I’m so happy the French bakery in my neighbourhood is open again.
You know you really like a place when you return home from vacation, and the *very same day*, you hit up that bakery. Only to find that it’s closed.
For another two weeks.
Then you stand there for five whole minutes in disbelief.
After I collected myself and dragged myself home (the sky suddenly seemed a little darker, the wind a little colder), I continued working on macarons since I would have to be self-sufficient with French baked goods for the next two weeks.
I’ve struggled in the past with macarons, but eventually got “feet” with vanilla-flavored ones. I tried over and over with chocolate ones, but just could not make it happen, no matter how much I pleaded and cajoled the tiny puffs as they sat in the oven, taunting me. I still can’t get the chocolate ones to develop feet, the slippery little things. (If anyone has a magic trick I could try, or a spell I could recite, please message me.)
However, I have been able to make it happen with espresso macarons. This is especially nice because I can sandwich dark chocolate in between and you basically get a nice little mocha fix.
So until I get those chocolate ones worked out, these are my go-to recipe.
Espresso macarons with dark chocolate ganache
Makes about 16 filled cookies
I suggest reading my instructions in my previous post: I have detailed bullet points on what seemed to work well for me. Also, make sure to store the macarons in the fridge overnight before eating; the cookies need to ‘fuse’ with the filling to create that heavenly macaron texture.
For the cookies:
2 tablespoons water
5 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons fine granulated sugar
2 teaspoons espresso powder
3 ounces (85 g) almond flour
5.25 ounces (150 g) powdered sugar
3 large egg whites at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour, espresso powder and powdered sugar through a strainer (you won’t want any big pieces of almond in the mixture.)
- In a small heavy saucepan, combine the 5 tablespoons granulated sugar with the 2 tablespoons water. Swirl — don’t stir — over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat just a bit until the sugar mixture comes to a boil. You will want to use a candy thermometer to make sure it comes to 240 degrees F (soft ball stage). At this point, you will need to take it off the heat and quickly start streaming it into the meringue, so it’s important to get the meringue started as the sugar syrup is boiling.
- Meanwhile, start beating the egg whites in a stand mixer with the wire whisk (level 6 on a KitchenAid). When you have reached soft peaks, add the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. When the sugar syrup is ready, very, very slowly and steadily trickle it into the meringue mixture as the mixer is running. As soon as all the sugar syrup is added, you will now add the almond flour mixture.
- Stir in a third of the meringue into the flour mixture with a spatula until it was well combined. Add the rest of the meringue and fold in until all the flour has been combined with the meringue.
- The macaronnage: Using a spatula or dough scraper, scoop the entire mixture from the bottom of the bowl and turn it upside down. Do this about 15 times, or until the batter “flows like lava,” or drips slowly from the spatula when lifted.
- Fill a piping bag with a 1-cm tip and pipe the cookies into 1-inch (or 2.5-cm) wide circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Rap the baking sheet against the counter a few times, set another baking sheet under it, and let the cookies rest while preheating the oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through the baking time.
- Transfer the parchment to a cooling rack while you make the filling.
For the ganache:
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
4 ounces (approx 100 g) dark chocolate
wee pinch of salt
- Chop the chocolate and set it aside in a bowl.
- Bring the cream and pinch salt to a simmer over low heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Wait 5 minutes.
- Whisk together the cream and chocolate until well combined. Cool the mixture to room temperature.
Preparing the cookies:
Spoon a bit of the ganache onto a macaron and sandwich with another. Store in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.
Link: Vanilla Macarons (crispywaffle.com)