Okay…I might have said last Sunday that I was going to post a new recipe using chia seeds today…but chocolate macarons are so much better, right?!
This photo was taken, believe it or not, two summers ago! I don’t know why or how, but the recipe never made it to the blog that summer. I think it may have been lost among the copious number of food pictures in iPhoto. I apologize for the lateness but hey – at least you get the recipe now! Here they are: the chocolate sandwiches of wicked awesomeness.
I remember the day Gracie and I made these. We had scheduled a “Cousin Day” filled with baking and chatting. I’m pretty messy in the kitchen on my own. With Gracie the mess DOUBLED! Somehow there was flour and splatters of batter everywhere you looked. I think chocolate ganache was flung on my nose at some point! We’re pretty crazy when we’re together, that’s for sure. I love it.
Looking back, I actually have no clue how we managed to make these. They’re one of the most difficult recipes I’ve ever tried. It takes a lot of practice, so take that into consideration! Don’t worry if you mess up on your first try. It’s a crazy long process of sifting, whipping egg whites and piping. Even though it takes a while, it’s worth it. These are so good. Good luck!
For the macarons you’ll need:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup almond flour or almond meal
- 3 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the ganache you’ll need:
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), at room temperature and cut into cubes
Begin by lining two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a large pastry bag with a 1/2 inch tip; set aside. Don’t have a pastry bag? Take a large Ziploc bag and snip off the tip with a pair of scissors.
In a large bowl, sift the powdered sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder, and salt together. Mix well and set aside.
Now you need to make a meringue. Place your egg whites in a clean bowl and get your beaters ready. You can also use your stand mixer with the whisk attachment for this part. Beat the egg whites on a medium speed until opaque and foamy (30 seconds). Add the cream of tartar and then increase the speed to medium high. Beat the egg whites until they are white in color and hold the line of the whisk (1 minute). Continue to beat, slowly adding the granulated sugar, until the sugar is combined, the peaks are stiff, and the whites are shiny (about 1 minute more). Transfer the meringue to a large bowl.
Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry mixture into the egg whites. Do this in four batches until the dry ingredients are just combined. Be careful during this part. Too much pressure and/or adding too much of the dry ingredients at a time will deflate the meringue. When you are done the mixture should look like cake batter.
Transfer the batter into your pastry bag. Pipe out 1-1/4 inch circles about 1 inch apart onto the baking sheets. Pick up the baking sheets and bang them against the work surface. This helps create the macaron base or what is referred to as a “foot” (if you want to be all fancy). Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. This drys them out to ensure even cooking.
Heat the oven to 350°F and place one baking sheet in the middle of the rack. Make sure you bake one cookie sheet at a time. Bake for 14 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. Transfer the sheet to a rack to cool completely and then repeat with the other batch of macarons.
Now you have to make the filling.
Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl.
Warm the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just starts to boil. Next, stir it into the chocolate and mix thoroughly. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until thickened (but still spreadable) for 30 minutes.
Time for assembling!
Scoop about a teaspoon of ganache onto the center of a macaron half. Top with another half and press gently to squeeze together.
You’re suppose to refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving, but you don’t have to listen to that. We ate them straight away (cue maniacal laughter).
Happy baking everyone!