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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
1h00

Mastering Chocolate
I discovered the magical combination of smooth chocolate, sweet maple syrup and salty, crispy bacon when I was on holiday in America. I couldn’t wait to try it in one of my own recipes: this is the result.

Makes 40–50 macaroons

Posted by Squires Kitchen Published See Squires Kitchen's 5 projects » © 2019 Mark Tilling · Reproduced with permission. · Recipe taken from Mastering Chocolate by Mark Tilling (£20.00, B. Dutton Publishing). Photography by Rob Goves.
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  • Step 1

    Chocolate Macaroons

    Mix the icing sugar, cocoa powder and ground almonds together then transfer to a food processor and briefly blitz into a very fine powder.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 2
    Step 2

    Sift the powder through a fine sieve.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 3
    Step 3

    Stir in 55g (2oz) of egg whites to make a paste.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 4
    Step 4

    Place the remaining 55g (2oz) of egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk the whites until they reach soft peaks, then whisk in 15g (½oz) of caster sugar.

    Top Tip
    If the amount of egg whites is too small for your stand mixer at first, use a hand beater in the stand mixer bowl to increase the volume of the whites before switching to the stand mixer.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 5
    Step 5

    Meanwhile, heat the remaining 150g (5¼oz) of caster sugar with 40ml (1½fl oz) of water in a saucepan to 118°C (244°F).

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 6
    Step 6

    Continuing to whisk the egg whites in the stand mixer at a medium speed, gradually add the boiled sugar in a thin stream until the mixture becomes thick, glossy and cool to the touch – this should take approximately 10 minutes.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 7
    Step 7

    Fold a third of the cooled egg whites into the nut paste to loosen the paste.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 8
    Step 8

    Then fold in the remaining egg whites until the mixture is shiny and has the consistency of a thick paste – see the Top Tip below.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 9
    Step 9

    Top Tip
    This stage of the mixture is crucial for successful macaroons. Spoon a little of the mixture onto a flat surface: it should sink slowly of its own accord without any peaks. If the mixture spreads quickly like a liquid, it has been over-mixed.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 10
    Step 10

    Line a baking tray with silicone paper or a macaroon baking mat. Secure the lining by piping a dot of macaroon mixture onto the corners of the tray beneath it, then press the lining down to stop it from sliding around as you pipe. Fit a piping bag with a 5mm (¼”) round nozzle and fill the piping bag with the mixture. Pipe 2cm (¾”) circles onto the tray, leaving at least a 2cm (¾”) gap between each one. Tap the tray on the work surface to release any air bubbles: I do this by dropping the tray from a short distance above the surface. The macaroons should spread to 3cm (1 1/8”).

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 11
    Step 11

    Leave to crust over for 30–40 minutes, or until the tops are no longer sticky; this may be quicker or slower depending on the humidity in the kitchen. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F/gas mark 1).

  • Step 12

    Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until firm on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before taking the macaroons off the tray.

    Top Tip
    At this point the unfilled macaroons can be stored between layers of greaseproof paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to two months.

  • Step 13

    Bacon Sprinkle

    Place the bacon rashers on a lined baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven at 110°C (225°F/gas mark ¼) for 45–60 minutes or until dried and crisp, turning halfway through the cooking time.

  • Step 14

    Remove from the oven, soak up any grease with kitchen paper if the bacon is oily and leave it to cool.

  • Step 15

    Place the bacon in a food blender or spice grinder and blend to a powder.

  • Step 16

    Maple Buttercream

    Combine the egg whites, sugar and 1tbsp of maple syrup in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer. Place it over a saucepan of water to form a bain-marie, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 17
    Step 17

    Heat to approximately 60°C (140°F) or until warm to the touch, making sure to stir the mixture from time to time so the eggs don’t scramble.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 18
    Step 18

    Remove the bowl from the bain-marie, place it on the stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until light, fluffy and cooled to room temperature -

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 19
    Step 19

    approximately 10 minutes at a medium speed.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 20
    Step 20

    Gradually add the butter a little at a time until it is all incorporated. If the mixture starts to curdle, keep whisking it on a slow speed until it reaches the correct consistency.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 21
    Step 21

    Mix two thirds of the bacon sprinkle into the buttercream along with 2tbsp of maple syrup.

    Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a
    1cm (3/8”) nozzle.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 22
    Step 22

    Assembly

    Pipe buttercream onto half of the macaroons then place the remaining halves on top.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 23
    Step 23

    Place the white chocolate into a small paper piping bag. Snip off the very end and pipe fine lines over one side of the macaroons.

  • How to bake a macaron. Chocolate, Maple & Bacon Macaroons - Step 24
    Step 24

    Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle the rest of the bacon over it then leave to set.

  • Step 25

    Once they are filled, store the macaroons between layers of greaseproof paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

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