Mocha Macarons

 When I went to Paris with my mom and aunt I had macarons for the first time. Real French macaron not American macaron with coconut (shudder). I consider myself a reasonably adept baker but was unable to master the macaron so I was very excited when I saw a French cooking class offered. I learned a lot. Apparently a lot of French cooking is about mastering the properly beaten egg white. We made a pear tatin, marshmallows (which I will have to make and post as they are great fun) and souffles.

 While I learned a great number of things and do think my macarons have improved they are still a bit of a disappointment. They have not foot. When you see a proper macaron it has a smooth top and sides and then a tiny puff out at the bottom. I learned this is because one is supposed to let the macarons sit before baking. This allows the egg whites to form a bit of a shell on the outside. When they bake, this is the smooth top bit and the whole of it lifts up when the batter cooks and a tiny bit bubbles out the bottom, forming a perfect foot.
 Now I'll admit, I was a bit rushed when making them. Maybe I would have more luck cooking if I didn't start these things an hour before people were planning to show up for tea. So although I let them sit I didn't let them sit for long enough. Next time I would absolutely make sure they had the whole time they were supposed to. I also think my batter is a bit lumpy. Does it look a bit lumpy? I don't have a food processor so I used pre-ground almond meal and my hand blender. Perhaps I should ask for a food processor for Christmas. Perhaps I should move into a larger apartment and then ask for a food processor.
 So, I wouldn't quite say these were an unqualified success, but they tasted wonderful so I am posting the recipe anyway. It has a lot of details from the teacher, so I hope it will ensure you have better luck than me. And if you figure it out, please tell me. My boyfriend and I have a list of things to do before we turn 30 and one of mine is to make perfect macaron and I think I need all the help I can get.

Coffee Macarons with Chocolate Ganache

2 tsps instant espresso powder mixed with 2 tsps of hot water
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup blanched almonds (2 ounces, 56 grams)
2 large egg whites, (1/4 cup) at room temperature
Pinch cream of tartar
3 tbsps granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 oz semi sweet chocolate
2 tables unsalted butter
1. For the macarons: Mix the hot water and espresso powder and set aside to cool.
2. Place the almonds in a food processor and process to very finely grind the almods. Add the confectioners sugar and process until very, very fine.
3. In a mixer, place the egg whites and whisk on meidum speed until foamy. With the mixer running, add the granulated sugar. Increase the mixer speed to high and whip until glossy peaks form but not dry, hard peaks.
 4. Set the mixer on slow and add the coffee mixture.
5. Place the egg whites on top of the almond mixture in the bowl. Fold to combine the two. It should not be lumpy with clumps of egg white. Fold it together until the resulting mixture is soft.
6. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip. Pipe 28 small cookies on each sheet.
7. Holding the bag perpendicular to the cookie sheet, apply even pressure to the pastry bag and slowly pull up to form a round macaron. As you retreat from the cookie sheet, stop sqwueesing the bag and move the bag in a circular motion to avoid a peak forming. Leave 1 inch between cookies.
8. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes to air dry and form a light crust. Position the over rack in the middle of the over. Do not try to bake two cookie sheets at a time.
9. Bake the macarons in a preheated 325 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate the pan once halfway through baking. The macarons will be dry on the outside and soft in the center.
10. Remove the macarons from the oven and place pans on a cooling rack. Let cool briefly then remove carefully with an offset spatula.
11. For the ganache: Place the cream and chocolate in a small glass bowl and microwave for 40 seconds. Stir the chocolate and microwave for another 40 seconds. Continue until all has been melted. Stir in the butter until combined.
12. Place the bowl over ice water to chill and firm up the ganache or let sit at room temperature until firm, about 45 minutes.
13. Spread the chocolate (or pipe) onto one cookie and press another cookie very lightly into it to make a sandwich (flat sides together).
14. Refrigerate the cookies for a few minutes to set up the filling. If they are refrigerated for long, make sure they are in an airtight container so moisture will not contact the surface.
Recipe from a baking class with Suzanne Hunter

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  1. It is great to see the Bionic Baker is back. I will have to try these but I'm not good with fussy things.

  2. Ooh were the marshmallows vegetarian (no gelatin)? Please post before bbq/camping season finishes!