Saturday, 17 March 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day: Mint Chocolate Macarons

Today is St Patrick's Day. The day we celebrate all things Irish: shamrocks, Giant's Causeways, Guinness, Books of Kells, leprechauns and, erm, Westlife.

(Feel free at this point, if you are sitting on a stool, to stand on ceremony at a significant key change)

Truth is, and I've tried very, very hard, but (whispering with it being St Patrick's Day) I don't actually like Guinness. Even on a visit to the Guinness Factory in Dublin, where urban myth has it that a pint of the black stuff tastes the best, I couldn't bring myself to have more than a few sips*. I did however spend a small fortune in the quite fabulous gift shop, which stocks, I quote 'the largest range of Guinness merchandise in the world...a visit to the shop is an experience in itself'. I did my best to resist filling my suitcase with the, I quote once again, 'widest range of Guinness casual wear available'. It does pose the question of what Guinness serious wear involves. Anyhow, I think I'll be sticking to the sublime, yet earthy Guinness Cake.

I'll also be tucking into these: Mint Chocolate Macarons, which, with their green hue make them perfect to munch on while you enjoy a pint of Guinness (other Irish drinks are available).

Mint Chocolate Macarons

The macaron recipe is inspired by Edd Kimber, aka The Boy Who Bakes, who in turn uses Pierre Herme's recipe, aka the Macaron Man. The macaron recipe can be found here. I simply exchanged the red food colouring for green of course and added a few drops of peppermint extract.

And for the mint chocolate ganache I warmed 100ml of double cream gently and poured it over a bowl of 100g of broken up mint dark chocolate. I set it aside for two minutes before stirring gently and spooning into a piping bag. The ganache was then piped between two macarons before I used a dusting of cocoa powder to decorate.

Baker's notes...
  • You may know that I have an abysmal history with macarons. They are my nemesis. My curse. My greatest adversary in the kitchen.
  • These weren't too bad although a few stuck to the greaseproof paper. Boo.
  • Once filled, pop the macarons in the fridge until served. I also discovered on Twitter (the new Encyclopedia Britannia) that the macaron shells freeze well for up to a month 
  • I'm submitting these to two brilliant blogging challenges: We Should Cocoa, hosted by Chele from the Chocolate Teapot with 'green' as the theme this month and also Alphabakes, hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes with 'M' as the letter of the month

* a marginal improvement on Her Majesty's attempt


  1. Great minds think alike! I've just posted my sad looking macarons for the same 2 challenges. I have to say that yours looks soooo much better!! Happy St Patrick's Day!

  2. They look great Kate - I've never attempted macarons but if they came out as well as yours here I'd be very pleased!

  3. Tee hee, I'm picking up a distinct mint chocolate trend for this month's We Should Cocoa! I haven't made macarons for ages but hoping to do some soon as I'd noted AlphaBakes was M this month!

    Yours have risen nicely but I sympathise with them sticking to paper as I have had problems with this too. Nothing worse than baking lovely looking macarons that break when you try to remove them. One tip I've found is that not being too quick to tear them off the paper helps, often ones that were sticking come away much more easily after they've cooled.

  4. I know someone who would love choc macaroons are slightly unusual too...I bet they taste great! :-)

  5. Shhhhhhhh - I'm not that fond of Guinness either ... in fact when I was in Ireland a few years ago for St Patrick's Day I got nicked named '2 gulp gal' because that was the only way I could down the stuff! Macaroons are a different story of course ;0)

  6. Mint chocolate macarons are my all time favourite macaron - there's something about the minty sweetness that just works so well in them. Annoying that some of them stuck to the paper, but I bet they still tasted delicious.

  7. I think it looks like you have won your battle with the dreaded macaron! I still have yet to try them, but if I did I would love these mint choc versions. Shame about the sticking, I noticed you used greaseproof paper. My tip if it helps, would be to use baking parchment paper I use it for absolutely everything sweet & savoury that goes in the oven!

  8. These look great!
    Great flavor combo, never tried mint chocolate before, its now on my to do list :)

  9. Your macarons look so pretty. Looks like you've finally conquered your baking nemesis.

    I must admit that I don't like Guinness either.... or Westlife! The Giant's Causeway is amazing though.

  10. Ah what a great St.Patricks Day snack! I think you have finally won in the war with macarons because these look great! I love the green colour and chocolate and mint is my most favourite flavour pairing!! Unfortunately I have a serious aversion to almonds which means I have to stay out of the macaron game altogether which is a shame because otherwise I would be all over these!!

  11. These look beautiful, I never made macaroons - it's about time I did - they're really lovely!
    Mary x

  12. What a great treat for St.Patricks Day ! Looks lovely & tasty with amazing flavor, Mint! I love mint & these macarons are surely my kind of treats! YUM! :)

  13. Oh they look so cute Kate - doesn't look as though you'll need to do battle with macaroons again. They are far daintier than anything I've ever turned out and they sound delicious too. Thanks for entering them in WSC.

  14. Very nice! These sound fab. I made some for Xmas smiler to this. The mint choc ganache is lovely x


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