06:00 hours. 15th August, 1994
“Sonu, Monu wake up”. (That was and still is our nickname at home 😉 ) “Wake up kids, the parade is going to start soon!” This was the same routine every year where our dad with a child’s enthusiasm would wake us early morning on a holiday to watch the Independence Day parade.
I remember being in awe as I would see members of the Indian Armed Forces marching in perfect rhythm. The TV Channels would screen patriotic movies and those were happy times. We would be treated to some amazing food and of course, desserts. How can a celebration be complete without sweets, may I ask?
Unlike the rest of my family, I am not a tea-drinker. It is the welcome drink in many households and sometimes the hosts might get offended if you refuse to have tea. 🙂 I’ve had my share of tea rather unwilling many a times with the exception of masala chai.
I thoroughly enjoy a good cup of masala chai and there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the spicy tea that leaves my palate mesmerized.
In my endeavor to create something sweet that is inspired heavily from Indian flavors, I’d love to share with you my Masala Chai Macarons.
For the pâté à macaron :
93 g icing sugar, sifted
93 g ground almonds
1 medium free-range egg white
1 tsp Masala Chai Mix (Black Pepper,Dry Ginger,Cassia,Cardamom,Nutmeg,Clove,Black Cardamom)
For the Italian meringue :
1 medium free-range egg white
1 drop lemon juice or 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
93 g caster sugar
1.5 tbsp water
Ivory Food coloring (optional)
Tea Infused Chocolate Ganache :
100ml whipping cream
2 teabags, black tea
100g dark chocolate, finely chopped (or white chocolate if you wish)
Heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Pâté à macaron:
In a large bowl, mix the icing sugar, ground almonds, masala chai mix and egg whites to form a paste.
Italian meringue :
Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar(or lemon juice) in a kitchen mixer on a medium speed.
Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage. I do not own a thermometer so I just tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.
Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the firmly whipped egg whites. Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
Now add the food colouring and whisk again until the meringue is colored uniformly.
Fold the Italian meringue mixture into the pâté à macaron until it reaches the ribbon stage – this is when a spoonful of the mixture poured back into the bowl sits like a ribbon on the surface. Do not over-mix or the macaroon will crack when cooked.
Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 8mm/¼in nozzle.
Pipe on 3cm/1in discs on the baking trays, at least 2cm/¾in apart. Tap the tray on a work surface to release any air bubbles. Let the macarons rest for 20-30 minutes before baking.
Bake in the oven for eight minutes.As soon as the macaroons form feet open and shut the oven door to release some steam.
After eight minutes remove from the oven and then leave on a cooling rack until completely cold.
Tea infused Chocolate Ganache:
Place the cream in a small pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add in the tea bags. Rinse the tea bags into the cream quickly so as the cream doesn’t cool down.
Remove the tea bag and strain the cream over the chocolate and whisk in the chocolate until the mixture is smooth.
Spoon about one teaspoon of ganache onto the flat side of a cooled macaroon and top with another macaroon to make a sandwich.
Repeat with the remaining ganache and macaroons and store in a single layer in an airtight container in the fridge.
We all enjoyed these macarons and I had some friends fighting over these. Well, you are allowed to unleash the child within you on special occasions. 🙂
I will be taking these over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday for the celebrations!