Walnut Macarons with Dairy-Free Mocha Filling

“I still feel that French cooking is the most important in the world, one of the few that has rules. If you follow the rules, you can do pretty well.” Julia Child

I, however feel, that the truly good professional (in all other disciplines as well as baking) is the one who learns all the basics, all the rules, practices all the well-established ways, and then takes a turn and tries all the possible routes to do things differently, to explore, to discover and then to invent. It does not mean though, that I would suggest all the basics to be changed, like macarons being called macaroons, some rules are just better to be kept. The confusion between macaroons and macarons is a common one. While both cookies are gluten free, they are completely different desserts and -if one wants to make one- it’s important to not confuse the two. Although some Anglophiles like to anglicise the French spelling of ‘macaron’ to ‘macaroon’ when describing the French Meringue the correct term is macaron. Macaroons are often deemed an American cookie however like everything else, there are several varieties. Generally, most recipes for macaroons call for egg whites, ground or powdered nuts (generally almond or coconut) and sugar.  Macaroons can be prepared in 10 minutes whereas Macarons take hours in total…Hours, that will allow the mischievous baker, to think of the next rule to break…

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Macarons have a bad reputation that defines them as being difficult to make. They may not be the easiest, but it is possible to create perfect macarons every time. They are literally famous about being one of the most prestigious French creations that are definitely not ones to be messed with…for example by exchanging their almond content for walnut…

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Ingredients
For the shells
180 g  powder sugar
120 g ground walnuts
100 g egg whites
66 g caster sugar
For the filling
38 g cocoa powder
1 tsp instant coffee
75 g icing sugar
30 ml very hot water
1 tsp oil

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Preparation
Preheat the oven to 140°C.
Sieve the icing sugar, followed by the ground walnuts, into a large mixing bowl and carefully mix together.In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the caster sugar, a little at a time and continue to whisk until the whites are very thick and glossy. Stir and beat in 1/3 of the egg whites into the icing sugar and nut-sugar mix. Add the second third of the egg whites and repeat. The mixture will (supposed to) lose some air and become quite loose. Finally, very gently fold in the remaining third of the egg whites. Using a piping bag with a plain nozzle, fill with the macaron mixture. Place a paper template onto a baking sheet and cover with baking paper. Pipe small blobs onto the sheet. Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to help the macaron mixture to settle and to break any air bubbles, then leave to dry for 20 minutes. Bake the macarons in the preheated for 7 – 8 minutes minutes, open the door to release any steam, close the oven door and cook for a further 7 – 8 minutes. The macarons are cooked when they feel firm and are slightly risen. Slide the mat or greaseproof paper onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

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To make the Filling
Mix cocoa powder, icing sugar and coffee with very hot water, and once a melted chocolate consistency is achieved, stir in the oil. Place approx 1/2 a tsp of the filling to the flat side of one macaroon and sandwich together with another then twist ever so slightly to create a bond. Continue with the remaining macaroons.

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” Julia Child

10 thoughts on “Walnut Macarons with Dairy-Free Mocha Filling

  1. Gorgeous. I love that the filling has no dairy. ““This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” Julia Child” – Great quote! Thanks for sharing. Shanna

  2. Pingback: Macaroons Versus Macarons: A Guilt-free Chocolate All-nut Version | When Judit bakes...bread and better..

  3. Pingback: Macaroons Versus Macarons: An Almost Guilt-free Chocolate All-nut Version | When Judit bakes...bread and better..

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