Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chocolate Parisian Macarons

A few weeks ago I was having a hankering for Parisian macarons-- no, not the American coconut cookies. Parisian macarons are similar to meringue cookies except they also have ground nuts in them. To complete the equation, you sandwich two of them together with frosting or ganache. 
I searched around for a reasonable recipe and landed upon this one. (I also decided to make some Macadamia Nut Bars while I was at it.) You may be tempted to skip the final step of letting them stand for at least one day, but don't. Trust me, it's worth the wait.
Macarons in the making
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Dream Bars

Parisian Chocolate Macarons

Chocolate Macarons
Makes about fifteen cookies
Adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris (Broadway) by David Lebovitz
Macaron Batter
1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar
½ cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized)
3 tablespoons (25 gr) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar
Chocolate Filling
½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
4 ounces (120 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15 gr) butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).
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 the chocolate filling:
Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the corn syrup. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the pieces of butter. Let cool completely before using.

Spread a bit of batter on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together. (You can pipe the filling it, but I prefer to spread it by hand; it’s more fun, I think.)
I also tend to overfill them so you may or may not use all the filling.
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.


Brett and Lydgia said...

Thanks! I will try these this weekend!

Rebecca said...

Those look really good. Can I come over? :) Besides, I'm having Karen withdrawals. . .

LollyDolly said...

Almost thou persuadeth me to go back to eating sugar and chocolate!

Lindsay said...

Yours look so perfect! I'll only confess to actually making them if mine turn out as good as yours!

Ranell said...

I was a lucky one who got to eat one of the macarons, and oh my goodness, it was yummy! Especially because I didn't have to make it!

I was so glad you only gave me one because I would have scarfed down however many you gave me, and somehow I don't think they really 'fit' into my diet plan. But it was worth it!