I got little fee eet. I got little fee eet, yeah. :to the music of Jungle Fever:
I really can’t believe it.
My first try, first freaking try and my macarons have little feet (the little bubblies at the bottom of the cookie). I am extremely happy about this.
From all of the posts I have read about people trying to make French Macarons and all of the trouble they have gone through. I am completely surprised. I thought something was going to have to go wrong. But all three batches turned out perfectly with little feet. I need to work on my piping skills but man, that is awesome.
I have one blogger to thank for showing me the way, Tartlette. She wrote an article for Dessert Magazine, Issue #2 called Macaron 101. I read the entire thing and then searched her blog for more information and recipes. I got the below recipe for Opera Macarons from her blog also. She is a macaron god. Thank you Tartlette for your knowledge on macarons.
These macarons have a wonderful flavor to them. The cookie part is airy, sweet with hints of hazelnut and almonds, and just melts in your mouth. When I was making the batter all I could think of was Nutella, um yummy. The fillings gave the cookie that extra kick. The coffee buttercream was a perfect balance of coffee to the chocolate ganache center which was just bitter enough to make my jaw ache and want to eat more. They had the perfect flavor combinations. Now that I have the basic recipe down, I can start coming up with crazy flavors 🙂
FOR THE SHELLS:
3 egg whites (110 gr) (Tartlette uses 2-3 day old egg whites)**
40 gr. granulated sugar
200 gr. powdered sugar
55 gr. ground almonds
55 gr. skinned and ground hazelnuts
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry and your macarons won’t work. Combine the ground almonds, ground hazelnuts and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a quick pulse. It will break the powdered sugar lumps and combine your nuts with it evenly. Add them to the meringue and fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like magma or a thick ribbon. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small round onto parchment paper baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 315F. Let the macarons sit out for an hour to harden their shell a bit and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool completely.
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate
In a heavy saucepan set over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the stove and add the chocolate to it. Let stand 2 minutes and then stir until fully combined. Let cool until firm enough to put in a small piping bag.
COFFEE BUTTERCREAM: (it will make more than you need but freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
In a small heavy saucepan set over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the water. While stirring bring the mixture to a boil, and continue to cook until it registers 240°F. on a candy thermometer. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand held beater beat the eggs until they are frothy. Add the sugar syrup in a thin stream, beating, and beat the mixture until it is cool. Change to the paddle attachment and add in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, the espresso mixture, and beat the buttercream until it is combined well. Leave at room temperature so it will be easier to spread.
Put the coffee buttercream in a piping bag and pipe a circle around the edges of a macaron shells. Pipe a dollop of ganache in the middle and top with another shell.
**if you don’t have 2-3 day old egg whites take a hint from Tartlette, like I did, and microwave them on medium heat for 10-20 seconds**