chocolate almond meringue cookies

chocolate almond meringue cookieMerry Christmas to one and all!

 

A bit late to post this but this was what I was up to today. Hehe. Seldom you find a post by me where the baking is done the same day the post went up. I usually schedule my posts a month or so ahead.

 

These were really supposed to be….macarons. Yep. Macarons. Sigh. The macaron fairy has yet to come by my place. This is the..erm..let me think..5th attempt at macarons!

 

My first time making macarons was with this recipe from David Lebovitz. It turned out the same way as it did today. No feet, but still absolutely delicious.

 

The 2nd to 4th attempt were with other recipes and those were what I call the “bin it” products. Totally inedible. Stuck on the parchment paper  to the point where removal was impossible. Sigh.

 

Everyone knows making macarons is not to be taken lightly. The ingredients and process seems simple..but technique and a slight degree of luck (in my opinion) is required for a beautiful result with feet and all. Since they did not succeed, I cannot name these macarons. Ha. I renamed it as chocolate almond meringue cookies.

 

My recipe is largely adapted from David Lebovitz. What? Yes, I dared..actually dared..to change some components of his marvellous recipe and make it less sweet. So I have no idea what made these feetless. Perhaps it was the weather..too humid. Perhaps it was the changed ingredients. Perhaps (and I think most likely) it was under-folding. I always seem to either under or over-fold. Ah. Perseverance is the key. I shall wait my turn for the macaron fairy to visit…

 

Chocolate Almond Meringue Cookies

  • 100 grams icing sugar
  • 200 grams fine almond meal
  • 50 grams dark cocoa
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Prepare 2 large cookie sheets lined with greaseproof or parchment paper and a large piping bag fitted with a plain tip (2 cm). 
  2. Sieve icing sugar, almond meal and cocoa into a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix caster sugar and salt and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites for a minute on high speed. When bubbles start to form, gradually add in caster sugar and salt. Beat for another minute or so until stiff peaks form. Take care not to over-beat. My notes: I find it is always better to lift up the beater in intervals to check on the meringue. Once a straight hook forms when you lift your beater, it is done. The timing really depends on the power of your machine. The 2 minute mark is using KA speed 8. My personal practice is to slow down the machine to 4 about 1 minute 30 seconds into beating.
  5. Fold the icing sugar almond flour mixture into the meringue in 2 additions. Do not over-fold. My notes: For the first addition, you do not need to fold it in completely before adding the second addition. Just fold until the majority is in, then add in the second addition.
  6. Scrape into the piping bag and pipe onto the cookie sheets. I did mine in circles of about 3 cm diameter, placed an inch apart. Bang the cookie sheets onto the counter a few times.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, then let cool slightly before moving onto a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

When I made these in 3 batches, the 1st batch had no resting time. No feet. The other 2 batches rested for 2 hours in an air-conditioned room. My hopes were raised when the tops of the ‘macarons’ felt dry. Still no feet. Boo. 5th attempt down. Macarons 5, Me 0. 

 

I didn’t bother to fill these with anything, seeing that they failed. Plus they taste good enough by themselves. The taste is not as tooth-achingly sweet as the normal macarons and it has a slight chewy centre. The dark cocoa makes my day. I didn’t even get upset over these failed macarons, since these taste marvellous. Hehe.

 

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