I’m quite sure people all over the world know the macarons because, as for the muffin and the cupcakes few years ago, they are becoming more popular than a lot of proper food. Yes, I love macarons BUT I don’t think they’re proper food: they’re nice, cute, classy but, come on, can you compare them with a slice of chocolate cake? By the way, the macarons are not italian at all but I tried (more and more, I have to say) an italianized version of this small french sweets and finally I decided that the savory macarons with cheese filling are way better than the classical ones. The reason is simple: the savory versions of the macarons have a very good flavour and a very nice taste because savory ingredients and sweet ones combine themselves in a perfect way creating something we use to call “agrodolce”, a perfect mix between savory and sugar.
The method is quite hard, I have to admit, and you need a lot of practice (or at least a sort of luckiness of the beginner), slipping up more and more (or even never if you’re lucky enough! ) before finding your right way; and you need a lot of patience because a macaron cannot be made in a hurry but this savory version is simply rewarding when you present a big plate to your guests as an “aperitivo”.
They take a long time to be perfect or, at least, acceptable but the flavour is so intense that you quite forget how long did you spend to make them; I choose a mix of italian and french cheeses but the most important thing is the combination so you can use every kind of cheese but it has to be very strong (roquefort, camembert, blue cheese, stilton, whatever!).
The filling tend to go everywhere and for this reason it has to be very very firm: if you are experiencing problems, just place the sauce into the refrigerator for longer or add more potatoes (anyway, if Christophe Felder, the man who wrote the book Macarons Salés which I didnt’ open, read this I think he should sue me! )
What do you need for about 30 macarons
For the base
3 egg whites (about 230-240 grams total)
200 grams of sugar
200 grams of icing sugar
140 grams of almond flour
For the filling
50 grams of Camembert
50 grams of pecorino cheese
50 grams of Gorgonzola
milk as needed
4 potatoes (need 2 on average but it is better to have more ready)
1. Line a shallow roasting pan with baking paper and to avoid that the paper moves oil the sides of the pan. Prepare a basic meringue-style French mounting the egg whites until they are compact and fluffy (use some salt or cream of tartar to facilitate this process.) Add a tablespoon of sugar at a time, continuing to beat for 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved completely.
2. Add the icing sugar, the almond flour and the black pepper to the mix, stirring with a spoon from the bottom to the top and very slowly, otherwise the egg whites will start to become liquid.
3. Pour the mixture into a piping bag or even in a syringe with the suction nozzle 32 then form large meringues of dough with a diameter of about 3/4 cm leaving enough space between the one and the other to prevent it from sticking.
4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and let them stand for 20 minutes before baking so that it forms a kind of film on the surface (depending on humidity of the room may take longer. Much more longer!)
5. Meanwhile, turn the oven to 140 degrees and when the 20 minutes are gone bake the macaron base for 20 minutes then turn out, let them cool on the baking sheet WITHOUT touching them and only once they are warm lay them on a tray to cool them completely.
6. Prepare the filling by melting in a bain-marie the three cheeses and if necessary add a little milk to help the merger. Mash 2 boiled potatoes.
7. Mix the melted cheese in the robot then add a quantity of mashed potatoes to taste based on how much you want the filling to be consistent.
8. Once you reach the desired consistency cool the mixture to room temperature then put it in the refrigerator. Fill the macaron with the cream when they are cold. Put in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes then serve.
TIP: Experts recommend to use old (3-4 days) egg whites but I have to say I’ve never used this kind of ingredient and my macarons (quite) always turned out very good; one of the big problem should be the temperature/umidity because if it’s too humid the macarons tend to remain uncooked or they break in pieces. If it’s too humid just leave them rest in a war place for example near an heating in winter or turning on the oven and leaving the door open so that the heat is distributed throughout the room drying the air.