St-Emilion, a medieval town near Bordeaux in the south-west of France, is famous for its macarons. They are more rustic than their modern Parisian counterparts, consisting of a single almond biscuit without ganache. The town’s legendary Macarons Nadia Fermigier shop inherited the closely guarded 17-century recipe of the local Ursuline nuns, which has been handed down through the generations.
This classic dessert layers the rustic macarons of St-Emilion with chocolate mousse, which was once only a specialty of French restaurants.
- 200 g dark chocolate, chopped, plus extra, shaved, to serve
- 125 ml (½ cup) milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 150 g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
- 150 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 24 macarons (see Note)
- 2 tbsp cognac
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 10 minutes
Chilling time 4 hours
Place chocolate in a bowl. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until almost boiling. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and stand for 10 minutes or until chocolate is melted. Stir until combined and set aside to cool, then whisk in egg yolks until combined.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat chocolate mixture into the butter mixture, and continue beating for a further 4 minutes or until thick and smooth.
Reserve 12 macarons to serve. Place the remaining macarons on a tray and spoon over cognac. Divide soaked macarons among 6 small glasses and then top with mousse. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm. Crumble over remaining macarons and serve topped with shaved chocolate.
Macarons are available from selected patisseries, specialty food shops and delis. Substitute amaretti biscuits or macaroons. You cna also make your own batch with Gabriel Gate's recipe right here.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 8, pg63.
Photography by Anson Smart.