chocolate macarons with bacon-infused maple ganache

27 Jan

I forgot to mention two thirds of the way through my last post that I was at the 66.666 posting waypoint of my blogging career. Does this inspire you to ask, kindly, if it maybe isn’t time that I seek out a new career? I’d be hard pressed not to agree with you; for now, however, I’ll present the most satanically devilish idea that’s ever sprung into my mind: Chocolate Macarons with a Bacon-Infused Maple Chocolate Ganache.

The macaron of the beast !

To be fair, the idea was sprung. Ever since I received a digital scale last month, I have frequently heard the call of macarrrohhnn!, uttered in a phony French accent. Not by my stomach, not by my heart, but by my boyfriend. Since all I ever want to eat these days is bacon, his suggestion was well-received by me.

Ever since that genius moment, I’ve wondered about the best method for getting bacon into, or on to, a macaron. My favorite thought was to wrap and skewer it, similar to a bacon-wrapped scallop. Somehow, though, I knew that no one would want to eat those but me.

The solution was to start off the ganache with maple syrup and butter, and cook a piece of bacon in it for a few minutes. This created a liquid that looked as if it wouldn’t thicken very well – but I wasn’t fooled. I knew it was just Beelzebub trying to keep the maple bacon deliciousness for himself. Not this time, gluttonous prince.

After removing the bacon from the syrup (and eating it promptly), it was simply a matter of mixing in the chocolate, and then the egg yolks, as one might do with a custard. Simple. This recipe, while mostly just a glimmer of imagination in my bacon-hungry eye, turned out well. There’s a lot of discussion out there in the macaron world about how difficult chocolate macarons are to make. I have nothing to compare that potential factoid to, as this was my first experience making them.

Yep, I wait until a trend has passed to get on board. It’s what I did with Hanson and the Spice Girls – and hey, I still happily listen to them. I’ll tell you what you want, what you really really want: to taste the sin that is a chocolate macaron with bacon-infused maple ganache.

Before I get to the recipe, I’d like to add that I traipsed through a snowstorm to get the heavy cream needed for the ganache. Indeed, as we moved our belongings into our new home last Friday, we experienced Presque Isle’s snowiest day of the season. Then earlier this week, heavy rains drenched our basement and my spirits. And now it’s Friday again, and hard snow has fallen steadily since early this morning. Lovely.

Wending my way through the snow, I was able to take these first shots of my new home. I enjoy them most in sepia tones, reminiscent of my days developing my own photographs, when I would sepia anything and everything in sight. Enjoy.

    

Now that you are thoroughly chilled by scenes of ice and snow, just remember that come spring, I can move on to such great photographic heights as the documentation of potato plant growth. It will happen.

Chocolate Macarons with Bacon-Infused Maple Chocolate Ganache

{mostly original recipe, chocolate macarons from here}

Made three quite large macarons and six more smaller ones – could easily make twelve macarons of medium stature.

Chocolate Macarons

++Ingredients:++

45g almond meal / ground almonds
90g confectioners’ sugar
25g unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
62g egg whites (preferably aged up to a day)
3g meringue powder (egg white powder)
60g sugar
Red food coloring

++Directions:++

Blend ground almonds and confectioners’ sugar together. Sift in cocoa powder.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites and meringue powder until soft peaks form. Add sugar slowly, and beat until hard peaks form. Add food coloring during the last minute of mixing.

Fold the almond-sugar-cocoa mixture into the egg white mixture in four parts.

Pipe macarons on parchment-lined baking sheets. If sheets are not professional grade, place a second sheet underneath. Sprinkle with Candied Bacon, if desired, and dust with cocoa powder. Let sit at room temperature  for 45 minutes to an hour.

Bake at 280 F / 140 C for 16-18 minutes. Let cool.

Fill with Bacon-Infused Maple Chocolate Ganache, recipe below. Refrigerate until set. Give thanks to Beelzebub for not snatching your bacon so that you could enjoy it in this new, delicious format.

Candied Bacon

++Ingredients:++

1 strip maple-flavored bacon
Handful of brown sugar

++Directions:++

Heat small sauté pan, and add strip of bacon. Partway through cooking, add brown sugar to the top of the bacon strip. Let cook for a minute, before flipping. Add more brown sugar as desired. Be careful to keep the heat low enough so the bacon doesn’t burn from over-caramelizing.

