Summer is the season for fresh figs and I couldn't think of a better way to utilize it than in my cinnamon macarons, inspired by Thelittleloaf.com's recipe. I filled it with a reduced balsamic and fig jam (TO DIE FOR) surrounded by a decadent bitter-sweet dark chocolate ganache. A harmonious balance of flavors. The crunch and chewiness of the macaron was perfect; the filling was so delicious. Will definitely be making more of these at my next party! —Stacy
ground almond flour/meal
ground cinnamon, plus additional for dusting
Blitz the first three ingredients in a food processor to break down any lumps. Sift together into a bowl. Set aside. Discard any larger bits (about a teaspoon).
Place egg whites in a clean bowl. Using a standing mixer or hand mixer, whisk at medium speed until foamy. Add all the sugar (TIP: YES YOU CAN ADD ALL THE SUGAR AT ONCE) and continue to beat until glossy stick peaks form. You know they're done when peaks are stiff on the beater and you can hold the bowl upside down*
Pour half the almond-meal mixture into the egg whites. Fold into the egg whites gently; at about 20 turns add the rest of the almond-meal mixture and continue folding for an additional 20 turns. Total of about 40-45 folds. **DO NOT OVER FOLD** The batter should look like molten lava and gently start to slide away.
Silpats work extremely well for macarons but parchment paper will also work. Add a dot of better all 4 corners of the parchment paper so it does not move when piping the batter. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). Pipe ~1" sized (3 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets 1" apart. They will slightly spread.
Tap the trays onto a flat surface about 10 times to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Let the macarons sit on the counter for 30 minutes. While they sit, preheat the oven to 300F. Tops will be dry to the touch; that's when you know you're ready to bake.
Bake total of 12 minutes, rotating 1/2 way through. They will form their "feet" at the 1/2 way mark. I turned down the oven to about 280F for the second half as my oven is on the hotter side.
Take it out of the oven to cool. DO NOT REMOVE MACARONS STRAIGHT OUT OF THE OVEN. Wait until cool to the touch to gently remove off the tray and onto a rack to finish cooling.
BALSAMIC FIG JAM: Place all ingredients except balsamic into a small bowl. Bring to a boil and let it reduce. Add balsamic and reduce completely until it makes a beautiful thick velvety jam texture; add an additional tsp of water if too thick and let it reduce once more. Set aside to cool in a bowl.
GANACHE: Bring heavy whipping cream to a boil. Add to the chocolates directly and begin to whisk. Add the butter (diced) and continue to whisk until all is melted and incorporated and is velvety. Add a pinch of cinnamon. Cover with a plastic wrap and cool in the fridge for 1-2 hours before piping.
TO ASSEMBLE: Place a dallop of the jam on 1 macaron shell. Pipe the ganache around the jam. Top with the second shell an gently press to close. Pop in the fridge to firm up. Let it sit on the counter top for a few minutes until it hits room temperature and enjoy with a fresh cup of earl grey or English tea.