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Friday, March 23, 2012

Chocolate Espresso Macarons

We just threw my sister a baby shower...yay! I'm going to be an auntie in a month and I can't wait to meet little bebe. I wanted to make something edible for the party favors but wanted it to be special. Since French macarons are making a US invasion these days, overtaking the cupcake phenomenon with fury, I thought I'd try my hand. This was the most appealing recipe I found - because I love chocolate and coffee. And because this comes from a food blog called "effing dericious." With an "r." Enough said.

Anyway, be forewarned - these are NOT easy. A lot can go wrong here but don't be discouraged if you end up with dense cookies on your first go. Mine are still a work in progress. But the flavor of these is so wonderful that it almost doesn't matter if they don't have their perfect 'feet.'  But you do hope for a light, fluffy, chewy, pillow of it goes...

*You do need a digital scale for these. Don't cut corners. You won't win.
You also need silpat baking sheet liners, or parchment.

Macaron Shells:
110g blanched almonds (or almond powder - can be found in specialty aisle of some grocery stores)
200g powdered sugar
28g granulated sugar
90g aged egg whites - separate them and let them sit overnight on the counter. Yes, you heard me.
2 tsp espresso powder (you could use instant coffee to cheat a little here)

Chocolate Espresso Ganache Filling:
250g heavy cream
4 tsp light corn syrup
240g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped or in chips
30g butter, cut into small pieces
3 tsp espresso powder

Make the ganache first:
1. Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the corn syrup. When the cream just begins to bubble at the edges, remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let sit for a minute or two and then stir in espresso powder. Mix well.

2. Add the butter until the pieces have melted away and the chocolate is silky.

3. Cool the ganache in the fridge while making the macarons. (If making ahead of time, take out several hours in advance. You want it to be smooth and able to squeeze out of a pastry bag. You don't want it so thick and hard that it breaks your macaron shells!!)

Now for the macarons, are you ready?
1. Preheat the oven to 270F. Measure out your ingredients. If using blanched almonds, grind in a food processor until so fine that you can sift it like flour (hard to achieve but it is possible).

2. Sift the almond powder, espresso powder and powdered sugar into a medium bowl.

3. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they foam up a bit. Keep beating while you gradually add the granulated sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Aim for shaving cream consistency but don't over beat. You want it to be glossy.

4. Carefully fold in half of the dry ingredients with a spatula and mix with as few strokes as possible. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix and incorporate. It's tough to know when to stop mixing, but you want the batter to be like lava. The batter should fall back in a thick ribbon off the spatula.

5. Using a pastry bag or a ziplock with the corner cut off, pipe 1-inch blobs on silpat lined baking sheets. Make sure to evenly space them 1 inch apart, they will spread a bit. Don't draw circles, pipe directly onto the baking sheet to form the blob.

6. Once the batter is finished, let them sit on the counter for about 30-40 minutes until the batter has spread a bit and a little skin forms on the top of each. Don't touch them!!!

7. Put them int he oven for 18 minutes. Set the timer. Seriously. And hope for the best.

8. Once they're out of the oven, let them cool before removing them.

9. Fill your pastry bag/ziplock with the ganache filling and pipe enough to fill about 3/4 of the shell. Top with another shell to form a sandwich.

10. These save for several days in the fridge and get better with age.
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1 comment:

  1. WOW! These macaroons really are something special! They literally melt in your mouth with sweet richness.
    Thanks so much Katie for ALL you did for the shower! You'll be the best chefie Auntie!