I have not had a chance to participate in one of my favorite virtual cooking events in a very long time; the MacTweets Macaron challenge, which is hosted by the lovely Jamie and Deeba. When I saw that their December challenge was not due until the 25th of December, I knew I had time and it worked out as I was planning on making macarons for our clients. Killed two birds with one giant macaron. This festive recipe for Spicy Hot Chocolate Macarons will not kill any birds, instead, it will put smiles on many faces!
Every year we put together homemade goodies for our very best clients. Macarons always make the list as they are elegant and well, just perfect for a holiday treat. The problem with making macarons is that I start to get a bit crazy as I am making them; thinking of all the flavors I could add to the package. For instance, last year I could not stop at just one, instead, I had three different flavors: Eggnog, Ancho Chili and Chartreuse. This year I decided to focus on one flavor and to make it perfect. It just so happened to fall perfectly into the MacTweets challenge of Savory Sweet.
I used my fail-proof macaron recipe and added Scharffenberger unsweetened bittersweet chocolate that I spiced up with some chipotle chili powder. Then I made homemade vanilla bean marshmallow fluff; which was heavenly and I had to control myself from eating it all with a wooden spoon. If you do not want to make the fluff, then use store-bought, which is just as good. I pulled together my spicy hot chocolate macaron with a dusting of crushed candy canes. It was like a steamy mug of spicy but sweet hot chocolate on a cold afternoon. All that was missing was the crackling fireplace.
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Spicy Hot Chocolate Macarons
8 ounces whole raw almonds
8 ounces whole hazelnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
100 grams egg whites
25 grams sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon creme of tarter
200 grams powdered sugar
125 grams mixed nut flour, I used half hazelnuts and half almonds
15 grams scharffen berger (or really good) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
pinch of salt
candy canes, crushed
Separate the egg whites and let them sit at room temperature for 24 hours before starting to make the macarons.
Prepare the nut flour by grinding the nuts with 1 cup of powdered sugar, in a food processor until the consistency of flour. You will need to pulse the food processor and run it, then pulse and then run. *I did toast my nuts beforehand and let cool completely before grinding.
Preheat oven to 300.
Whip the egg whites and creme of tartar until they are foamy. Sprinkle in the sugar while still mixing. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
Sift the powdered sugar, salt, nut flour, and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add to the meringue and fold until a shiny mass comes together.
Fit a pastry bag with a number 806 tip, then fill with 1/4 of the macaroon batter.
Pipe the macarons onto parchment paper.
Let the macarons dry at room temperature for 30 minutes (Aran suggests 20, I lost track of time).
Bake them for 8 minutes, rotate the baking pan and bake for another 8 minutes.
Remove from parchment.
Lightly spread about a teaspoon of fluff on one side of a macaroon, then top with another cookie. Let a little squeeze out the sides, then roll in the crushed candy cane.