Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Vanilla macarons with chocolate ganache filling

Beautiful French macarons that are perfect for gifting and impressing friends and family! Customize the color with your favorite colors or leave them plain. Fill them with a luscious chocolate ganache and enjoy!

My little girl is turning out to be a mini version of me. At least in the dessert department. She knows about most of my baking ingredients and can list several dessert types. One thing that surprised me is that she knew what macarons were.

I've told her that I've made macarons before, but she was much younger then and probably didn't remember. So she asked me to make them again. I happily obliged.

This time I made a plain macaron and filled it with a simple chocolate ganache. I think it would be fun to try different flavor combinations with my daughter in the future, but I wanted her to understand the basic macaron before we moved on to the fancy stuff. I did color the shells pink to honor the birth of my new baby niece. :)

Addie's already showed some interest in making some desserts with me, but most of the time she's happy to kick back and relax and just be the spoon licker or quality control expert. I don't blame her. My mom never made many desserts with me when I was younger, but if she did, then that would have been my role as well (spoon licker and quality control person - can that be an official title on a business card?).


And my oh my... these macarons were incredible. They baked up perfectly and had the gorgeous "feet" near the bottoms and had a beautiful smooth top. Everyone in my family enjoyed these, and I can't wait to make more for them in the future.

Vanilla macarons with chocolate ganache filling
Macarons
  • 1/3 cup plus 4 teaspoons (50 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup (30 grams) almond flour
  • 1 egg white (40 grams) 
  • 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons (30 grams) superfine sugar (I used powdered sugar)
  • Food coloring, if desire (I used gel coloring)
Chocolate ganache filling
  • 1.75 ounces (50 grams) dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 and 1/2 Tablespoons (50 grams) heavy cream
Directions
Make the macarons: Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium sized bowl. Add the powdered sugar and almond flour into the sieve and make sure to discard any large particles. Whisk the sifted ingredients together and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the egg white on high speed until frothy. Add the superfine sugar and food coloring if using and continue beating until you achieve stiff peaks.

Add the dry ingredients into the bowl, and using a spatula or spoon, fold everything from bottom to top. It should take you about 50-60 strokes (and no more). The batter should be thick and ribbon-like and will fold back into itself when you lift some of it with a spatula.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats (I found that the silicone mats work better, as the batter would unevenly spread out with the parchment paper and turn into weird, non-circular shapes).

Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round tip (you can use a zip-top bag with a hole cut in one end). To pipe the macarons, squeeze the batter out of the bag while keeping your hand in one place. Once the batter reaches out 1-inch in diameter, swirl the top, lift the bag and quickly move onto the next circle.  Make sure to leave at  least 2-3 inches in between each circle. Do not overcrowd the macarons.

Grab the baking sheet and lift it up about 6 inches off the counter and firmly rap it down onto the counter. You are trying to get rid of the air bubbles. Repeat about 4-5 more times and with the other baking sheet. If there are still air bubbles on your macarons, use the tip of a toothpick to gently pop them. Let the macarons rest at least 30 minutes. The macarons should become duller in appearance, and if you gently touch the top, no batter should stick to your finger. If it does, allow them to rest longer. Depending upon the temperature and humidity, your macarons may need to rest for a significant amount of time.

Once they are ready, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Bake the macarons, one sheet at a time, for 12 minutes. Allow them to cool completely before removing them.

Make the filling: While the macarons are baking, make the filling. Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Microwave the heavy cream until bubbling. Then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Allow it to rest for about 2 minutes, then vigorously whisk until a smooth, glossy ganache forms. If the ganache appears too runny, transfer the bowl to a refrigerator for about 5 minutes to firm up.

Assemble the macarons: Pair up macaron shells by size. Dollop about a teaspoon of filling in the center of one of the halves. Gently place the other half of the macaron on top and twist it while pressing down. Do not allow the filling to ooze out the sides.

Macarons need to be refrigerated for at least 24 hours before eating. Allow them to thaw until serving.

Macarons should be kept in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: About 9-10 filled macarons (about 1.5"-2" in diameter each)

Source: Macaron Fetish by Kim H. Lim-Chodkowski

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