There was a time I hated French and France. I felt ill before every French class in high school, and I had 5 classes per week. Before I finished high school I was even forced to have a French certificate because everybody in my class had it and I felt really frustrated about it. When I went to University I didn’t tell anyone I knew French as I wanted to forget about it. But, some time ago I started to love all things french again and it was due to a few wonderful people and confections: Pierre Herme, Hellen and macarons to name just the most important. You can imagine my joy when I saw October’s challenge: french macarons. Huray!!!!
The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
Thank you Ami!!! Thank you Lis and Ivonne for the wonderful group you have managed to gather. Every month I am more and more amazed of the marvelous phenomenon that the DB group is.
For the macarons
90 g egg whites (24-48 hours old – separated from their yolks)
30 g granulated sugar
200 g powdered sugar
110 g almonds
Beat the egg whites till they are foamy. Then add the sugar slowly, until the whites become thick and glossy. (over beating can dry them too much and ruin your cookies, so be careful).
In a food processor ground the almonds and then add the powdered sugar and pulse a couple of times. Pass the mixture through a sieve.
Add the almonds and sugar to the whites, folding quick (3-4 times) at the beginning and then carefully until fully incorporated (no more then 50 folds) – the batter is supposed to form a ribbon when you drop it from a spoon and to flatten by itself if dropped on parchment paper.
Put the batter in the pastry bag and make small rounds on the parchment paper covering the baking sheet. Leave the cookies at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to harden their shells.
Preheat the oven at 150 degrees Celsius and bake the sweeties for 20-25 minutes, making sure you rotate the sheet at half time or so.
Let them cool down and then they can be stored in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature.
For the pistachio macarons, use half almonds and half pistachios.
For the rose macarons, after piping them sprinkle rose petals. For the coffee macarons sprinkle with crashed coffee beans – I used caramel flavored coffee beans from Gurmans.
Whiskey chocolate ganache – vanilla macarons with caramel coffee beans
Dark chocolate ganache with Earl Grey caramel sauce – vanilla macarons
Matcha white chocolate ganache – pistachio rose macarons
Vanilla mousse – rose macarons
Ginger chocolate mousse – pistachio macarons
Matcha white chocolate ganache
150 g white chocolate chopped
33 g butter
66 g heavy cream
5 g matcha
Place the finely chopped chocolate in a clean bowl and set aside. Bring the cream to a boil and incorporate the matcha powder. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let sit 1-2 minutes and them gently mix until the chocolate is melted completely. Add the butter, mixing as little as possible.
Ginger chocolate mousse
75 g chocolate
180 g whipped cream
4 g gelatin softened in 20 ml water
45 g pate a bombe
25 g cream
10 g chopped fresh ginger
Bring the cream and the ginger to a boil. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes
Melt the chocolate over a double broiler and set aside.
Pour the cream through a sieve and reheat it. Add the softened gelatin and mix until dissolved. Pour the cream mixture over the pate a bombe. Add the chocolate and then gently fold in the whipped cream.
Dark chocolate ganache
100 g heavy cream
140 g dark chocolate
20 g soft butter
Chop the chocolate and place it in a clean bowl. Bring the cream to a boil. Pour it over the chocolate. Let sit a few minutes and then gently stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted. Add the soft butter and stir only until combined.
Whiskey chocolate ganache
70 g heavy cream
30 g whiskey
140 g dark chocolate
20 g soft butter
Chop the chocolate and place it in a clean bowl. Bring the cream to a boil. Add the whiskey. Heat the mixture briefly but do not let it boil. Pour it over the chocolate. Let sit a few minutes and then gently stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted. Add the soft butter and stir only until combined.
Earl Grey caramel sauce
150 g sugar
75 g honey
60 ml water
20 ml strong Earl grey tea (I used 25 g Earl Grey leaves for 100 ml boiling water)
40 g salted butter
Place the first 3 ingredients in a pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Rise the temperature and let them cook until thicker (about 5 minutes) and they start to become caramel in color.
Remove from heat and add the tea. Add the butter and stir it in. Let it cool.