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Thursday night macarons

Posted by Jeanne on May 30, 2010

I beat the macarons!  Muahahahaha!

Well, they aren’t the prettiest or the most perfect – but they’re really macarons this time.  Huge improvement, since last time they were a hot mess.

French Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Ganache, adapted from this recipe found on Chow.

Cookies:

2 C confectioner’s sugar
1 C almond flour/meal
3 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
0.25 tsp fine salt
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch cream of tartar
3 TB granulated sugar

Ganache:

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
0.5 C heavy cream
2 TB unsalted butter, at room temperature

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a large pastry bag with a 1/2-inch plain tip; set aside.

Sift the powdered sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a large bowl; set aside.

Placing the egg whites in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on second highest speed until opaque and foamy, about 30 seconds.

Add the cream of tartar and beat until the egg whites are white in color and hold the line of the whisk, about 1 minute. Continue to beat,adding sugar 1 TB at a time.  Continue beating the egg whites until the peaks are stiff, and the whites are shiny, about 1 minute more. (Do not overwhip.)

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry mix into the egg whites in three batches until the dry mix is just combined.

Transfer the batter to the pastry bag. Pipe out 1-1/4-inch rounds about 1 inch apart onto the baking sheets, about 25 per sheet. Pick up the baking sheets and knock them on the counter. Let the rounds sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to dry the tops and ensure even cooking.

Ganache:

Warm the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just starts to boil. Remove from heat and gently stir in the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Let sit for 1 minute. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange two racks in the center of the oven. Bake the macarons for 6.5 minutes.  Swap sheet locations and rotate sheets.  Bake for another 6.5 minutes.  Transfer the sheet to a rack to cool completely.

Assembly:

Pair macarons of similar size.  Pipe or scoop about 1 tsp. of ganache onto the center of a macaron half.  Top with another half and press gently so that it looks like a mini hamburger. The filling should not ooze out the edges. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

These are really amazing – somehow both rich and light, creamy and airy, at the same time.  Kind of like a cookie/brownie/candy thing?

Next time I’ll be more careful about the piping – I overfilled the piping bag and was having a really tough time keeping the batter in the bag.  Also I am not the steadiest piper on the planet under the best of circumstances, and with the overfilling issue I definitely got some uneven macarons.

Next time, little cookies.  Next time.

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