I had a chocolate covered cep lollipop as a pre-dessert a few weeks ago.
It was really good!
Chocolate with mushroom turns out to be a great, though unusual food combination.
Apparently science backs this up,
“both mushrooms and chocolate contain aldehydes (a compound that imparts nuttiness) and pyrazines (which enhance roasted flavours), says Bernard Lahousse, partner and science director at FoodPairing.com, a Belgium-based site devoted to exploring the chemical underpinnings of flavour combinations. This explains why the two foods, while seemingly dissimilar, work so well together. “The mushrooms also [bring out] umami in the chocolate,” further intensifying its depth of flavour, Lahousse says from his office in Bruges.” The Globe and Mail.
We had some dried wild mushrooms left over from a great fungi season so I thought I would have a play.
These are the result……and they are good.
Mushroom macaroons with truffled ganache filling
Based on Andre Morton’s plain macaron recipe.
For the Macaroons.
110g Icing sugar
40g Ground almonds
2 Medium egg whites
40g Caster sugar
For the Ganache.
100g Dark chocolate, chopped finely
100ml Double cream
1 tsp Truffle oil
First make the Ganache. Put the cream into a pan over a medium heat until just below a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and truffle oil to the pan, stirring until completely melted and combined. Pour into a container to cool.
Now for the macaroons.
1. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. This is a different thing to greaseproof paper and is worth the slightly inflated price. In a food processor (or using a blender/stick blender if you don’t have one), grind together the icing sugar and ground almonds until there are no lumps – you want them as powdery as you can.
2. In a large bowl , whisk your egg whites and caster sugar. It helps to own an electric whisk. It might take a while, but they will eventually become filled with air and quite stiff, although it doesn’t matter if you don’t quite reach stiff peaks.
3. Add about half your sugary almond powder to your airy sugary egg whites and very, very carefully fold together with a large metal spoon. This just involves gentle mixing, making sure you scoop from the bottom in order to keep the air in.
4. Add the rest of your powder and mix everything well. You want to force most of that air you’ve captured out, so that the mixture tumbles from your spoon, gradually but gloopily. Stop when it reaches exactly the consistency of flowing lava – when you drop some into your bowl, the surface should slowly flatten out to leave no visible peak. This might well be looser than you were expecting.
5. If you own a piping bag, great. If not, a freezer or sandwich bag is just as good. Scoop your mixture into your bag and twist the open end to force the mixture into a corner. Cut this corner off using scissors, leaving a hole about 1cm wide. Use this to squeeze little circles onto your prepared baking sheet. You want them anything between 1-2 inches in diameter. Leave plenty of space between each one.
6. Once your macaroons are piped, lift your baking tray about a foot or two above your work surface and drop it so it smashes down dramatically. Repeat 2-3 times – it’s just to remove any big bubbles that might be left in the mixture.
7. This is the most important step. Leave your piped macaroons uncovered and at room temperature for, at the very least, 30 minutes. The longer the better. You want the surface to dry out and a skin to form. At this point, preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan – fan is better. Your oven must be properly preheated for at least 30 minutes.
8. Bake for between 10 and 12 minutes, depending on the size you’ve gone for. You must take them out before they begin to go brown. A good tip is to open the oven fully, then quickly close it again, at least twice during cooking. This will remove excess steam.
9. Once baked and cooled, remove from the tray, spread the underside of half of them with Ganache and sandwich together with the other half.
Store in an airtight tin.