Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Recipe for Chocolate Macarons


4 oz dark chocolate around 70% cocoa finely chopped
Half cup heavy cream

1.1/3 cup powdered sugar (around 150 grams)
1 cup almonds
½ cup natural cocoa powder (about 45 gms)
3 egg whites
¾ cup granulated sugar (about 150 grams)
¼ cup water
Making Ganache:
Transfer the chocolate in medium bowl.
Put the cream in a saucepan and heat it till it bubbles around the edges (around 180°F, 82°C)
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and mix it until the chocolate melts.
Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend it until smooth. Alternatively, heat some water in a metal bowl until the water simmers. Transfer the mixture and whisk it until smooth.
Set aside the shiny ganache and let it cool for about 2 hours at room temperature. This way the ganache’s soft texture will be spreadable like butter.

Making Macarons:
In a blender or food processor, mix almonds, powdered sugar and cocoa and blend them for about 5 minutes to powder. Make sure the almonds also are small granules or powder.
Transfer the mixture in a large bowl.
Put 2 egg whites in the bowl and whisk it with a stand alone mixer for about 2 minutes. Thereafter raise the speed and whisk it till the firm peaks form.
While egg whites are being whisked, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, occasionally stirring the solution. Once the sugar dissolves in water, cook without stirring until the syrup reaches 238°F (114°C), about 5 minutes.
Add the sugar solution syrup to the mixture in the blender, spreading the syrup evenly all around the mixture. Aim to pour the syrup into the gaps between the mixture bowl and the whisk; the splatter of hot sugar solution onto the rotating whisk will result in stringy particles in macaron batter.
Increase the whisking speed to high and whip until stiff, shiny peaks form and the mixture holds its shape at the end of the whisk. (About 5 minutes).
Pour the remaining egg white over the almond mixture, then top with egg white mixture. With a spatula mix the whipped mixture with the almond mixture thoroughly, whereby the mixture is dark, shiny and no dry lumps. This is very important because it is easy to undermix or overmix the batter.
Fit a pastry bag with ½ inch tip. Fill the pastry bag halfway with the batter.
Line 2 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.
Position the piping tip about ¼ inch above the baking sheet and with a steady hand, pipe batter in a circle of one inch diameter and about ¼ inch thick. Release pressure on the bag and make a quick circular motion. Continue piping circles with the batter about one inch apart until the tray is filled. Continue piping  until all the batter is finished.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Bake one tray at a time for about 10 minutes. Let the pan cool for about ½ hour before removing.

Macaron assembly:
Pair macarons of matching sizes. Using a pastry bag, pipe about 1 teaspoon of cooled chocolate ganache onto the bottom of one cookie. Set the 2nd cookie of the matched pair on top of the ganache.
Gently press together to evenly distribute the ganache.

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