26 December 2010

Christmas macarons

For Christmas, my mom challenged me to make French macarons. Well, more accurately, I took it as a challenge when she asked if I'd ever made them before because she had some frozen macarons she brought back from France and didn't know how to make them herself. Something to compare my macarons to? Challenge accepted! Oh, THEN my mom says something along the lines of she can't believe I make all the stuff on my blog, haha. She's like, "I recognize the kitchen towels in the pictures and your dirty fingernail, otherwise I wouldn't believe it!" So this is a chance to impress her with my mad skillz and show her that I am a chip off the old block (half of my memories involving her are in the kitchen baking something) I told h er, well yes I do make it all, and yes I do know how to make macarons. Wanna see?

I followed the same recipe for the shells I used last time, and then filled them with a simple chocolate ganache. Love the classic combination. And while the macarons my mom brought back were flavored, so not an exact comparison to mine... We can both confirm that the texture of the macaron cookies themselves were spot on, so Victory is mine!

Macarons and Chocolate Ganache Filling
adapted from Tartelette

3 egg whites, aged 1-3 days (large eggs)
2-3 tbsp white sugar
110 grams blanched almonds
200 grams powdered sugar

Prepare/Age the eggs: Separate the whites from the yolks, place whites in a really really clean bowl, and cover loosely. Let it sit at room temperature 1 to 3 days. I aged mine for 3 days. You can also refrigerate up to 5 days.

Prepare the almond meal: Combine almonds and confectioners sugar in a food processor and proccess until it's very fine. Sift through a strainer to keep the big bits out and regrind as necessary, until pretty much all of it can be sifted through.

Make the meringue: In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until foamy -- it should look like a bubble bath. Continue beating and add sugar little by little (I added 2 tbsp worth) just until it forms a glossy meringue that looks like shaving cream - you should just get stiff peaks.

Add about half the almond meal/powdered sugar mix to the meringue and mix in - about 10 strokes. Gently fold in the rest of the dry mix until it comes together. You know it's done if you cut your spatula through it and it sinks back into itself within 10 seconds. You can also take a little bit and dollop it onto a plate - it should flatten on its own. If it's got peaks, fold a couple more times. This whole thing shouldn't take more than 50 strokes.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Fill a pastry bag or zip top bag with the batter. If using a zip top bag, snip off the bottom corner when ready to pipe. Pipe small rounds the size of a quarter onto the baking sheets. It should spread a little, so leave an inch between each one. Let sit for 1 hour so the shells harden. Preheat oven to 300.

Bake for 12-14 minutes. Look, more feet!
Chocolate Ganahce
1/3 C heavy cream
1/2 tsp instant espresso
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped well
Put chocolate into a small bowl. Heat heavy cream over medium high heat until the edges start to bubble. Mix in espresso powder until dissolved. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool until thick enough to pipe.
Assemble the macarons: Match up similar sized/shaped cookies. Pipe or spoon about 1 tbsp of the ganache in between and sandwich the cookies. Allow to cool/set completely (I just did this overnight) so flavors can meld. Enjoy!


  1. i love the macarons you gave me for xmas!

  2. Thanks Dave! They're slowly getting better as I learn how to, ya know, take pictures haha.

    Thanks Jill! See you Thurs!