Red Jalapeno and Dark Chocolate Coconut Curry Macarons
Chef-owner Tanya Emerick
Scarlet Nantes Macaron
Chef Tanya Emerick of Scarlet Nantes Macaron combines layers of sweetness and spiciness to give these delicate French cookies a unique spin. The recipe has several components, but some of the steps can be done ahead to ease labor. The result is a very impressive-looking addition to a holiday cookie tray or dessert menu.
Red jalapeno and chocolate coconut curry ganache
6 oz. 70% dark chocolate, chopped (Vahlrona preferred)
2 oz. cold unsalted butter
1 oz. shredded unsweetened coconut
1 oz. curry powder
1 oz. red jalapeno puree, thawed
1 oz. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
6 oz. heavy cream
6 oz. superfine baker’s sugar
Red jalapeno jelly
3 gelatin sheets
200 g. red jalapeno puree, thawed
50 to 100 g. superfine baker’s sugar
142 g. almond flour
234 g. confectioner’s sugar
125 to 135 g. egg whites (about 4 whites), at room temperature
100 g. superfine baker’s sugar
Pinch cream of tartar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 to 4 drops red food color
1. Prepare red jalapeno chocolate ganache: Place finely chopped chocolate, butter, shredded coconut, curry powder, red jalapeno puree and vanilla paste into a heatproof glass or metal bowl. In saucepan, heat cream and sugar over low heat until just simmering, stirring to ensure sugar melts. (Do not boil.)
2. Remove from heat and immediately pour warm cream over chocolate mixture.Let stand for a few minutes; stir until smooth.
3. For jalapeno jelly, soak gelatin leaves in cold water to soften for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, warm red jalapeno puree in small saucepan over medium heat; stir in sugar to desired level of sweetness.
4. Drain and dry gelatin and add to warm puree. Pour into 7-inch square dish lined with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour to set. When set, cut into small squares that will fit the center of macarons
5. For macarons, position oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 315 F. Clean and dry stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment by wiping both with vinegar or lemon juice to remove traces of residual fats from prior use; set aside.
6. In container of food processor, combine almond flour, ginger and confectioner’s sugar; process about 1 minute until as fine as possible. Pass mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or onto parchment paper; discard any large pieces.
7. In clean stand mixer with whisk attachment, combine egg whites, cream of tartar and baker’s sugar. Beat slowly at first to blend ingredients, then increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high; beat 2 minutes longer. Then beat on high 2 minutes more or until the mixture holds stiff, glossy peaks when you lift the whisk. Take care not to over-whip the egg whites as they will become grainy.
8. Add your desired food coloring one drop at a time and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and wire whisk. With rubber spatula, gently fold almond flour mixture into whipped egg whites just until batter flows like lava, about 35 to 45 strokes. (To test if macaron batter is correct consistency, pull some away with rubber spatula and form a figure eight; count to 30 seconds. The macaron “ribbon” should fall back onto the batter and be smooth. If there are still peaks, fold the batter a few more times and keep testing.
9. Rest a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch round tip and top-folded over by a few inches, inside a glass or pitcher, tip-side down. Using a silicone spatula, transfer batter to pastry bag. Line two heavy baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.
10. With the piping tip ½ inch above one of the lined baking sheets, pipe some batter into a 1-inch round, then swirl tip off to one side. Repeat, spacing the rounds 1 inch apart. Tap sheets firmly against counter 1 or 2 times to release air bubbles in the batter.
11. Bake one sheet of macarons at a time, rotating halfway through, until risen and just set, about 10 to 13 minutes. Gently press top of shell to test doneness; if it gives, the shell needs another minute of cooking time. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and let cool completely.
12. Once macaron shells are cool, pipe or spread about 1 tablespoon jalapeno chocolate ganache on flat sides of half macaron shells; add a square of red jalapeno jelly. Top each filled macaron shell with one of remaining macaron shells.
13. Place all the macarons on a sheet tray, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. The macarons will be best the next day after maturing in the refrigerator.
Photograph by Scott Emerick, courtesy of The Perfect Puree