Earl grey is a very well-liked flavour when it comes to desserts, especially macarons. I think that combining it with milk chocolate makes it even more irresistible. An earl grey buttercream has a lighter flavour and texture, but I personally prefer the ganache version.
I infused the earl grey tea into the heavy cream for 5 minutes before pouring it over the melted milk chocolate. I suggest using a good loose leaf tea instead of the tea bag version only because it gives a much stronger flavour which is also noticeably more pleasing to the palate.
To those unfamiliar with the term ganache, it’s basically heavy cream added to chocolate. It doesn’t matter which type of chocolate is used to make ganache – white, milk, or dark. The proportions may be different, but all ganache nonetheless. A ganache made with white chocolate would be called a white ganache, and one made with dark chocolate would be called a dark ganache. Saying “dark chocolate ganache” would actually be redundant (as ganache already refers to chocolate), but because not many people are familiar with this, I just stick the word chocolate into the term anyway :)
::: Please note that I bake my macaron shells @ 250F for 25mins to avoid browning, but your oven may be different. You could try baking @ 275F for 20mins or @ 300F for 16mins.
makes 10 macarons
Earl grey macaron batter
45g egg whites
2.5 tbspn granulated sugar
43g almond flour
75g icing sugar
royal blue & black food colouring (if desired)
earl grey tea bag (if desired)
1. Sift almond flour and icing sugar together in a bowl. At this point, you will also add the earl grey tea leaves from the bag if you’d like to use it.
2. Whisk egg whites in a bowl until foamy. Gradually add the sugar. Continue whisking until medium peaks form. Add royal blue and black food colouring (if using) and whisk until medium-hard peaks form.
3. Fold half of the flour mixture into the meringue until just incorporated.
4. Fold in the rest of the flour mixture and stop folding when you reach the ribbon consistency. When you lift the spatula, the batter should fall back down slowly and the peaks should disappear in 5 seconds. This will ensure smooth tops for the macaron shells.
5. Using a circle tip, pipe the macaron batter onto a silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet. The circles should be around 2″ in diameter.
6. Tap the baking sheet a few times to raise the air bubbles.
7. Allow to air dry for 15-45mins, until the batter is dry on top. When you touch it with your finger tip, it should not stick to your finger.
8. Bake in the oven for 24mins at 250F.
Earl grey milk chocolate ganache
50g milk chocolate, melted
50ml heavy cream (35%)
1 teaspoon earl grey tea
1. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it simmers. Remove from the heat and steep the earl grey tea in the cream for 5 minutes, with the lid on.
2. Melt the chocolate either in a bain-marie or microwave. Usually you would directly pour the hot cream over the chocolate to melt it, but since the cream will be steeping the tea for 5 minutes, it will no longer be hot enough to melt the chocolate fully.
3. Pour the cream over the melted milk chocolate with a sieve, while stirring with a hand whisk until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and let it come to room temperature.