makes ~50 small macarons or 20-30 large macaroons
for macaroon shells*:
- 200 gr powdered sugar
- 120 gr blanched and slivered almonds
- 20 gr unsweetened dried coconut flakes (not the sugared kind!)
- 30 gr granulated sugar
- 100 gr egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 tspn cream of tartar
- 1/8 tspn coconut extract
- 1/8 tspn rose extract
- Prepare two baking sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper and a pastry bag with a large round piping tip.
- Combine the powdered sugar, almonds, and dried coconut flakes in a food processor and grind until a fine powder. Sift thoroughly through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
- In a small bowl, have ready the granulated sugar.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the egg whites and the cream of tartar. Using a balloon whisk, quickly stir the mixture until the entire surface is covered with foam. Then, start whisking the egg whites, gradually adding in the granulated sugar once the egg whites are very frothy. Whisk until you reach glossy, almost-stiff peaks.
- Gently fold the sifted almond and powdered sugar mixture into the egg whites in two to three stages, adding the coconut and rose extracts as you go. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated and the batter slowly re-absorbs peaks. Do not overmix!
- Transfer the macaroon mixture to the prepared piping bag and pipe rounds on the lined baking sheets. Tap the baking sheets on the table a few times to release air pockets.
- Rest the macaroons for at least 30 minutes (and up to 60), until the outside shells are no longer tacky and sticky to a light touch.
- Preheat oven to 145 degrees C, with the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
- Bake the macaroons in the oven, one sheet at a time, for 24-28 minutes total, rotating the sheet half-way through the baking time to insure even baking.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
*Note: the resting and oven temperature and times are adjusted to what works in my kitchen and oven (which, to my knowledge and according to two oven thermometers, is quite accurate). Please note that you may have to adjust according to what works in your kitchen and oven.
for coconut-rose chocolate ganache:
- 1/2 cup coconut cream (see note below)
- 1 Tbspn butter
- 1 tspn rose water
- 2 tspn corn syrup
- 4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- In a small saucepan, combine the coconut cream, butter, rose water, and corn syrup. Bring to a simmer.
- Once the coconut cream mixture is simmering, remove from heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until smooth.
- Let cool completely, and use to fill macaroons.
- Once the macaroons are filled, let them “cure” in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Note: for coconut cream, skim the cream off the top of a can of coconut milk. A little bit of milk is okay.
Makes about 48 chocolates
- 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 lb. almond paste
- 1 1/2 Tbspn corn syrup
- 1 Tbspn rose flavoring (available at specialty food stores; I got mine at Sur la Table)
- 1/2 Tbspn water
- 3-4 drops pink gel food coloring
- In a food processor, pulse confectioner’s sugar until no lumps remain. Add the almond paste in chunks and process until combined.
- Add the corn syrup. Pulse a few times until the corn syrup is incorporated.
- In a separate small bowl, combine rose flavoring, water, and food coloring and mix. Add the food coloring mixture into the food processor.
- Process until the combination starts to come together. Stop right before it forms a big ball.
- Turn out the marzipan onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and store in an airtight container overnight before use.
- 1 lb. dark chocolate (I used Gittard, but any good quality dark chocolate will work), split into two half pounds
- rose marzipan, recipe above
You will also need plastic chocolate molds. available at arts & crafts stores or online.
- Chop a 1/2 pound of the dark chocolate and place in a double boiler. Melt this chocolate. Turn off stove.
- Add the other 1/2 pound WHOLE, without chopping!, to the melted chocolate in the double boiler. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. This is the easiest way to temper chocolate that I’ve found. No need to mess with marble pastry boards or thermometers! But, if you have your own method, feel free to temper the chocolate as you wish.
- Once the chocolate is tempered, make sure to keep it only hot enough to keep it melted. Turn on the stove to simmer the water in the double boiler if heat is needed.
- Pour a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the molds one at a time. Once the chocolate is poured into one mold, use a paintbrush to spread the chocolate evenly to coat the inside of each mold. Do not pour chocolate into all of the molds first and then spread later–your chocolate will cool! Do this one single mold at a time.
- Once the molds have been coated, place them in the freezer for about five minutes. Be careful not to leave them in for too long–the goal is only to let the chocolate set.
- Remove the molds from the freezer. Break off small pieces of rose marzipan–about the size of a small cherry, and roll into a ball. Press the marzipan into the chocolate molds, leaving a tiny bit of space at the top of each mold.
- Pour melted chocolate into the molds to cover the marzipan. Jiggle each tray a few times, and tap them gently on the counter to allow the melted chocolate to settle and to release any air pockets.
- Return the molds to the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove from the freezer and turn out onto a cutting board. If needed, use a round cookie cutter to trim the excess chocolate around the candies.
- You should probably store the chocolates in the fridge, but since the chocolate is tempered, they will survive a bit of time outside the fridge as well, as long as it’s not too hot outside!
- 2 cups almond milk (or soya milk)
- 2 tspn apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 tspn vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tspn baking soda
- 1 tspn baking powder
- 1/4 tspn salt
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
- In a mixer bowl, combine the almond milk and vinegar with a few strokes. Allow them to sit for a few minutes until curdled. Then add the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Beat until frothy.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two stages, beating thoroughly in between. After last addition, beat until smooth but do not overmix.
- Fill cupcake molds (greased or with cupcake paper) until about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes and then remove from oven and cool for 10.
Vegan Pumpkin ‘Buttercream’
- 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
- 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (i.e. Earth Balance)
- 8oz. canned pumpkin
- nutmeg, to taste
- cinnamon, to taste
- clove, to taste
- powdered ginger, to taste
- 1 tspn vanilla
- 3-4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
- Sift the powdered sugar. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is in a food processor, since I go through vast amounts of the stuff.
- Combine shortening and margarine in a mixer bowl. Beat until creamy.
- Add the pumpkin to the shortening and margarine and beat until combined.
- Add spices to taste and add the vanilla. Mix.
- Slowly begin to mix in the powdered sugar, beating all the while, until the desired consistency is achieved. If the buttercream gets too stiff, you can stir in a bit of almond milk.
After frosting the cupcakes, decorate as desired or with sifted cocoa powder.