pin, the bottom of a pan or a meat tenderizer to break into shards.Set aside.
pistachios-crush

4.  In a heat proof bowl, weight your chocolate.
choco

5. Add the evaporated milk.
combine1

6.   Set the bowl over a pot of boiling water (double boiler). Stir to get the chocolate to start melting then add the butter.
melt

7. When everything is melted and smooth add the fleur de sel.
salt

8. Stir in the splintered pistachios.
pistachios

9. Pour the whole thing into the prepared pan. Smooth the top as best you can. Allow to cool some, then stick in the fridge (fold the parchment paper flaps to cover)
pour

10. Once cold, use the parchment paper flaps to remove from the pan unto a cutting board and discard the parchment paper.
Cut into small cubes (aiming for a 7×7 grid pattern). They will keep in the freezer beautifully until ready to be eaten.
cubes1