Two days before the dinner party, I had about seven dessert books scattered across the desk and 30 tabs open on my computer, wondering what I should make for my guests. An infinitely complex entremet from Hidemi Sugino? Too time consuming, especially since I wanted to make at least four different things. Fruit verrines, boring. Pistachio buttercream cake, probably too heavy. I flipped (and skipped) through just about every recipe. Matcha tiramisu, been there done that. Olive oil macarons? I was a bit skeptical, but read on nonetheless. As much as I hated to make something as trite as macarons (you know something has been commodified the minute McDonald’s offer them), the description of fruity olive oil mixed with milky Valrhona chocolate intrigued me. That, and I’ve always wanted to try one of Pierre Hermé’s recipes.
I decided to follow all of the recipe on Jo the tart queen’s blog instead of using my favorite Italian method, although I did skip the cream of tartar and some of the sugar. The olive white chocolate ganache is a bit tricky to work with as it’s very soft and liquid, but a bit of vigorous stirring (the oil and chocolate will separate but patience with persistent mixing) and refrigeration will yield the yummiest filling you’ve ever tasted. Be easy with the taste-testing now, or there will be none left for sandwiching your macarons.
120g Almond flour (I recommend Mandelin)
10g Cocoa powder
130g Icing sugar
100g Egg whites (aged overnight)
90g Caster sugar
Olive Oil Ganache
60ml Whipping cream
1/3 Vanilla bean
90ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
135g Valrhona Ivoire chocolate
- Sift the almond meal once by itself before sifting with the cocoa powder and icing sugar.
- For the French meringue, whisk egg whites in a clean bowl on low speed. Gradually increase the speed when the egg whites have turned foamy, and add sugar in a steady stream when the meringue forms soft peaks. Whisk on high until the meringue forms stiff peaks.
- Mix together 1/4 of the meringue with the almond flour mixture until incorporated.
- Fold in the remaining meringue until incorporated for the macaronnage process. With your rubber spatula, scoop and smear the batter against the sides of the bowl in a circle. Repeat for about 15 times. The mixture is done when it falls back in glossy ribbons.
- Pipe the macarons onto a baking sheet or silicon mat. You should hold the tip firm against the sheet. Let the macarons sit in room temperature for about 30 minutes so that the skin will form.
- Bake at 165 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer to a cookie rack to cool completely before removing the shells.
Olive Oil Ganache
- Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler.
- Boil the cream, scraped vanilla seeds, and split pod together.
- Remove the pod and pour the cream into the chocolate. Stir gently with a rubber spatula.
- When the ganache is at 40 degrees Celsius, stir in the olive oil.
- Refrigerate ganache before piping.
With a round tip, generously pipe ganache on one macaron shell. Sandwich the shells together and allow them to rest in the refrigerator. Be sure to work fast (or refrigerate one after the other as soon as you’re finished) or the filling will leak.