2015 is coming to a close. It feels like only yesterday I was here saying farewell to 2014. I decided to go out with a bang and try making something I have always been hesitant about doing. I decided to make macarons.
There are two types of cookies with the same name, but spelled differently and have different ingredients. There are macaroons which are coconut based and macarons which are almond based. I made the latter version.
I first decided to do a test run about 2 weeks ago and make some gingerbread macarons which turned out perfectly. I was really happy with them and couldn’t wait to try some more. Next I decided to make some chocolate ones, but unfortunately they did not turn out at all.
Instead of forming they spread out whilst baking. They still tasted fine so instead of throwing them away I crumbled them up to make a topping for the chocolate gingerbread cake (next picture) I made for Christmas.
My third batch which is the focus for today are simple vanilla macarons with a dairy free chocolate ganache. This batch turned half of the cookies out perfectly, while the other half were slightly cracked. I decided not to see this as a failure but instead a lesson about what to do next time.
I think the fault laid in the time spent in the oven, I probably could have cut the time down to 10 minutes instead of 12 minutes. You will also notice that the ingredients are in grams, I have done this because it is better to weight out the ingredients needed for macarons.
All in all I felt this was a great way to end the year. As I look back at older posts and see where I started and where I am now, I take pride in the fact I have not given up, even though there have been time I have wanted to. So, heres looking towards 2016 with a bright outlook no matter what may happen.
- 50 Grams powdered sugar
- 50 Grams ground almonds
- 38 Grams egg whites ( this equals the whites from 1 large egg)
- 50 Grams white sugar
- 1 Tsp vanilla
- Chocolate Ganache:
- 60 Grams canned coconut milk
- 60 Grams chopped chocolate
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip ready. It helps to have a macaron template under the parchment paper to get the right amount onto it. I have included one I use at the bottom of the recipe.
- Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor. Then sift the mixture into a large bowl and discard the larger lumps.
- Using a hand mixer or whisk on a stand mixer beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, gradually pour the white sugar into the egg whites. Whip until very stiff and firm, about 5 minutes.
- Fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula. When the mixture is 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).
- Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, and remove air bubbles.
- Allow the macarons to sit for 20 to 30 minutes until a “skin” forms and they are no longer wet when lightly touched.
- Bake them for 10 minutes.
- Remove immediately from baking tray and let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
- To make the chocolate filling:
- In a small saucepan heat the coconut milk.
- When the milk just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate.
- Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth.
- Chill in refrigerator until it is set.
- Spread a bit of ganache on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together.
- Let them stand at least one day before serving, to help the flavors.
- Serve macarons at room temperature.
I hope everyone has had a great holiday season and I look forward to sharing more ideas and recipes with you next year!