This is my first attempt at making macarons, and to my surprise it was a success. I've been reading about these little French cookies and I kept postponing the moment of making them being afraid of a failure. My conclusion is that they are not that complicated after you get used with the process, just need to follow some exact rules. And it's interesting how they actually makes you want to try more and more, different flavors and different ganache fillings. They taste absolutely divine, they are pretty easy to make, and they are perfect for Christmas table or as holiday gifts.
- Adapted from the Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
- Makes about 38 shells
- Macaron Batter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered almonds
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 5 tbsp granulated sugar
- Chocolate Filling
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces (110 g) bitter sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
- Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor.
- Using a mixer beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
- Fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula. When the mixture is smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag. (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
- Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
- Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
- To make the chocolate filling: Heat the cream in a small saucepan. 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. Let cool completely before using.
- Spread a bit of batter on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together.
- Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors.