In his third book Cocoa, Damien Wager, one of the UK’s leading pastry experts, explores how cocoa powder can be used to replace chocolate and enhance recipes in numerous pastry preparations, from macarons to tarts, petit gâteaux or vegan proposals. Available in English at Books For Chefs, it is divided into four chapters: snacks, tarts, lifelike, and petits gateaux. In the heterogeneous snacks section we find Coffee Caramel Macarons, whose recipe we share below. As with the rest of the more than 40 creations (more than 150 sub-recipes) in the book, it includes interesting tips to obtain the best results.
As we will see below, Wager perfectly masters the art of making crunchy and fluffy macarons. In addition, he offers us an interesting tip to give that golden touch to the finish of the product. On this occasion, the chef introduces an intense coffee and white chocolate ganache as a filling, resulting in a snack that could serve as a side dish at coffee time or as a mignardise at the end of a menu.
It should be noted that all the recipes in Cocoa have been prepared with cocoa from Zaan, hand in hand with its European Chef Lead, Talia Profet.
Coffee caramel macarons
Cocoa macaron shells
- 360 g icing sugar
- 340 g ground almonds
- 20 g True Dark cocoa powder
- 130 g egg whites
- 350 g caster sugar
- 60 ml water
- 130 g egg whites
Begin by processing the ground almonds, cocoa powder & icing sugar to ensure there are no large lumps and sieve into a bowl.
Add one weight of egg whites into the bowl & leave to one side.
Place the other weight of egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and begin whisking on a medium speed. In the meantime, in a pan, combine the caster sugar & water before heating. Allow this ‘syrup’ to reach 120 degrees before pouring into the whisking egg whites. Increase the speed of the mixer.
Once stiff peaks form, remove from the mixer and begin folding into the almond, icing sugar & egg mixture from earlier. Do this in three stages, taking care to not beat too much air from the mixture.
When combined, you should have a ribbon-like consistency when the spatula used to mix is lifted out of the bowl. Next, transfer the macaron batter into a piping bag fit with a round nozzle at a size you feel comfortable working with.
Pipe macarons to the required size, ensuring you leave enough room between each. Once you have piped a full tray, tap the tray or silicone mat onto the work surface to remove any air bubbles and help the macaron shells to find their shape.
Leave to ‘rest’ for 5-10 minutes before baking at 140 degrees Celsius for 18-20 minutes. Don’t forget to leave enough room between the trays in the oven to assist with the dispersion of heat during baking.
- 75 g caster sugar
- 90 ml espresso (good quality)
- 70 ml double cream
- 340 g white chocolate
Combine and lightly heat the espresso & cream until almost simmering. Remove from the heat and keep to one side.
In a heavy bottomed pan, begin to caramelise the caster sugar until golden in colour.
Immediately add in the warm coffee/cream mixture and whisk to combine. Allow this to ‘cook out’ until a sauce-like consistency appears.
Pour the mixture over the white chocolate and use a hand blender to emulsify into a smooth ganache. Transfer into a piping bag and allow to cool before using.
Once cooled fully, pair the macaron shells accordingly. To create the ones pictured, one has been coloured using the ‘tip’ given below, and the other finished with the addition of ground coffee sprinkled before baking. Pipe a generous amount of the ganache onto one shell before sandwiching the other to complete the macaron. It is recommended that you store macarons in the fridge for 12-24 hours before serving for optimum taste.
To create the ‘yellow’ tone on the shells pictured, add in 2g of heat stable water soluble colouring to the egg whites when making the Italian meringue. This will blend with the cocoa and create the colour pictured.