Again, I AM NOT A BIG MACARON FAN! But I make a lot because people love them. And hence we have leftovers, and turns out we eat a lot of macarons too. Ironic! I know! But it’s a happy life when you get to have something sweet from time to time. I should try to complain less.
My approach to macarons is to make it the way I like them to be. I make less sweeter and more saltier buttercream to go with the inevitably sweet macaron shells to balance the flavours. That’s one way to do it. But then I’ve also realized that macarons are probably one of the perfect cookies to go with ice cream too. Isn’t that exciting? Only hearing “Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich” already makes you scream, doesn’t it?!
These cookies stay chewy and airy when frozen. The freezing cold and creamy ice cream softens the sweetness of the macaron shells. I went with the combination of dark chocolate and espresso. And each bite of these babies were divine. I think it’s time to explore other flavours.
Ingredients (about 20 sandwiches):
Espresso Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Espresso powder
4 large egg yolks
Dark Chocolate Macarons
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup almond flour
2 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
To prepare the ice cream, in a medium saucepan, combine milk, heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar, salt and Espresso powder. Bring mixture to simmer, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
Whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar in a medium bowl until pale, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in half of the warm cream mixture, mix until blended. Stir yolk mixture into the remaining cream mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Strain custard into another medium bowl. Let cool over a bowl of ice water, or chill in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally.
Process custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, level the top, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
To prepare the macarons, line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Put a master template under the parchment paper or draw 2-inch circles in rows on the paper, about 1 inch apart.
Process powdered sugar, cocoa powder and almond flour in a food processor until finely ground. Sift the mixture through a sieve. If there are more than 2 tablespoons of large chunks left in the sieve, grind them and sift again. Set the mixture aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to high and beat until very stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
Sift the almond flour mixture over the egg whites. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the almond flour mixture into the egg whites until the ingredients are combined and the mixture has loosened and falls in a ribbon from the spatula.
Fit a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch round tip and fill the bag with the batter. Using the template as a guide, pipe circles onto the parchment papers.
Tap the bottom of each sheet on the work surface to release trapped air bubbles. Let the cookies stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes until the surface of the cookie shells is completely dry to touch. This allows the cookies to develop their crusts.
Preheat oven to 325F. Bake the macarons for 10 to 12 minutes, until set but not browned.
Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the macarons to cool completely on the pans. Once cooled, gently lift half of the cookies from the parchment paper and turn them upside down.
To assemble the sandwiches, remove ice cream from the freezer, use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut out a disc of ice cream and place it on top of one cookie. Place another cookie on top of the ice cream. Lightly press to adhere the sandwich.
Serve immediately. Or wrap each sandwich with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer.