Wattleseed Frangelico Macarons

What is it about Australian native bush foods that makes them so darn exotic?  OK, they’re Australian native bush foods.  That’s exotic enough for most people, especially if you’re not in Australia …  What many people might not know, though, is what an incredible diversity of fabulous indigenous foods we have on our doorstep here.  Check them out.  Do it.  You will be amazed.  You will want to try them.

One of my favourite bush food staples is roasted wattleseed.  It has a warm coffee-like aroma and flavour but then … there’s a hint of nuttiness … hazelnut?  Maybe some subtle overtones of … chocolate?  It’s delightfully complex.   I use it in ice-creams, creams, desserts, cakes, pretty much anything.  So why not macarons?  Indeed.

Wattleseed.  Frangelico.  A match made in heaven.  Quite literally, if the Frangelico dudes have any street cred 😀  It’s exotic and yet so classic and familiar at the same time.  Complex flavour, but a very simple combination.  No weird stuff.  Very Italo-Australian.  Ha!

Rather than adding wattleseed to the filling, I added it to the macaron shells.  I think they look rather cool with the wattleseed specks throughout and it lets you taste the flavours more cleanly.  The filling is a simple ganache with Frangelico liqueur.

Don’t use a chocolate that is too intense for this or it will overpower the Frangelico.  A good quality chocolate with a cacao solids percentage in the sixties would be great.  I like the Michel Cluizel Vila Gracinda or the Valrhona Gran Couva especially as they are both very smooth and seem to match the Frangelico and wattleseed flavours beautifully.  But that’s just me.

The recipe for the macaron shells I’ve given here follows the Italian meringue method.  I use this often, mostly just because I enjoy making Italian meringue.  I’m sure there’s a pill to cure that affliction but frankly, I’m happy to stay afflicted.  I’m a bit of a fan of the old Italian meringue.  I whistle while making it 🙂

Blanching and grinding almonds into a fine meal is fantastic, but if you don’t have either the time or inclination, just buy ground almond meal.  Depending on the degree to which the almond meal is ground, you may need to give it a whirl in a food processor before sifting.  I do this every time, just to make sure that the almond meal is really fine as it gives a better result.

I’m not going to go on about how to make macarons.  There’s already so much written about them.  Honestly, a lot of the beliefs about macaron making are more myth than reality.  In this, I must agree with the very wise, very scientific Stella (aka Brave Tart).  So, for the best, and most entertaining dissertation on macaron making and debunking some of those myths, I’d refer you to Stella’s excellent posts:  Macaron Mythbusters and The Ten Commandments.  You will laugh (a lot) and you will learn (even more).   As a scientist, I can vouch for the integrity of her experimental method!

But for now, I just want you to enjoy this particular macaron 🙂   Macarons are best served at least 24 hours after making them.  After filling, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.  This will develop both the flavour and the texture so that the shell will be crispy and the inside will be soft.  Delicious … and that’s from someone who prefers making them to eating them.  Scandalous.

Of course, they are both wheat and gluten free.

Yield 30 – 36 macarons (depends on the size)

Macaron Shells
150 grams almond meal
150 grams icing sugar
1 teaspoon roasted wattleseed
55 grams egg white
135 grams sugar
40 grams water
55 grams egg white
pinch of salt

Ganache Filling
200 grams 60% – 64% couverture / dark chocolate
200 grams cream
50 millilitres Frangelico liqueur

For the macaron shells
Preheat the oven to 150°C.  Line 2 – 3 large baking sheets with silpat sheets or baking paper.  Set aside.

Place the almond meal and icing sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is very fine and silky in texture.  You can test it between two fingers.  I do this before sifting the mixture, but if you prefer, just sift the almond meal and icing sugar together.  Once done, place in a large mixing bowl.  Add the wattleseed and 55 grams of egg white and mix well with a spatula until you obtain a smooth paste.  Set aside.

Place the remaining 55 grams of egg white and salt into the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and start whisking at low-medium speed.  Place the water into a saucepan and add the sugar.  Dissolve the sugar, in the water, over a low heat.  Bring to the boil and cook until the sugar reaches 115°C.  By this stage the egg whites should have reached a soft peak stage.  Continue whisking at medium speed as you pour the syrup into the egg whites in a thin, steady stream.  Keep whisking until the bowl cools to just warm.  I usually whisk the meringue for about 10 minutes or so and turn up the speed for a minute or two at the end.  The meringue needs to be stiff.  When you lift the whisk, there should be a solid stiff clump on the whisk.  It should be able to look you in the eye without flinching.

Scrape a small amount of the meringue into the bowl with the almond mixture and work it into the mixture to lighten it, using a spatula or pastry scraper.  I prefer the scraper.  Scrape the remaining meringue into the bowl and fold it into the almond mixture, flipping it over on to itself, and turning the bowl with each fold.  Make sure to scrape down the bowl to ensure the mixture is homogenous, and there are no streaks of meringue or almonds.  Continue folding until the macaronage is at the stage where a little mixture, lifted, will fall back into itself slowly (i.e. the magma/lava stage everyone goes on about).

Fit a large piping bag with a plain tip and pipe small mounds onto the baking sheets.  Rap the baking sheets hard onto the bench to expel any air bubbles.  Rap it again, harder, if you’re not sure.   You can pop them straight into the oven or leave until the mixture forms a light crust for about 30 – 60 minutes.  It’s up to you.  Won’t matter either way.  Bake for about 15 – 16 minutes.  Depending on your oven, they may need another minute or so.

Remove the macaron shells from the oven and set aside to cool.  Remove from the baking sheets and pair up shells of the same size.

For the ganache
Chop the chocolate into small, even pieces and place in a heat proof bowl.   Bring the cream to a boil in a heavy-based saucepan and immediately pour over the chocolate.  Leave for about 20-30 seconds then stir until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth.  Gently whisk in the Frangelico liqueur.  To cool the ganache to a piping consistency quickly, pour the ganache onto a silpat sheet on a baking tray, and spread evenly with a spatula or knife.  Cover lightly with cling film, letting the cling film touch the surface of the ganache.  Refrigerate until it thickens and can be piped.  This might take anywhere between 10 – 20 minutes, depending on your fridge.  Fit a large piping bag with a plain tip and fill with the ganache.

Pipe the ganache on to one half of the shells and top with the other half of each pair.  Gently twist the the shells together so that the filling distributes evenly.  Store filled macarons in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.  Remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving, to allow them to come to room temperature.  Enjoy!

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27 Comments

Filed under All Recipe Posts, Biscuits & Cookies, Chocolate, Nuts, Special Diet, Tarts & Patisserie

27 responses to “Wattleseed Frangelico Macarons

  1. Wow! Wattleseed sounds fantastic: thanks for introducing this one. Love your description of it and imagine the taste of the frangelico. Hm – could you pass one over please, I’m dying to taste them! Absolutely amazing.

    • I wish I could and I wish I could have had more than one! They’re all gone 😦 Imagine the men in my family counting them, dividing the spoils and arguing over who gets the last one. It’s downright unmanly 🙂

  2. Wow. What a fabulous blog and great use of my invention – Wattleseed. Thank you.

    May I invite your readers to discover how I stumbled upon this remarkable flavour at http://tinyurl.com/wattleseed and also if they want the best or the best Wattleseed, go to http://www.cherikoff.net/shop (after all, I invented the product).

    It is gratifying to me to see that the many years and dollars I have invested trying to commercialize Wattleseed and the three dozen other wild foods I chose as viable commodities can be justified so easily with a recipe such as yours.

    I’ll re-blog your post if I may.

    Thanks again for your efforts,
    Vic

    • Thanks Vic! I do love my Aussie bush tucker. Despite increasing awareness over recent years, they are still not used as widely as they should be, or considered mainstream. Hopefully that will change as there are so many fantastic bush foods for the world to try. Australia’s indigenous communities have been relying on them for millennia! I do think we have to be clear that you didn’t invent roasted wattleseed but you clearly have a product on the market. Roasted wattleseed is a great introduction for people new to bush foods and very easily obtained. Thanks for the fab comments 🙂

      • Wow. What a fabulous blog and great use of my invention – Wattleseed. Thank you.

        May I invite your readers to discover how I stumbled upon this remarkable flavour at http://tinyurl.com/wattleseed and also if they want the best of the best Wattleseed, go to http://www.cherikoff.net/shop (after all, I invented the product).

        It is gratifying to me to see that the many years and dollars I have invested trying to commercialize Wattleseed and the three dozen other wild foods I chose as viable commodities can be justified so easily with a recipe such as yours.

        I’ll re-blog your post if I may.

        Thanks again for your efforts,
        Vic

        Please get your facts straight.

        In fact I did develop roasted Wattleseed.

        The history is well documented at http://tinyurl.com/wattleseed and it was the result of an accident when I was preparing seeds that were sent to me by my contacts in the Irintada Aboriginal Homelands. Traditionally, the seeds were lightly parched to allow than to be dry-milled into a coarse flour and none of the chocolatey, coffee-like notes were present. I unlocked the flavour profile by accidentally over-roasting seeds I was preparing for analysis and prior to throwing out what I thought were burned seeds, I checked to see if the heating had in fact, made the hard seeds easier to mill. Roasted Wattleseed was the result and I subsequently launched the product on the world.

        I rightfully lay claim to the invention as this was the beginning of the product as it is sold today.

        Please keep up your great work but do not ignore the historic facts either. They provide a richness of discovery and development and reward those investing heavily for others to follow.

      • Uh Oh. 😦
        My sincere apologies, Vic. I certainly had no intention of casting aspersions on your claim, which is obviously rightfully yours. My comment was unclear at best and misleading at worst. I was thinking more that indigenous communities had been using it for many years but you are correct, they use it dried rather than roasted. I stand corrected, readers, and happily so! Credit should be given where credit is due and you, sir, deserve the credit!! It’s a fabulous creation. I should have known better than to make such a mistake, and I’m heartily ashamed. Please forgive me. Readers, many people won’t have even heard of roasted wattleseed outside Australia, so I’d urge to visit Vic’s site for a wealth of information on wattleseed and how roasted wattleseed came about, thanks to his efforts (site details in Vic’s comments above).

  3. Ahem! You know you say you like making these more than eating them. Well I paused right there and… oh well never mind….

    What little beauties! In my next life I will attempt macarons, Until then I will be content with admiring yours 😀

  4. Oh these look great! I really wanted to buy some wattleseed for my time in Australia (I’m cooking my way around the world) since it sounded so amazing but it was just too expensive to ship and I wasn’t sure if it would get to me in time.

    But someday I’m getting my hands on wattleseed and when that time comes I’d love to give these macarons a try!

    • Hi Cate, roasted wattleseed is very easily obtainable here in Australian and online. Should ship fairly quickly too I imagine. You should try it, it has a wonderful flavour. Lovely in ice creams, desserts, anything. Let me know if you need some pointers on suppliers. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  5. They are PERFECT! I have nothing else to say… i am voiceless!

  6. Your macarons look impeccable! Never heard of wattleseed before, so intriguided 🙂

    • Thank you!! Wattleseed is the seed of the a particular species of wattle (acacia) native to Australia.
      It’s really wonderful. You can purchase online but i know that it is exported around the world…probably available in specialty food stores. 🙂

  7. You had me at Frangelico!
    I’ve tasted (and heartily enjoyed) wattleseed in dishes as cooked by chefs but have never used it myself. The coffee flavour profile has got me thinking! The macarons look divine. Love your work!

  8. Pingback: Wattleseed Frangelico Macarons | CookingPlanet

  9. I have loved wattleseed since the first time I tried it in a pavlova. To tell the truth I had no idea it was so expensive. I will have to try and buy some the next time I am in Sydney as I love the little flecks in your macarons. I can see why they don’t last long.

    • You know, I’ve not really noticed how expensive it is or not compared with other products! I get it from a great little shop in Carlton (in Melbourne), but it’s widely available now. You can get it online too. Might be cheaper? Lovely flavour, I’m a big fan of wattleseed too. I’m glad you like these!

  10. We have a 200g jar of Wattleseed at A$20.50 which considering that it goes such a long way is cost effective. A jar last me for my home use, about 6-9 months and I use it a lot. I add a teaspoon to pancake batters, I use 2 teaspoonfuls in a bread mix.

    A big pinch goes into mushroom sauces and I make an extract by just boiling the Wattleseed in water, allowing it to cool and this gets mixed into just soft ice cream (if I’m not making my own from scratch). The extract stores in the frig for ages and I might just use the liquid for some applications or a mix of the liquid and softened grounds for other uses..

    I also add the dry Wattleseed to seasonings and Dukkah I make with other spices, seeds and nut pieces on occasion.

    There are a few more recipe ideas at http://www.dining-downunder.com and I invite you to browse through our on-line store.

    Cheers,
    Vic

  11. Well you could go for a 1.6 oz (50g) pack which doesn’t cost much to ship. We’ll even surface mail it if you ask.

    I am setting up a distribution service out of New York so this will make it cheaper for US orders. This should be up and running within a month. Subscribe at http://www.cherikoff.net to stay updated as to when this happens.

  12. B

    Love the use of a local ingredient!
    I think people need to to explore native ingredients a lot more!

    Where can I get wattle seed from?

    • Local ingredients rock! Roasted wattleseed truly rocks!! I am hoping to work some of my favourites into more recipes. I’ve already added the wattleseed to a protein bar in my last post. But certainly lots and lots of great ingredients to explore.
      You can buy roasted wattleseed online … check out the comments below. You can get them from the original source at http://www.cherikoff.net/shop. Here in Australia, they are available in specialty spice stores, as well as some delis and supermarkets. I don’t think they are sufficiently widely available or used frankly!
      Thank you for the lovely comments! I hope you enjoy these.

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