Macarons are delicate and delightful French treats which are known for their smooth, meringue-based shells and luscious fillings, bringing harmony to flavour and texture. You can usually find them in a variety of pastel based colours - but not everyone likes the food colouring which comes with them.
Now - let me introduce you to a new variation of this desert - Charcoal Macarons! By incorporating Foothills Naturals Activated Charcoal Powder, these macrons will take on a stunning black hue, drawing curiosity from those enjoying them, but there's more than meets the eye - not only are they tasty and delicious like a traditional macron, but they are incredibly beneficial - and with no food colouring!
Benefits of the Ingredients:
Foothills Naturals Activated Charcoal Powder: Activated charcoal is a potent natural ingredient renowned for its detoxifying properties. It is made by heating charcoal at high temperatures, resulting in a highly porous substance capable of trapping toxins and chemicals. The activated charcoal powder lends the macarons their captivating dark colour, making them visually distinct and appealing.
Almond Meal: Almond meal is derived from finely ground almonds and adds a rich, nutty flavor and a moist, chewy texture to the macarons. Almonds are an excellent source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. They are also packed with essential nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. Incorporating almond meal into these macarons not only enhances their taste and texture but also provides some nutritional benefits.
Unsweetened Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder is derived from roasted and ground cocoa beans, and the Dutch processing method reduces its acidity. This process yields a smooth and mellow cocoa powder with a deep, chocolatey flavor. Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants and minerals like iron and magnesium. In our charcoal macarons, the addition of unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder adds a subtle chocolate undertone that complements the activated charcoal and almond flavors perfectly.
Egg Whites: Egg whites are a fundamental component of macarons as they provide structure, stability, and a light, airy texture. They are a good source of protein and contain essential amino acids. Egg whites create the signature smooth and glossy exterior of macarons while maintaining a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth consistency.
Organic Evaporated Cane Juice: Organic evaporated cane juice, when powdered, serves as a natural sweetener in this recipe. It offers a subtle sweetness that balances the flavors of the macarons without overpowering them. However, if you prefer to replace it with an alternative sweetener, options like powdered coconut sugar can be used as suitable substitutes.
- 1 cup powdered sugar (if you only have granulated sugar you can make your own powdered sugar by grinding it in a coffee grinder) Measure once the sugar is in powdered form
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp activated charcoal powder
- 105 grams egg whites (not from a carton)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (coconut sugar will also work)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Line 3 cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Prepare a piping bag with round tip.
- In a small bowl, add the powdered sugar, almond meal, cocoa powder, and charcoal powder. Set aside.
- In an electric stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites and salt. Turn the stand mixer on high speed and start a timer. Slowly sprinkle in the 50g of granulated sugar. Whip this mixture for 5 minutes until it forms stiff peaks.
- Add the vanilla extract and whip for 1 more minute. Turn off the mixer and scrape the fluff off the whisk attachment into the stand mixer bowl.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the stand mixer bowl and fold in by hand with a silicone spatula until fully incorporated - NO MORE NO LESS. Your mixture should be in between “plopping” off the spatula and “flowing” like a thick ribbon.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared piping bag and pipe 1” buttons onto the prepared cookie sheets, each about 2” apart. Tap the pans on the counter HARD a few times to deflate any air pockets.
- Let the piped macarons sit at room temperature for ~45 minutes, meanwhile Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Shells should form on the surface of the macarons (when you can tap the surface, they shouldn’t stick to your finger at all).
- Bake one tray at a time for ~8 minutes, or until the fluffy “feet” form and the surfaces of the macarons turn a very light golden brown.
- Let cool completely on the cookie sheets.
- Pipe your frosting of choice onto half of the macaron shells, then sandwich the remaining shells on top. Serve immediately
We would suggest a lemony filling, with this recipe! If you want to maintain the black aesthetic of the macarons then you can add some Foothills Naturals Activated Charcoal Powder to help bring that smooth dark colour to the filling.
Let us know what you think!