Macarons....the ever so Beautiful, so Fragile and so French !!
Till very recently the only macarons I knew about, were the American Macaroons which are ummm....so sweet, so chewy and so coconuty !!
While blog surfing I came across these beauties.... chiseled rounded to perfection and I soon succumbed to the temptation of baking these myself, inspite of knowing that these could bring the best of chefs to tears with their tantrums !!!
So in my quest to conquer the Macarons I went blog hopping and reached here.
After going through at least 20 different recipes I felt the most comfortable with Irina Kogan's Master the Macarons. Hats off to the girl. She actually makes the whole macaron baking so simple and non fussy.
My first attempt was nothing but a disaster......they were yummy almond cookies but nothing more....not even the poor country cousins of the very elitist snobbish French Macarons !!
I think I got a grip on the recipe in my second attempt. They say your macarons are perfect if they get 'feet'.
I think I got them, but I sure can do with some reassurance from the masters of the Macaron World. Deeba and Jamie of Mactweets and Irina of Pastry Pal.... what do you say?
I made half of this recipe.
Chocolate Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache`
Makes about 50 macarons (100 halves)
100 g Almond Flour
175 g Powdered Sugar
3 large (100 g) Egg whites
2 tbsp (30 g) Granulated Sugar
3tbsp Cocoa Powder
1. You can either purchase almond flour, or make your own.
2. Prepare 2 baking trays by lining with parchment paper.
3. Prepare a pastry bag with a plain tip.
4. First, sift the dry ingredients —the powdered sugar, almond flour and cocoa powder.
5. Sift into a large bowl. Refining the dry stuff this way will ensure that the macarons don’t end up with coarse looking shells. If you have a teaspoon or so of large pieces left in the sifter, just discard.
6. In a separate bowl, whisk the whites. Once they start to froth up and get meringue-like, sprinkle in the sugar. This little bit of granulated sugar helps stabilize the whites, so there is less risk of overwhipping.
A little more whisking results in firm peaks. You MUST whisk until the peaks are firm, or the finished macarons will suffer, with a too-liquid batter.
7. Once the whites are whipped, incorporate the dry ingredients, slowly, so the egg whites don’t deflate.
8. Sprinkle half the dry stuff over the egg whites.
9. Start folding the dry mixture in carefully, in batches. The whites will start to look broken and curdled and that’s ok. It’s not necessary to get every last speck folded in at this point.
10. The dry ingredients tend to collect at the bottom of the bowl. Fold by scraping from the bottom, and turning the mixture over on itself. This process does deflate the eggs somewhat, and that’s ok. You WANT to deflate them a little.
11. At first it may seem like there is too much dry stuff to be absorbed by the egg whites, but after a few strokes it comes together.
12. The easiest way to fill a pastry bag is to place it in a tall jar or glass with the top of the bag folded over.
13. Pour the batter into the bag.Pipe out nickel-sized dots. They will continue to spread on the sheet pan for up to five minutes, so it’s best to space them about half an inch apart.
14. Now they have to rest at room temperature. A skin needs to form, and it can take 30-90 minutes, depending on the weather. If you touch them lightly and some batter sticks to your finger, they are not ready to bake. If you feel the top has dried, and nothing sticks to your finger, they’re ready.
15. Bake at 140 degrees C for about 17 minutes.
16. They should be smooth on top, and of course, have the coveted “feet”. Let them cool completely before proceeding. They may rip right off the sheet pan if pulled up too early.
17. Once cooled, flip them all over and pipe your chosen filling on half of the rounds. Stick the other halves to these with a light hand. Let it set for about 5-7 minutes.
For the Chocolate Ganache` Filling:
230 g Dark Cooking Chocolate
180 ml Cream
2 tbsp Unsalted butter
Heat the cream in a heavy bottom pan.
Cut the chocolate into small equal size pieces and pour into the cream and keep stirring continuously till the cream and chocolate blend in completely.
Add the butter and mix over low-medium heat. Turn of the heat and keep stirring for another 2 minutes.
Let it cool down completely. Once cooled the ganache` will thicken a bit. Pour into a piping bag and pipe out on half of the macarons.
Happy Baking !!