Avocados; One of the more controversial brunch fruits. Often associated with millennials and hipsters, the avocado is regularly hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Whether it’s reports that the demand for avocados is fuelling gang wars in Mexico or stories about the rise of avocado related knife injuries showing up in A&E; never has a fruit been associated with such chaos.
This is not to even mention the claim by one real estate mogul that our penchant for smashed avo on toast is why we will never be able to afford our own houses. Here was me thinking it was due to the crippling cost of living combined with a global recession and stagnant wages, but who knew it actually all just comes down to our brunching habits?
I made these for my sister’s 21 birthday as I know how partial she is to a bit of smashed avo on toast. The recipe is exactly the same as the one used for my pistachio macarons, but adapted to make these little guys.
For the shells:
100g Icing Sugar
50g Ground Almonds
37g Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs
Green Gel Food Colouring
Edible Ink Pen (optional)
For the Filling:
100g of Dark Chocolate
100g of Double Cream
Food processor, piping bags, food safe paint brush, edible ink pens
1. Set the oven to 150°C/ 300 F/ Gas Mark 2
2.To make the shells…Blend the icing sugar and ground almonds together until they turn into a fine powder.
3.Separate your eggs, discarding the yolks and keeping the whites.
4.Whisk the egg whites and caster sugar together until you have a stiff glossy meringue.
5.Whisk your green food colouring into the meringue, until the colour is evenly distributed. Word of advice- make the colour brighter than you think it should be as much of the colouring will fade during the baking process.
6.Now for the slightly tricky bit; Tip your ground almond/ icing sugar powder into the green meringue mix and using a spatula, begin to gently fold the dry mix into the wet, incorporating as much air as possible.
7.You want to keep doing this until the dry mix is totally incorporated into the wet meringue mix. Pick up your spatula with some of the mixture on it and then let it run off- you want it to fall from the spatula like a ribbon and leave a trail on the surface of the mix in the bowl. Knowing when it’s done can be quite tricky, but I would say that under mixed is better than over mixed.
8.Once you are happy with the mixture, pour it into a piping bag and cut a small hole into the tip.
9.Now it’s time to pipe your shells. I found an avocado template online (see below) which I printed off and lay on my baking tray. You then just need to lay some non stick baking paper on top and you should be able to see the outline of the avocado to guide you.
10.You now need to leave the shells out in the open for 20-30 minutes so that they form a shiny top.
11.Once you are satisfied that they have a shiny top you need to put them in the oven for 12-14 minutes. Once you take them out of the oven leave them to cool before trying to handle them, as they can be quite delicate while they are still warm.
12.I used a chocolate ganache for the avocado ‘stones’ and for the filling. To make the ganache you need equal parts dark chocolate and double cream. Break the chocolate up in to small pieces in a bowl. Microwave the double cream until it is hot, but not so hot that it starts to bubble. Pour the hot double cream over the dark chocolate, allowing it to melt. Mix until it forms a smooth chocolate ganache. The ganache will be too runny to pipe at this point, so you need to put it in the fridge for a bit to firm up.
13.Whilst the ganache is cooling you can paint the edges of the avocados with green food colouring mixed with a bit of water. Please make sure to use a food safe paint brush for this bit!
14.I chose to use an edible black ink pen to draw little faces on my avocados as I think it gives them a bit of extra character. This is optional though! You can find edible ink pens online or in some shops.
15.Once the ganache has set to a soft consistency you can pipe the avocado ‘stones’ on to the shells. I would advise practicing this on a plate first to make sure that the ganache is not too runny; If it is just put it back in the fridge a bit longer.
16.The remainder of the ganache will be used to fill the macarons. You want the ganache to be even stiffer for this, so you need to put it back in the fridge until it becomes a ‘spreadable’ consistency. You can then use a knife or a piping bag to place a dollop of ganache in between two shells and sandwich them together.