Monday, September 30, 2013

Gourmet French Macarons - what's not to love?

Hello, long lost friends! I'm coming out of blog hiding today for a great reason - to help spread the word about Mindy Cone's fabulous new book, Gourmet French Macarons. I have been a fan of her blog, Creative Juice for a long time and had the pleasure of meeting her at Alt SF this summer.  Let me tell you, this is a subject that she is passionate about.  Mindy developed (and photographed!) over 75 unique and creative designs for the book that are perfect for any holiday or season. I'm especially excited about all of the Halloween designs - Frankenstein, pumpkins and ghosts, oh my! When you purchase the book it comes with a CD that has printable templates to make piping circles or unique shapes so much easier. Though making macarons can be daunting, Mindy's recipes, techniques and templates make it simple.

Apple Macarons
Frankenstein Macarons
Chocolate with Chocolate filling
 Chocolate macarons are my absolute favorite. Mindy has been kind enough to share this recipe and it is on my baking agenda for the week. 
Chocolate French Macarons with chocolate ganache filling

Free 1.5 in circle template download for this recipe here:

Chocolate French Macarons

100g of egg whites aged at room temperature

Pinch of Cream of tartar

35g of superfine sugar

110g of Almond flour

200g of Powdered Sugar

10g cocoa powder 

1. Measure out all ingredients using a gram scale

2. Prepare the baking sheets by lining them with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Slide a printed 1 ½ inch template sheet underneath and set aside. Prepare piping bag to be filled and set aside.

3. Sift powdered sugar, almond mixture, and cocoa powder together two or three times through a sieve and set aside.

4. Place the egg whites in a large bowl or in stand mixer with wire whisk attachment. Whisk on low until egg whites become foamy. Add the pinch of cream of tartar. Continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Slowly add in the superfine sugar. Once all of the sugar is incorporated, scrape down the sides with a spatula.

5. Turn your mixer on medium-high and continue to whisk until you reach a stiff meringue. If adding liquid or gel food dye, do so toward the end of whisking.

6. Sift 1/3 of the almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder mixture through the sieve and into the meringue. Fold the dry mixture into the meringue. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Once all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, the batter will be thick and have a dull shine. Continue to fold. As you do so, the batter will loosen. Stop folding when the batter has a glossy sheen, a “lava-like” consistency, and falls in a ribbon like manner off the spatula.

7. Transfer the batter into a large pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe 1½ inch rounds on the parchment paper following the template.

8. When all of the rounds are piped on the parchment, rap the sheet pans evenly on work surface a few times. Remove templates from below your parchment paper carefully. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 20-40 minutes.

9. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees and bake one sheet at a time for 12 minutes rotating the pan half way through.

10.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

11.  Match up similar size shells into pairs and sandwich with filling.


About 4 dozen 1.5 in shells (two dozen sandwiched macaron cookies)

Chocolate Ganache Filling

100 g (3.5 oz) chocolate*

1½ Tbsp. heavy cream

Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl.

Boil cream and pour over chocolate.

Stir until all the chocolate has melted and texture is smooth**

When warm, pipe onto macaron shells.

*I prefer to use the mini chocolate chips when possible to speed up the process.

** If the cream is not able to melt all the chocolate, place bowl in microwave. Heat for 20 seconds on low power. Remove and stir. Repeat until chocolate is fully melted.

Watch this adorable video to learn more about Mindy and how her passion for macarons developed:

Gourmet French Macarons from TK Productions on Vimeo.


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