I'm one of those people who thinks that food has an amazing ability to change one's bad mood to a cheerful disposition. This type of food would include chocolate, of course. This past week I met up with a friend who seemed a bit sad. Not too much, just a tad. Or maybe I was just looking for an excuse to make something sweet, something chocolatey. I had this great bittersweet Callebaut sitting in my cupboard that I'd had my eye on for a few days. So what is a girl to do with 100 grams of leftover quality dark chocolate? Macaroons of course. For the hundredth time. Somehow I always seem to think that the next batch will be even better than the previous one. This cookie is not the typical french version, but a denser, chewier one.
It has a delicious vanilla flavoured chocolate filling with just a pinch of sea salt. Salt just takes chocolate to the next level in my opinion. It has to be really good sea salt and just a pinch of it.
Over the years I have tested tons of macaroon recipes. Some of them great, some not so good. Chocolate, caramel and coffee
flavoured ones are favourites with my palate. The colourful ones, filled with butter cream tend too be a feast for the eyes rather than the taste buds. They're just sweet, and not much else. (This applies to all the" designer" macaroons that I had in Tokyo). That said I have never had Pierre Herme's world famous macaroons. I am heading to Paris soon, taking a taxi from the airport straight to the Pierre Herme store (no, just kidding:)). Will definitely let you know of any sudden change of heart that might occur during this ever so important visit.
Oh, almost forgot: it turns out my friend K. was not sad, or down or tired that day. I was all in my had:) But she loved the cookies and promised to be sad, down or tired a helluva lot more often from know on!
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp sifted cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 tsp almond extract
75 g dark chocolate
10 gm butter
13 ml heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 325F. Beat egg whites until stiff. Slowly add sugar, beating until egg whites are very thick. Mix in cocoa, almond meal and extract. Dampen hands and form about 1 teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Pinch balls to form a teardrop shape. Place cookies on baking sheet (lined with parchment paper), bake for about 15 minutes until slightly cracked. Do not over bake, as they will end up very dry. Cool completely on a rack.
For filling, combine chocolate, butter and cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted. Add vanilla extract and sea salt. Cool to room temperature. Spread half teaspoon of filling on flat side of cookies, then sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing lightly to seal. Store in an airtight container.