French Chocolate Macarons
I’m not really one to “jump on fads” and “trendy” is one of the last adjectives people would use to describe me. I wear rainbows and crewnecks every day of my life.
So maybe I am late in the game, but I feel like macarons are the new cupcake. They’re tiny, colorful, versatile, and purty. Not to mention they taste dericious. Yes, dericious.
Last week, when I made S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches I was a little generous with my proportions and was leftover with a lot of ganache. Naturally, I grabbed a spoon and dug in…. But it was 7AM and I was eating over the sink… by myself. It was a sad image.
The temptation of an entire bowl of ganache sitting in my fridge and asking me to eat it after a long day was too much to bare. I had to get it out of my sight and what better way than using it to squish between two cookies?!
I’ve wanted to bake macarons since I consumed my first one two weeks ago. Unfortunately, macarons call for almond flour/meal, an ingredient I don’t typically have on hand. But the abundance of leftover ganache presented the perfect opportunity to finally get around to baking them.
Since I classify almond flour/meal as an investment, I didn’t want to make any errors when I made these cookies for the first time. I went to my main squeeze, David Lebovitz, for his guaranteed recipe for French Macarons. He does not disappoint, ever. Oh hey, David. You don’t know me, but that’s okay.
The cookies puffed up nicely and they were soft, chewy, and delicious. I don’t ask of anything too crazy from my cookies, so I was perfectly content with this recipe. I think next time I’ll try experimenting with flavors like lemon and raspberry for spring-colored macarons! Jumping on this band wagon.
French Chocolate Macaron recipe from David Lebovitz:
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup powdered almonds
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
Chocolate Ganache recipe from The Bite-Sized Baker:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels
½ cup heavy cream, scalded
- To make macaron batter, preheat oven to 350º F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
- Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
- To make ganache, place chocolate morsels in a large non-reactive bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat cream until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Let chocolate and cream mixture sit for 3 minutes. With a wooden spoon, begin stirring small circles in the middle of the bowl. As the smooth mixture begins to form in the middle, slowly expand the size of the circle until the cream and chocolate is fully incorporated. Let ganache cool for 5 minutes.
- To assemble, spread a bit of batter on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together. Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze. If you freeze them, defrost them in the unopened container, to avoid condensation, which will make the macarons soggy.