Remove from heat before fully cooked. Cool, and cut into small pieces.

Bacon-Infused Maple Chocolate Ganache

{You will have lots of leftovers, but I will present this ganache recipe to you without halving it. Use it for something else delicious – – like a midmorning snack, as I did. Or, you can halve (or third) it.}

++Ingredients:++

6 tbsp maple syrup (120 g)
1 1/2 tbsp butter
2 strips maple-flavored bacon
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c heavy cream
60 g dark chocolate
3 egg yolks

++Directions:++

Melt the maple syrup and butter in a saucepan. Add bacon, and bring to a simmer until bacon is nearly cooked, but still soft and pliable. Add sugar, and bring to a boil. Add cream, stirring continuously.

Remove bacon, and take pan off heat. Add chocolate, and let sit to melt for two to three minutes. Mix. Add a small amount of the mixture to the egg yolks, to prevent them from curdling. Mix eggs into ganache, and return to heat for a minute or two, stirring continually.

Transfer to a bowl, and allow to chill in the fridge.

Me and my calorie-clogged fingers are submitting these dazzling cuties to Mactweets Mac Attack #26: Razzle Dazzle Macarons.

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32 Responses to “chocolate macarons with bacon-infused maple ganache”

  1. Martha 2012/01/27 at 17:18 #

    Wow! It does sound as if the heavy winter weather has blessed you in The County. I hope the basement can perform as it was intended in the future (stupid basement). As I am entering a period where I find it absolutely impossible to resist bacon, I would love to try something as rare as these macarons when entertaining next month. Alas, I do NOT have an electric scale, or the mathematic capabilities to make the American conversion. Can you throw this ol’ dog a bone, Emma?

    • Martha 2012/01/27 at 17:18 #

      Actually, can you make that bacon?

      • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 07:22 #

        I laughed so hard when I read this. You make me smile !

    • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 07:21 #

      Martha, the heavy winter has definitely blessed us, now that the rain and its nasty side effects have dissipated.

      I love that you’re going bacon-crazy too, although it’s a bit more shocking for you than for me:)

      I had never made macarons before because I did not possess a digital scale. The ingredients have to be pretty precise, so I’d be tough pressed to convert these for you. For instance, 62 of egg whites was just under 2 egg whites for me, but it would definitely depend on the size of your eggs.

      However, if you really really want to make these, I can try to put something together for you that has the conversions. Or, you can let me create another bacon dessert that would be easy for the scale-less to make as well…! That might be fun…. right?

  2. Peach Farm Studio 2012/01/28 at 01:12 #

    Bacon! Yes! Chocolate! Yes! Oh, yes, yes, yes!

    • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 07:24 #

      Peach Farm Studio, I’d like to attend Bacon Chocolate University. That would be our cheer:

      Bacon – YES! Chocolate – YES! Oh YES, yes, YES YES!!

  3. Hannah 2012/01/28 at 04:35 #

    Now, see? All you need to do is add a dash of sepia and now it’s like you’re living in a magical wonderland at the edge of the world :)

    Also, if I managed to think of a flavour of macaron that no one else would eat but me, that would be *exactly* the type of macaron I’d make. And even though I’ve been anti-bacon ever since my year working breakfasts in a cafe, I would very happily try this. After all, Vosges’ Bacon Bar is one of the only ways I like me some bacon, and you’ve just taken that idea and made it better.

    Hope you’re settling in with joy, my love!

    • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 07:27 #

      Hannah, do you think everything is sepia-toned when you reach the edge of the world? I can’t picture it being very bright and full of lively color:)

      I am the pro-est of pro-bacon (my computer tried changing pro-est to protest. I am not the protest of bacon. Or am I?). The Bacon Bar is a tasty one, and this was definitely better.

      I’m settling in, I’m sure the joy will follow !

      • Hannah 2012/01/30 at 07:46 #

        I’d like to think that the edge of the world is sepia-toned, but that beyond the edge of the world is such a glittering, glittering kaleidoscope of colours beyond our wildest imaginings that we know, for sure, for always, that there is magic out there and we’ll reach it one day.

        xoxo

        • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 07:51 #

          To me, you are at the other end of one of those glittering kaleidoscope thingys that one holds in one’s hand. You are the sparkly shimmery (sometimes sunburnery) glitteriness that results from trying to peer around the globe at an unexplored world.

