31 May 2011

Happy National Macaron Day

Today is National Macaron Day. Yep, didn't know that macarons had their own day either. Good excuse to use part of my Memorial Day weekend to bake? Yes. BTW, I've also noticed that I've made enough macaron recipes that they should get their own tag. Yay macarons!
For the coffee lover, I made espresso macchiato macarons. A macchiato is a shot of espresso with a dollop of foam, so it's got the bite of espresso softened a bit. To mimic that, these have an espresso shell with a white chocolate ganache filling. (A side note about the ganache - don't let it chill too long or it'll be way too hard to spread like mine was, thus why it's a touch uneven.) The shell's intense and the white choco rounds off the edge. If you want a more mild coffee flavor, cut the espresso back to 1 tsp.

Espresso Macchiato Macarons

For the Shell:
90g aged egg whites
1-2 Tbsp sugar
110g blanced almonds
200g confectioners sugar
1 Tbsp instant espresso powder

For the Filling:
1/4 C heavy cream
6 oz good white chocolate
2 tbsp butter

Special equipment: food processor, sieve/fine mesh strainer

Age the egg whites: keep egg whites in a container in the fridge for 3-5 days, or at room temperature for 24 hours.

Make the shells: Combine the almonds, confectioners sugar and espresso powder and put into food processor and grind until it looks fine. Sift into a large bowl. Dump the stuff that doesn't go through the sieve back into the food processor and repeat. Keep repeating until the majority of if is sifted into the bowl.

In a super clean mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, start beating egg whites at medium speed. When it gets bubbly enough that it looks like bubbly dish soap, up the speed to high. Add the sugar little by little until the foam turns into shiny meringue, the consistency of shaving cream. Stop when you can make slightly stiff peaks.

Fold in half of the dry ingredients until mostly combined. Fold in the rest.  It's done when you can cut the spatula through the batter and it sinks back into itself in 10 seconds. It shouldn't take more than 50-55 strokes  total.

Pipe onto parchment lined baking sheets - about the size of a quarter or half dollar. Make sure to leave at least 1-2" between them because they'll spread. Let sit for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake shells 14-15 minutes. After they're cool, match up like-size shells to make sandwiches.

Make the filling: Chop chocolate well and put in a heat proof bowl. Heat cream in a small pot over medium heat until the edges start to bubble. Add to the white chocolate. Allow to sit for a minute. Stir until smooth. Whisk in the butter. Allow to cool to room temp. Beat again with a whisk. Fill the cookies.
As usual, all macaron recipes are inspired and adapted from Tartelette.