Nothing gets me quite as giddy and girlishly excited as a macaron. They are just cute as a button and delicately sweet. The chameleon of the cookie world, they are able to morph into a myriad of flavor combinations and all colours of the rainbow.
I first encountered these parisian 'cookies' in Paris of all places! Surprising, no? From Laduree to Pierre Herme, I perused their gallery like pastry shops with a sense of wonderment. Like much of the culinary world, I have been obsessed with them ever since. It was only a matter of time before I took a brave step into my kitchen in an attempt to re-create the edible art I had witnessed in Paris.
I wanted to start with a Pistachio Macaron with Chocolate Ganache filling, and decided to use the recipe I found on the inspiring Tartelette's blog. After a quick trip to the market for the ingredients I didn't have on hand, I began to set up my mise en place. Imagine my disappointment to find that the bag of pistachios I was so sure I had was no longer there! Alas, I couldn't let that minor speed bump slow me down. I had waited long enough and I had one thing on my mind....Macarons. I adapted the recipe to make a pure almond batter. I soon came to realise that making macarons for the first time is a bit of a gamble. Will the macarons rise? And if they do, will they show their adorable feet? At first I worried that my batter was too runny and had some trouble piping even rounds onto the parchment. After a few attempts I got the hang of it and with baited breath, I slid them into the oven. To my utter glee, the macarons rose and showed the daintiest little feet! Pistachio macarons they were not, but the results were no less spectacular. Almonds and chocolate have always been one of my favorite combinations and when a smooth, bitter ganache is paired with light as air vanilla almond meringue, that's amore.
Vanilla Almond Macarons with Chocolate Ganache Filling - adapted from Tartelette (who adapted from Stephane Glacier).
- 225 gr powdered sugar
- 125 gr almonds
- 3 egg whites (about 100gr)
- 25 gr granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 315F.
In a food processor, run the nuts and powdered sugar until the nuts are finely ground. Run through a sieve if needed. I left a few larger pieces of almond as I wanted to give the meringue a little crunch.
Whip the egg whites until foamy, slowly adding the granulated sugar, until they are glossy. Slowly fold the nut/sugar mixture into the whites with a wide spatula. The mixture should remain shiny and flow easily.
Fill a pastry bag with the batter and pipe small rounds onto parchment lined baking sheets.
Let the macarons rest for 20 minutes and then bake them for 12-15 minutes.
Let cool, remove from the paper, fill with the ganache and sandwich together with another macaron.
Chocolate Ganache Filling:
- 8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
Place the chocolate in a medium sized bowl. Heat the cream in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir with a whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature and use as desired.