          There is magic ! It is the lure of travel…

          • Hannah 2012/01/30 at 19:38 #

            Oh Emma! I am hugging your words to my soul right now :) xoxo

  4. Lia Moutselou 2012/01/28 at 05:37 #

    You are such a good photographer . Really enjoy this blog :)

    http://liaskitchen.com

    • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 07:27 #

      Lia, thank you ! So glad that you are enjoying it:)

  5. Silvia 2012/01/28 at 10:59 #

    I’m not sold on the food colouring, but my do your macarons look good!

    • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 07:31 #

      Silvia, the food coloring is not necessary – I just followed a recipe that recommended using it to deepen the color. I probably wouldn’t use any next time, only in part since my red coloring is now empty !

  6. sarah 2012/01/28 at 12:03 #

    I’m jealous of your scale. My goal is to buy (and use) a scale with in the next couple of months.

    Bacon in a macaron sounds simply scrumptious!

    • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 07:33 #

      sarah, it was the perfect gift ! I’m so happy I received it, so I hope your goal becomes reality:)

      It was scrumptious! What fun new exciting flavors will I roll out with next (to quote the Fruit by the Foot TV ads)?

  7. Brianne 2012/01/29 at 14:12 #

    Whoa. Way to bust out the bacon in a macaron, lady! And the sepia shots of PI are lovely.

    • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 07:36 #

      Brianne, wut wut?!!

      Here I was thinking you were going to talk a bit of trash about me making macs:P Now that I live in the boonies, it’s okay for me to be behind the times, right?

      Glad you like the PI pics !

  8. lucindalines 2012/01/29 at 17:20 #

    I gained 10 pounds just reading this. Loved it, and I love your pictures of living in the north. I can relate being in North Dakota. It is snowing off and on here today.

    • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 07:39 #

      But lucinda, no fear ! This only made 9 macarons, so you may have only gained 9 pounds at the most !! And they’re light as air, so it would really be more like 9 ounces:)

      I always poked a bit of fun at North Dakota, being from the hip and with-it Minnesota (note: mild sarcasm). But yep, I’m pretty well-removed these days !

  9. julene 2012/01/29 at 19:13 #

    i shouldn’t look at this when i am so hungry.
    well done.

    • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 07:40 #

      julene, hey there cutie ! I’ve missed you:)

      You SHOULD look at this when hungry, as it will prompt you to make something fabulous and delicious and sweet and oh yes also maybe kind of not good for you !

      xo

  10. Katerina 2012/01/30 at 08:53 #

    What an original idea! I love chocolate and bacon so it would be a double pleasure for me! They look delish! You have a very interesting collection of recipes here!

    • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 09:02 #

      Katerina, how nice to meet another fan of both chocolate and bacon. Glad you enjoy the recipes !

      When the bacon (inspiration, I mean) strikes, I run with it:)

  11. Mum 2012/01/30 at 19:00 #

    Girrrl, please! You and your bacon! And what did said boyfriend think of these?(in phony french accent, please…) Very creative, sweets. Of course I love the sepia. I went through a sepia phase also, many moons ago;-)
    And what a cunning little birdhouse!

    • emma schultz 2012/01/30 at 21:17 #

      Mum, girrrrrl, mmm. It’s been a few days without bacon, so what have I done??? Made something else with the leftover bacon ganache, obviously. And it does not have vegg-ee-tah-buhls [the only other word I could think of to pronounce in a phony, aka apparently real, French accent at the moment].

      I have an inherited a cute little birdhouse, no?

      Oooh ooh, I’ve got another word. Yaaaaahh-ooooooooooooooooooorrr !

  12. Kaitlin 2012/02/12 at 22:32 #

    I LOVE this idea! Yummy! Your boyfriend is smart for suggesting it and you’re even smarter for doing it.

    • emma schultz 2012/02/13 at 10:10 #

      Kaitlin, har har! My tummy was pleased, at any rate:)

  13. Deeba Rajpal (@vindee) 2012/02/13 at 21:11 #

    Just gorgeous . I love how adventurous you got with the macs. And I love the sepia tones pictures too…they are beautiful, a real treat. Well framed and capture the chill! NICE!!

  14. Chef Barbie 2012/11/16 at 19:40 #

    OH. MY. GOD! These are the answer to my prayers!

And now I'd like to pass the mic / So you c'mon and do anything you like ...aka, Leave your reply.

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