Who doesnt love this sweet confectionery called Macarons. This meringue-based desserts name is derived from an Italian word “maccarone” or “maccherone”. Its not that popular in the country but this is one of the most popular dessert in Europe and North America.
Chocolate Macarons Recipe
Makes about fifteen cookies
Macaron Batter 1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar ½ cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized) 3 tablespoons (25 gr) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 2 large egg whites, at room temperature 5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar Chocolate Filling ½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream 2 teaspoons light corn syrup 4 ounces (120 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 1 tablespoon (15 gr) butter, cut into small pieces 1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (good to use Glad Cook N Bake) and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready. 2. Using a blender, grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa until fine enough. 3. In a mixer bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy then beat in the granulated sugar continue beating until very stiff and firm. 4. Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites. 5. Pipe the batter on the prepared 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, then let them rest for 1 to 2 hours until a skin forms around the macarons and are not sticky/tacky to the touch. 7. Bake the macarons in a 350º F (180º C) oven for 3 minutes then decrease temperature to 325C and bake for another 3 minutes. If the oven is too hot, leave the oven door ajar for the rest of the baking time.
Prepare Chocolate filling: Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the corn syrup. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the pieces of butter. Chill in the refrigerator for around an hour before using.
To Assemble: Pipe the dark chocolate ganache onto one side of the macaron shell and then then sandwich them together. Let them chill at least one day in the refrigeratior before serving, to meld the flavors. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze. If you freeze them, defrost them in the unopened container, to avoid condensation which will make the macarons soggy..
How to make Fool Proof Macarons Main Ingredients and Tools for French macarons: 1) Eggwhites – best to “age” eggwhites a day (24 hours) before you use them. Separate eggwhites from eggyolks and store eggwhites in the refrigerator. Aging eggwhites help strengthen the eggwhite and will help create a crisp and strong shell. 2) Ground almonds/almond meal or flour – You can buy slivered almonds (w/o skin) and process them in a food processor or blender. You can also buy ready made almond flour or meal from specialty stores like Santi’s or Chocolate Lover. 3) Powdered Sugar/Confectioner’s – Peotraco powdered sugar works best. You can buy small amounts from major supermarkets or bigger amounts from Unimart or Chocolate Lover. 4) Strainer – to sift almond flour and confectioner’s sugar 5) Baking mats/parchment paper – Silicone mats like Silpat work best with macarons but are a major investment. Glad cook n bake works really well as a greaseproof paper for making macaron shells. 6) Kitchen scale – the first step for successful dessert-making and fool proof macarons is to measure your ingredients accurately using a weighing scale. A digital scale works best if you plan to invest in one. 7) Pastry tips and bag – Pastry bags can be re-usable (You can buy reusable pastry bags from Cook’s Exchange, Chocolate lovers or Gourdo’s/Living well) or disposabe pastry bags like Peotraco from Chocolate lovers and other bakery supply stores. Use a pastry tip that is round and has a 2.5 cm round tip. Hand mixer or stand mixer – investing a handmixer or stand mixer is worth it and helps in creating the best meringue for macaron shells and other desserts that need tp be beaten or whipped (I.e. creaming butter, whipping eggwhites or cream)
Techniques to make Fool Proof Macarons: 1) Finely grind almonds and confectioner’s sugar needed for your macaron recipe in a blender or food processor. This ensures that your almonds are finely ground and mixed with your confectioner’s sugar. 2) Strain the mixture over a baking sheet and bake in a 300F or 150 C oven for 5-7 minutes. Cool. 3) In a mixing bowl, beat the eggwhites into snowy peaks using an electric mixer, starting at a slow speed and gradually increasing the speed until eggwhites stiffen. Gradually add your white sugar, beating constantly. If you want to add food coloring, now is the time to add it. 4) Strain the almond-powdered sugar mixture over the eggwhites and fold in two additions. Fold in each addition of the almond-powdered sugar mixture gently, pressing the eggwhites and almond mixture against the bowl while folding. This term is called Macaronnage. 5) When batter is firm and drips slowly with a spatula (Flows like magma) , it is done. When it reaches this stage this is called Macronner. Do not overfold. 6) Pipe macaron batter onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet in uniform circles. Rap baking sheet firmly to get rid of air bubbles. 7) Let the macaron shells dry for at least an hour/hour and a half until a crust froms on the surface and is not tacky/sticky to the touch. Drying the shells in an airconditioned room is a must especially on rainy days. You need to follow this step so that your macaron shells will develop a strong shell and will help form a “pied” or ruffled feet. This defines a macaron. In a 350F oven, double pan your cookie sheet (put another cookie sheet under parchment lined cookie sheet) so that your macaron bottoms do not brown. Bake for 3 mins then lower temp to 300f and bake for another 3 mins. Rotate pan and remove 2nd pan from under and check oven temperature, if it is still too high, keep on the oven door open /ajar.
9) Check the bottoms of your macaron shells – if they are still sticking to the greaseproof paper, bake for an additional 2 mins. Do not overbake or they macaron shells will become too crispy and not chewy. 10) Match two same sized macaron shells and pipe buttecream in one shell. Sandwich with the other macaron shell. Refrigerate overnight. Macarons benefit from overnight refrigeration to help meld flavors and moisture. Keeps for one week in the ref or 3 weeks in a freezer. Store in an airtight container.
Basic Macaron Shell Recipe 2 large eggwhites ½ cup (60 g) ground almonds ¾ cup (110 g) confectioner’s sugar 1. TB (20 g) granulated white sugar
Basic Vanilla Buttercream Recipe (this goes well with plain/flavored macaron shells because the filling does not melt at room temperature – you can add lemon juice or extract and lemon zest to add lemon flavoring, you can also add other flavor extracts)
¼ cup or 2 oz butter, unsalted and room temperature 1.5 cups confectioner’s sugar 1/8 cup milk ¼ tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, beat until fluffy for at least 5 mins.
-Methods adapted from Macarons by Berengere Abraham, I heart Macarons by Hisako Ogita and Martha Stewart Living.