I remember my first espresso shot so very well. At about 19 years-old I had just finished a pre-theatre dinner an Italian restaurant. Maybe it was the pasta and wine I don’t know, but I was literally falling asleep at the table. I wouldn’t have made it 5 minutes in a dark cosy theatre; even with the orchestra playing (I can literally sleep anywhere). Something had to be done and pronto, so I ordered a double espresso with dessert.
Now I’m not sure if it was because it was my first, my mind playing tricks on me, or maybe just maybe it was because I ordered a double, but within 5 minutes my eyes were wide and I was nattering away with this sudden burst of energy. Needless to say it did the trick, and minus the slight tingling sensation I was able to enjoy the whole theatre performance. I don’t order them regularly, but ever since my love of coffee has grown – or perhaps it’s just the caffeine?
I’ve never really understood drinking coffee after an evening meal, as I’ve never quite grasped the need to flood my system with energy right before bedtime. However, the events of that evening left me with a taste for strong coffee so I decided to try these Espresso Mocha Macarons instead for after a meal. Dessert and Coffee in one – mini fist pump!
Unfortunately if you don’t like coffee there is no hiding from it here. With a generous teaspoon of espresso powder in the macaron mixture and a further two in the mocha buttercream it’s almost like having a double shot of espresso in itself. The sugar and egg whites calm it down though, so if you only like latte and cappuccino then do still give these a go.
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 13-15 minutes
70g flaked almonds
140g icing sugar
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
50g Caster sugar
1 tsp espresso powder
For the filling
40g unsalted butter
50g good quality dark chocolate
140g icing sugar
2 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp almond milk
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and leave a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Place the flaked almonds in a food processor and blitz for about a minute until as fine as possible. Add the confectioner sugar and process until combined.
Pass the sugar/almond mixture through a sieve, pushing down on the clumps until all but roughly two tablespoons remain in the sieve. Leave to one side.
Whisk the egg whites and caster sugar with an electric whisk or KitchenAid on a high-speed, until they hold stiff, glossy peaks. Add the espresso powder, and whisk on a high-speed for 30 seconds
Add the dry ingredients all at once and fold with a spatula, mixing from the bottom of the bowl upwards. Repeat these folds until the batter flows like lava.
Place a piping bag inside a glass and pour the batter into it. Secure the top and snip the end to about 1cm. Pipe some batter onto the corners of 2 baking trays, both lined with parchment paper.
With the piping tip ½ inch above the tray, pipe circles about 3cm in diameter ensuring to leave 1 inch space between them. Tap the sheets firmly against the kitchen work surface to release any air bubbles.
Sift espresso powder over half of the unbaked batter and leave to sit for around 10 minutes (this allows the crust to form). Bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 10-13 minutes. Allow to cool completely before piping the filling.
For the buttercream, dissolve two teaspoons espresso powder with ½ teaspoon hot water then melt the dark chocolate. Leave both to cool. Mix icing sugar and butter together until combined then add the dark chocolate and espresso paste it, beating until fully incorporated. Finally add the tablespoon of almond milk and beat till fluffy.
Pour buttercream into a piping bag and pipe onto the flat side of the plain macaron rounds; top with the remaining half.
These will store in an air tight container for a few days if kept in the fridge.