Macarons with Orange-Infused Milk Chocolate Ganache
For the shells:
- 220 grams (1 cup) liquified egg whites divided evenly between 2 bowls
- 300 grams (10.5 ounces wt) almond flour
- 300 grams (10.5 ounces wt) confectioners sugar
- 5 grams (1 teaspoon) yellow food coloring (or any other color that you prefer, or no coloring at all)
- 1 small drop (1/8 teaspoon) red food coloring (optional)
- 75 ml (1/3 cup) still mineral water
- 300 grams (10.5 ounces wt) superfine sugar
For the orange infused milk chocolate ganache
- 300 grams (10.5 ounces wt) good quality milk chocolate
- 50 grams (1.8 ounces wt) butter (82% fat) at room temperature
- 20 grams (.7 ounces wt) clover honey
- Half a vanilla bean (optional)
- 275 grams (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) heavy cream (35% fat)
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) Cointreau (or any other orange flavored triple sec)
7 days before baking:
(You have to make your aged egg whites a week in advance.) Separate the whites from the yolks, put 110 grams (1/2 cup) of whites in each of the two bowls. Remove the chalazae (membrane) or just put the egg whites through a sieve. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap and poke several holes through it. Keep the bowls in the refrigerator until baking.
2 days before baking:
Place the almond flour and confectioners sugar in a food processor and run for 10 seconds. Sift the mixture onto two sheet pans lined with parchment paper and leave uncovered to dry.
To make ganache: Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out. Place the cream in a medium saucepan with the vanilla bean, seeds and orange zest. Bring it to a first boil and then let it cool down. Refrigerate overnight.
1 day before baking:
Mix the softened butter with honey. Set aside. Place the chopped chocolate or chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds at 50 per cent power. The chocolate should be semi-melted. Bring the cream mixture to a boil again. Remove from heat and remove the vanilla bean. You can also strain the mixture so you have no zest. Immediately pour the hot cream mixture over the half-melted chocolate. Cover the bowl tightly and wait 60 seconds. After that mix it using the immersion blender or spatula. Measure the temperature and add the butter. It should be between 38° C (100.4° F). Stir in the Cointreau. Use the immersion blender throughout this step. The ganache should be smooth and shiny. Let it set in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, ideally overnight.