Thursday, February 25, 2010

French Chocolate Macaron

     I cannot tell you how long I have wanted to make macarons.  I was in Paris over the summer and fell in love with the ones at Laudree (thank you Adrien for the wonderful suggestion)!  My family and I sat in the Luxembourg Gardens on a gorgeous sunny day, people watched, and ate our macarons… that is until the police kindly told us we were sitting on grass that was not to be sat on.  Oops.  But no matter, I had already savored every last one of my macarons.  Yet I was not completely fulfilled – I wanted more!  Sadly, Laudree is not cheap and I was leaving for Luxembourg in two days.

     When I was back in America, I instantly began scouring the Internet for information on the magical macaron.  Oh, they’re hard to make?  What’s a ‘foot’?  There is an Italian and a French method to making them?  You had to try how many times before you successfully made just one macaron?  Mon Dieu!  I decided to improve my culinary skills a little more before attempting such a daunting gastronomic feat!

     Slowly over the course of the school year, my interest in macarons began to fade… but every time I saw them on Tastespotting or Foodgawker, I just had to read the blog post behind the beautiful picture.  I began bookmaking recipes that sounded good nor exceedingly difficult to make.
Then I came across David Lebovitz and he made my dream of making a macaron come true.  His recipe is utterly fail-proof.  Every single one of my macrons produced feet and tasted delicious.  I believe the most important factor in my success was that I weighed all of my ingredients (aside from the eggs).  It really makes a huge difference – when I weighed five tablespoons of granulated sugar, it was 10 oz too much!  But I did make a few alterations based on other information I had read (they are noted in the recipe).

     Next time I make this I will use a better piping technique (which I had only figured out on the third to last macaron I piped) and rap the baking sheets on the counter a little more (as mine were a little too ‘fluffy’).  Now go!  Impress your friends and make some of macarons!!

French Chocolate Macaron with Chocolate Ganache Filling
Adapted from David Lebovitz's The Sweet Life In Paris

Macaron Batter Ingredients:
  • 1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar
  • ½ cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized in yo)
  • 3 tablespoons (25 gr) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature and ‘proofed’ in the refrigerator for 24 hours
  • 5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar

Chocolate Filling Ingredients:
  • ½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream
  • 4 ounces (120 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Macaron Batter Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 340º F (170º C).
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
  3. Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor since almond meal that you buy isn't quite fine enough.
  4. In the bowl of a standing electric 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.
  5. Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just 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).
  6. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in one-inch circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch apart.
  7. Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, let sit for 20 minutes, 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.  Pour over chopped chocolate, let sit for one minute, then whisk until smooth.  Place in refrigerator to cool, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure even cooling.  When are desired consistency for piping,  fill pastry bag fitted with ¾ inch tip and pipe onto macaron shell.


majesta.s. said...

wow. I just spent a day at my friend's french bakery, and I was looking for a recipe for the amazing chocolate macarons that i ate all day. :)
thank you so much!

Sook said...

Mmmm.. chocolate macaroon! Looks amazing!

Anonymous said...

I want to try this.. but I have a question, what does "proofed" mean? How do I do that?

This will be my first time baking something and any help will be appreciated.

Thaaaaank you so much!

Katherine Martin said...

Hi Anonymous:

When I saw "proof" I mean let it rest, uncovered, in the fridge for 24 hours, or up to 5 days.

Let me know if you have anymore questions - I hopefully will be able to help!

Anonymous said...

Hello again! (It's me from the comment above (Anonymous))

I did everything you said and voila! It's perfect!! I always believed I will be a failure in the kitchen but now I feel good. :)

Thank you sooo much. I will be checking your blog for more recipes.



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