My friends and I had a favourite movie snack growing up, being popcorn and maltesers. The saltiness from the fresh popcorn combined with the chocolatey goodness that is the malteser is absolutely delicious. Many I have told of this combination have turned their nose up, but I have managed to convert a few along the way.
For my first foray into the macaron world, I thought I would pay homage to this treat by making Popcorn and Malteser Macarons.
Of course when looking for a macaron recipe I started with Adriano Zumbo’s version that was used on MasterChef when the contestants had to make a macaron tower with kalamata olive and beetroot and raspberry macarons.
However, the first step was to make was the malted chocolate ganache in order for it to have enough time to cool and set. For this recipe, I turned to Martha Stewart. The original recipe is here however it wasn’t “malty” enough for me, mainly due to the amount of dark chocolate which overpowered the rest of the ingredients, and the small quantity of malted milk powder.
My version is:
- 300mL heavy cream
- 1 2/3 to 2 cups malted milk powder
- 400g milk chocolate
- 120g dark chocolate
The recipe says to whisk the heavy cream and malted milk powder in the saucepan and then bring to a boil. Me with my awesome “burn everything to the bottom of the pan” skill is able to burn the malted milk powder, even with constant whisking.
However, I am yet to test whether by adding the malted milk powder to the chocolate would make the ganache more grainy as it might not dissolve effectively.
Bring this to the boil and then pour over your bowl of broken up chocolate.
Let the cream sit with the chocolate for a minute or so in order for the chocolate to start melting. Then start mixing to make the smooth ganache and set aside to cool.
It is up to you how fine you want to go, I like a mixture of fine crumbs and chunky for the texture.
Now it’s macaron time. As I said, I went with Zumbo and used the recipe here, but only making one batch of macarons. For me piping 5cm macarons this makes about 110 shells for 55 completed macarons.
The recipe indicates to sieve the almond meal mixture together. I did this first time, but haven’t done it since. I do sieve the icing sugar, but I found the almond meal to much of pain to push through the sieve. The mixture is a little more grainy, but nothing to concerning for this variety in my opinion.
Add the fresh egg whites to the almond meal and icing sugar, mixing until it becomes a paste and then set aside. Then it is time to move onto the sugar syrup. Add the water and sugar to the pan and put over the heat and bring to 119°C (another reason to justify my awesome digital thermometer).
Whisk this until it has cooled completely and becomes thick and glossy.
Add 1/3 of the meringue mixture to the almond paste to loosen it up a little and then fold the remaining meringue through until combined.
I made templates for both 4cm and 5cm macarons and I pretty much only use the 5 cm template now as they create a nice sized final product. Put the template under your baking paper on a flat tray and start piping away.
When ready to assemble, match up the macarons so that both shells are similar in size. Pipe the ganache, which should be at room temperature for ease, into the centre and put the other shell on top, gently twisting and squeezing them together to distribute the ganache.
Now for the most important step…. enjoy!!!
29/09/2013 UPDATE – To check out a few prettier pictures of these beauties, visit the Popcorn and Malteser Macarons – Photo and Method Update post for new photos, a slight change to the method and a recipe card you can save/print.