Chinese Five Spice Chocolate Almond Macaroons

- serves
- time

A delicious macaroons recipe. Your new favourite treat. Probably.

125g                ground blanched almonds    
210g                icing sugar
5g                    Chinese Five Spice powder
15g                  good quality cocoa powder
100g                egg whites
25g                  castor sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
Makes approximately 35 sandwiched together
Place the ground almonds, icing, Chinese Five Spice powder and cocoa powder into a sieve over a bowl and sieve together, you may have to use you hand to assist the almonds getting through the sieve, with the objective of combining all the ingredients well together.
Using a electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the eggs whites, sugar and cream of tartar into a scrupulously clean mixing bowl and whisk on high speed for until the mixer holds almost stiff peaks, but not too dry.
Remove the whisk attachment and using a wooden spoon or spatula mix in the almond, sugar and cocoa mixture until you have formed a thick paste. Don’t be scared about loosing all the air bubbles you have just created, this is the objective as if the mixture is light and fluffy the individual macaroons will puff up in the oven.
Place the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small plain piping tube about ½ cm in diameter. Pipe small bulbs of macaroon mixture about 1½ cm in diameter onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, allow a gap of at least 2 cm between each one.
Lift the tray up and bang it on the bench a couple of times to allow the mixture to settle and spread a little.
Leave the trays of macaroons to sit in room temperature for 45 minutes to create a small crust or skin.
Bake in a preheated oven set at 190 - 200ºC for 10 – 12 minutes until they have risen and spread slightly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, then gently peel off each macaroon from the baking paper ready to fill.

Ganache Filling

100g                fresh cream
200 g               white chocolate, finely chopped
⅛ teaspoon     Chinese Five Spice powder
Place the cream into a saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and Chinese Five Spice powder, stir using a wooden spoon until the chocolate has melted, you may need to put the saucepan back onto the warm but not switched on heat to melt all the chocolate.
Pour into a small bowl and cover, leave out at room temperature to cool, do not put in the fridge. Then when you are ready to fill your macaroons use a wooden spoon, beat until the ganache changes colour and become lighter in texture, but it is still smooth and soft.
Place the ganache into a piping bag fitted with a small plain piping tube. Take one macaroon in your fingers and pipe a small dot of ganache onto the bottom and then sandwich with another, bottom to bottom. Continue until all the macaroons have been sandwiched. Allow the ganache to set before eating, if you can wait that long!

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