Orange Curd-infused Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache
The orange curd-infused bittersweet ganache softens the sweet sting of the macaron discs. It is absolutely luscious if you brush the discs with as much Grand Marnier as it can handle. I use a thick paint brush to drip the liquor onto the discs; it takes a few minutes for it to soak in. Be careful that it doesn’t soak all the way through the tops of the macs; you also don’t want excess liquor to drip from the macs when you sandwich the discs together. You may add the liquor to the hot cream before pouring it over the chocolate. I did not add Grand Marnier to the cream so my kids would be able to eat the macarons.
4 oz. Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate
½ c. heavy whipping cream
2 T. orange curd (click here for recipe)
Note: You will also need more orange curd, in a prepared piping bag, to place a dollop of the curd in the center of the ganache.
Tools: medium glass bowl, small microwave-safe measuring pitcher, small whisk
1. Chop bittersweet chocolate into small pieces and place in the glass bowl.
2. Measure a ½ cup of cream into the pitcher. Add 2 tablespoons of orange curd and stir to combine.
3. Place the pitcher into the microwave. Heat on high heat for 20 seconds. Repeat until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Watch this carefully as you can over-boil it—right out of the pitcher!
4. Pour the cream over the chocolate and set aside for 2 minutes.
5. Use the whisk to thoroughly incorporate the mixture. Set aside, UNCOVERED, to cool completely.
6. Wrap the filling in plastic wrap. It’s demonstrated in my video, or you can read it in my main recipe.
7. Prepare the piping bag with the wrapped filling. Use a round tip—I like #9 from Wilton—to pipe a ring of ganache along the inner perimeter of one mac. If you use a smaller tip, you may have to do more than one ring—one on top of the other. For visual effects—presentation wise—it looks nicer with one thick ring of chocolate—the ring should be about ¼-inch thick.
8. Pipe enough orange curd in the center/hole so it is barely level with the ring of chocolate.
9. Sandwich the macs with a bit of a twisting motion.
10. Mature the cookies for 24 hours in the fridge. Eat one if you must, but it’s really different once the macs have softened!
Note: I am not a huge fan of bittersweet chocolate. It doesn’t taste all that great—sweet—on its own. However, once you pipe it into the macs, and the moisture soaks up into the discs, well, it’s delish. It’s much better with that dollop of orange curd in the center.
Because I did not add a tablespoon of butter to the ganache itself, it does get pretty firm not long after you pipe it. Fill about 5 macarons at a time, then sandwich them together, otherwise, the ganache becomes too firm. The filling looks much better when it is compressed while soft as opposed to when somewhat firm.
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