Monday, December 12, 2011

Chocolate Macarons

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Is there ever a time when time doesn't pass faster than it seems?

It's been a almost a month since my holidays started. A whole month.

I know I always say time passes too quickly, but I can't help it when I look at the calendar and it's been another month but there's still about 10 things that I was meant to do that month which I didn't even get time to think about (for instance, blogging more than twice a month?).

Before I know it, it'll be Christmas!

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I feel like I should be doing more in preparation for Christmas since it's my favourite time of the year- like listening to more Christmas songs, starting to make Christmas themed foods or going to more Christmas events. Instead, I'm spending my holidays doing what I normally do- going out with friends, baking (and blogging), watching TV and just relaxing. It's quite busy actually!

Ever since the beginning of the holidays, there has not been a day when there has not been a bowl of left over egg whites, yolks or cream in the fridge. I'll admit that I do tend to leave stuff in the fridge for longer than they should be in there (I don't bake that much) but I am baking a bit more than usual, in hopes of catching up on my lack of baking this year and to get through my list of 'to try' recipes.

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Like most bloggers, I usually attempt a recipe only once or twice, not because they don't turn out great, but because I simply don't have enough time, nor the stomach space, to try all the new recipes I want to and to make things over and over again. Macarons are something I've only attempted once, but they don't completely fit in this category because the reason I haven't made them again is not because I had other things to make, but rather, out of laziness (of having to age the egg whites and making almond meal) and fear of failure.

If anyone has been following my blog for long enough, you may remember that the last (and first) time I made macarons was a whole two years ago, when I first started this blog- a rather surprisingly successful attempt too, which I have always considered a fluke. I didn't know what a macaron really was or how it was supposed to taste, so I had my second surprise when my sister bought me a macaron and we found it tasted exactly the same as the ones I'd made!

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I'd expected my second attempt to be a failure, so I was surprised again, as they actually turned out macaron looking- I'm thinking it's more because of the recipe than my 'skills' ;) They're far from perfect though, especially since they're lumpy and not nice and round, due to my lack of piping bag and piping tip. But they still tasted great though, which is, of course, the most important thing!

Chocolate Macaron Recipe
The original recipe can be found here

3 egg whites (preferabbly 'aged' egg whites)
50 g granulated sugar
200 g icing mixture (minus 2 Tb)
110g almonds
2 Tb cocoa powder

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry and your macarons won't work.
2. Combine the almonds, cocoa powder and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Pass through a sieve.
3. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like magma or a thick ribbon. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper baking sheets.
5. Preheat the oven to 300F. Let the macarons sit out for an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don't let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Pipe or spoon some ganache on one shell and sandwich with another one.

Ganache
1 cup milk chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a heavy saucepan over medium high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat, drop in the milk chocolate and let stand a couple of minutes. Gently stir the chocolate into the cream until smooth. Set aside until it cools down and thickens a bit (a trip to the fridge is ok)

28 comments:

Jay said...

hearty n divine..
excellent presentation..:)
Tasty Appetite

edith said...

Pretty mac.

yummychunklet said...

I'm still nervous to make macarons!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

they are so gorgeous!

Rita said...

These are magical; wish I could make these; but I have a feeling they would not turn out a beautiful as yours. Congratulations on writing your little note; better go chcken out my blog.
Rita

Juliana said...

Oh! Your macs look great...I still have to get the courage to try to make them...
Hope you have a fantastic week ahead Von :-)

Dumpling Girl said...

I tried chocolate macarons three times and failed, but my raspberry ones turned out fine, so great job Von these look fantastic. Perhaps I'll give your recipe a shot instead.

Hotly Spiced said...

Your macarons are very impressive and I love how you have presented them. I have tried making macarons and I don't know where I'm going wrong but I can't get mine to look as good as yours. Good luck getting everything done for Christmas. I'm running a bit behind myself.

Nic@diningwithastud said...

Chocolate are my fave - simple, delicious! Awesome second attempt :) you're a pro ;)

easyfoodsmith said...

The Chocolate Macaroons look perfect! I am a novice in baking cookies and macaroons and after your feedback on this recipe I guess I need to give it a try. thanks for sharing.

Niksya said...

I so like macarons!!! Thank you!

Joanne said...

I am totally scared of making macarons....so I need to try this apparently foolproof recipe! Those look delicious!

Loveforfood said...

I Love Macarons. they are my favourites.

The Americaine said...

I'd love to see a cross section of these. I actually went to pastry school and while I have successfully made macarons on numerous occasions I have yet to make the perfect macaron. I think you're right that it isn't hard to make them but to make them perfect is near impossible. Thus far only Pierre Herme has done that (in my opinion) These look wonderful though! A great job for only a second attempt. And don't give the recipe all the credit, with macarons technique is just as important. We also learned to tap the tray on a counter or with our hand to smooth the tops perfectly.

vianney said...

They look amazing!! The months are going wayyy to fast!! Very true I sometimes make a recipe three times before it even hits my blog, lol!!

pigpigscorner said...

You are right, there's just too many recipes to try out! I made macarons once successfully and never made any since :P

Mary said...

your macarons look amazing! wish i could taste them! :)

Nicole @ Bake Me Blush said...

I've been very eager to try macarons for a long time. Yours look so beautiful and delicious… I need to try making them myself!

Sara - Belly Rumbles said...

Your macs look fantastic.

I agree with you on trying a recipe once or twice then moving on. Though we do have a few family faves that keep in rotation.

lena said...

hi von, i'm like you too..busy watching tv, busy having lunch and dinner with friends and ended up not doing things like bathing my dogs, organise my wardrobe, etc :) i think your macarons look great, even though you've not been making them for so long.

Christine@Christine's Recipes said...

Beautiful chocolate macarons. They are perfect for this festive season.

Quay Po Cooks said...

Von, you lucky lucky. Successful with macs both time! Poor me, sometime can, sometime cannot! Nope, I won't give up, I will still make them:D I should try your recipe the next time.

Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy said...

These are something I am yet to master. I will use your recipe the next time I attempt them as these look fabbo!

Only Fish Recipes said...

first time in your space...wow...those r perfectly done.....I'm surely going to try it 4 my family...bookmarking it :-) glad to follow ur space here :-)

Jen said...

Oooh, those look yummy!

JasmyneTea said...

I think they look great! Chocolate macarons are awesome :)

grub said...

haha macarons. i had a try a few months ago expecting something great since EVERYONE was raving about them. but it didn't turn out the way i imagined it to be... i thought it'd be crunchy! but it was soft and chewy. eww hahahaha

not going to make them ever (i think)

grace said...

most impressive, von! i know the flavor possibilities for macarons is endless, but can anything really beat chocolate on chocolate? i think not. :)

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