165. Chocolate Macaroons p.676

I can’t find the recipe for these online, but they’re so good I’ll retype it for you lovely people.

FOR MACAROONS

1 1/3 cups (7 ounces) skinned whole almonds

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

7/8 cup egg whites (from 6 large eggs)

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

FOR GANACHE FILLING

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons whole milk

2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

4 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: Parchment paper; a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip

MAKE THE MACAROONS: Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 400F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Pulse almonds with 2 cups confectioners’ sugar in a food processor until finely ground (almost to a powder). Add cocoa and remaining 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar and pulse until combined.

Beat egg whites with salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Add granulated sugar and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Gently but thoroughly fold in almond mixture in 3 batches (batter will be very soft).

Transfer batter to a pastry bag and pipe 1-inch-wide mounds about 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets. Bake macaroons in batches until tops are slightly cracked and appear dry but are still slightly soft to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer macaroons, still on parchment, to dampened kitchen towels and cool for 5 minutes, then peel from paper and cool completely on racks.

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE GANACHE FILLING: Bring cream and milk to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Whisk in cocoa and remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and butter and stir until smooth. Cool filling, then refrigerate, covered, until firm enough to hold its shape when spread, about 30 minutes.

Sandwich flat sides of macaroons together with 1/2 teaspoon filling per pair.

COOK’S NOTES

  • While 7/8 cup egg whites may seem and odd measure, this amount gives the ideal texture and flavour. Measure the whites in a liquid-measuring cup.
  • The macaroons can be made up to 1 day before you fill them. Refrigerate, layered between sheets of wax or parchment paper, in an airtight container.
  • The filled macaroons keep, layered between sheets of way or parchment paper in an airtight container and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

I don’t have enough good things to say about this recipe. The cookies were delicious and elegant. The recipe makes a lot of cookies, so I brought them to several gatherings, always to rave reviews. The chocolate filling is wonderful, and everyone loves ganache, but the cookie itself was my favourite part. I really like flourless cookies like this, the almonds provide substance, but the structure is all from the meringue. The outer surface of the cookie was smooth and crisp, the interior was like almond sponge candy, soft, but with just a little bit of toothsomeness. Despite all the sugar, they miraculously avoided being too sweet.

My only bone to pick with this recipe, is the use of the word macaroon in the title. A double O macaroon is an American coconut cookie, a single O macaron is a French almond cookie, get it straight Gourmet. These were truly excellent cookies, they were a bit time consuming and finicky, but I enjoyed the process. The recipe was well written and didn’t lead to any major surprises. My only caveat is to make sure to grind the almonds very finely, otherwise they’ll clog up the tip of the pastry bag when you’re piping the cookies.

A while ago my brother brought me some Macarons from a very posh bakery in Paris, and while theirs were certainly prettier, I preferred the flavour of my homemade version. These macarons are my new favourite cookie, and I expect them to be on frequent rotation in our house.

17 May 2008 | Cookies, Bars, and Confections, The Book | Comments

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10 Responses to “165. Chocolate Macaroons p.676”

  1. 1 Nique 17 May 2008 @ 11:44 pm

    Mmmm, macaroons. That’s right, this post has put me in the mood for coconut cookies, but I have no interest in almond cookies. Bring me a macaroon post haste!

  2. 2 KC 18 May 2008 @ 9:50 am

    The Book has two coconut macaroon recipes, and I’ll be getting to them soon. You’re welcome to be one of the tasters, just remind me to make them sometime we’ll be seeing each other.

  3. 3 michelle @ TNS 18 May 2008 @ 9:46 pm

    so perfect looking! slowly but surely, i’m getting over my fear of deformed macarons – one day, i will make these.

  4. 4 KC 19 May 2008 @ 10:17 am

    Thanks Michelle. Some of mine were a bit wonky, but most of them ended up round, or at least oval. Even grotesquely deformed macarons are delicious though.

  5. 5 mary hodder 14 June 2008 @ 12:49 pm

    I think homemade items are always better than store-bought or restaurant food. You use higher quality ingredients partly because you aren’t pressed with business concerns over the cost of your ingredients and getting enough to scale for a restaurant/store. Frankly, food, unlike technology, doesn’t scale. So your small production work is bound to be fresher and better.

    I can’t wait to try this.. I love Parisian macarons but really agree these will be better homemade.

    mary

    ps. should you change your title from “macaroons” to “macarons” because this is about Parisian style “macarons?”

  6. 6 KC 14 June 2008 @ 12:59 pm

    Hi Mary,
    In general I agree that home made is often better, and you can really control what goes into your food. However, sometimes small scale artisinal producers can do a much better job then you ever could on your own. For example, I could make cheese in my kitchen, but I’d much rather leave it to a professional. Similarly, French pastry chefs have skills that I only dream of being able to replicate. The little shop that the Macarons my brother brought for me came from used top quality ingredients, and charged an arm and a leg for their cookies, so I don’t think that was the problem. This recipe was really excellent though.

    I agree that the title should be Macarons, but The Book spelled it Macaroons, so I’ll have to leave it as is.

  7. 7 mary hodder 14 June 2008 @ 1:42 pm

    Hi KC,
    Understand your rational on title.. was just wondering because from the readers point of view, you slam Gourmet, but then retain the misspelling.
    Maybe your title could read: “165. Chocolate Macaroons p.676*”
    and then just below: “* really should be Macarons, explanation below in text.”

    I agree that small artisanal producers generally do a terrific job, and no I never make cheese. :)

    I was in a shop in Paris 2 months ago that had super chichi maracrons and yes they were fab, but the were $4 each (2 euros) and at that point, i’d rather make a batch for say.. $10 in organic ingredients and get say, 25 of them.. to share with many people, give as gift, serve for dessert, etc.

    Still think though that statistically speaking, most food production doesn’t scale and they don’t use great, organic, high quality ingredients. But you are right that small artisans do often use those kind of ingredients.

    Looking forward to more reviews of recipes by you.

    mary

  8. 8 KC 14 June 2008 @ 5:29 pm

    Hi Mary,
    Isn’t it crazy what people can get away with charging for a macaron? The ingredients aren’t particularly expensive, I guess they can charge so much because they’re pretty. I’d definitely choose to make a big batch of these for a few dollars over paying an uppity baker for his.

    You’re absolutely right that most larger scale food producers cut corners, and sacrifice quality in the name of keeping prices low. I think it’s important to give credit to the little guys who are trying to make it by doing things right.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying.
    KC

  9. 9 Mikey 25 June 2008 @ 8:22 pm

    Absolutely my new favorite cookies. I’ve made them three times so far and they’re awesome. Friends thought they were store bought. Really not terribly difficult either.

  10. 10 KC 1 July 2008 @ 9:14 am

    Excellent! I can’t wait to make them again, and maybe experiment with different fillings.

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