If Pierre Herme says it goes together then it must go together. I have to say I was a bit sceptical about whether passion fruit and milk chocolate would be nice as a macaroon filling, but it tastes really good. The slight sourness of the passion fruit really compliments the chocolate.
I have made macaroons many times before, with varying degrees of success. This time for the first time I used pasteurised egg whites in an attempt to eliminate the bowl of discarded egg yolks which inevitably sits in my fridge waiting to be made into custard before being thrown away a few days later because I never get round to it. But it didn’t work. I used Two Chicks brand from Waitrose, and no matter how much I whipped it it would not form stiff peaks. So that lot went into the bin and I reverted to my usual method of separating the egg whites and yolks. If anyone else has successfully used pasteurised egg whites I’d love to hear about it.
In any case, these macaroons are delicious and really make a change from the usual salted caramel, lemon or pistachio. In the recipe I actually almost halved the amount of passion fruit juice (because I didn’t buy enough passion fruits!) but then ground a couple of tablespoons of the pulp with the pestle and mortar and added that along with the juice. I found that this helped to increase the tanginess of the ganache. I was worried that the ganache wouldn’t taste of passion fruit as the chocolate to passion fruit ratio is quite high, but even with half the amount of juice, there is an amazing burst of passion fruit when you bite into it. In fact I would say that having the full amount of juice could over-balance the chocolate.
Here’s the recipe:
For the shells (adapted from this recipe)
350g icing sugar
250g ground almonds
215g egg whites
150g caster sugar
5g gel food colouring of your choice
For the ganache (adapted from Macarons by Pierre Herme)
100g unsalted butter
160g fresh passion fruit juice
1-2 tablespoons of passion fruit pulp, blended to a paste.
550g milk chocolate
Preheat the oven to 160c.
Whisk the egg whites untill semi whipped, add 150g caster sugar. Whisk until you have a stiff and glossy meringue mixture.
Place the icing sugar and the almond powder in a blender. Blitz and then sieve this mixture into a bowl to ensure that you have a very fine, lump-free powder.
Incorporate the dry ingredients and the food colouring into the meringue mixture. Use a spatula to cut and fold the mixture until is smooth, shiny and ribbon-like.
Fill a piping bag with the macaroon mix and pipe the macaroons onto a lined baking tray. Leave the macaroons to dry for at least 20mins at room temperature and then bake in the preheated oven for 10-15mins.
Cut butter into small cubes.
Strain the juice from the passion fruit and bring to the boil in a small pan.
Partially melt the chocolate over a bain marie, and slowly pour the passion fruit juice over the chocolate, stirring well.
Mix in the passion fruit pulp.
Once the mixture has reached 60c add the butter and stir until the butter is mixed in and you have a glossy ganache.
Pour into a shallow dish, cover with cling film and cool in the fridge.
Fill a piping bag with the ganache and fill half of the macaroons shells with the ganache before topping with a second shell.