Chocolate Strawberry Macarons

Red, sweet, juicy strawberries covered with smooth, creamy chocolate is a delectable, sensual dessert and one of my favorite indulgences. I incorporated those luscious flavors in a chocolate strawberry macaron for this month’s MacTweets’ challenge Ice Cream Dreams. We were challenged to concoct an ice cream sandwich with homemade ice cream and home-baked macarons. An irresistible dessert on a hot summer day.

My first idea for the challenge was to try and recreate the luscious lemon gelato we had at the fabulous Vintage Mixer dinner at Vinto Pizzeria. (If you haven’t eaten there yet, you’re missing out!.) Then I starting thinking about their equally delicious strawberry gelato, which lead me to think about what a fabulous combination a chocolate macaron and strawberry ice cream would be, and once I started thinking about chocolate covered strawberries there was no going back.

I’ve posted in the past about the strawberry ice cream I’ve been making since I got married 33 years ago. It’s loaded with crushed strawberries! I love eating it when it’s just been churned, but it isn’t firm enough to fill a macaron and it gets a little icy when it sets up in the freezer. So I decided to change it up a bit.

Many ice cream recipes inspired by David Lebovitz The Perfect Scoop add just a splash of alcohol to prevent the ice cream from freezing hard. Megan, A Sweet Spoonful, wrote a cute post about her love of ice cream and her Strawberry Frozen Custard which includes a splash of vodka. Since both David and Megan said you couldn’t taste the vodka and it makes for a softer consistency, I decided to give it a try.

I couldn’t taste the vodka in the ice cream and just one tablespoon of vodka made a big difference. The ice cream was soft, not icy and a perfect scooping consistency after being in the freezer for several hours. After 24 hours it was harder than commercially made ice creams, but not icy and scoopable after a few minutes on the counter.

While Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Macwiches will never replace my love for chocolate covered strawberries it is a fantastic flavor combination. (Although my favorite mac flavor is still a chocolate macaron with a caramel filling.) This month’s MacTweet round up of luscious Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches will be posted on or about August 5, 2011. Be sure and stop by.

Chocolate Strawberry Macarons
 
Yield: 15 cookies
Ingredients
  • 100 grams powdered sugar
  • 50 grams almond meal/flour
  • 20 grams unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 60 grams egg whites, at room temperature
  • 40 grams granulated sugar
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 310º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready. (Setting the pastry bag in a glass while you fill the bag makes it easier to fill.)
  2. Combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and almond meal. (Pulse in a blender or food processor to grind you almonds a bit finer. A mini food processor works best for this if you have one.)
  3. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they’re foamy. While whipping, gradually beat in the granulated sugar and continue beating until egg whites are very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes. (To test to see if egg whites are ready, whip until the tip of the peak doesn’t fold over when you pull the beater out of the meringue.)
  4. Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag. (You can put a spoonful on a plate to test it. If it slowly flattens out it’s perfect. If it just stays in a blob, give it a few more folds.)
  5. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
  6. Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons. Leave out, uncovered for 15 minutes, then bake them for 15-20 minutes. Give the macs a gentle little shake with the tip of your finger to see if they’re done. You want them set but not firm. It’s better to undercook them a little so they are a bit chewy and not crisp.
  7. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
Strawberry Ice Cream
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whipping cream (not heavy cream)
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon vodka
Directions
  1. Combined all ingredients in a large bowl. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s directions