Chocolate & vanilla MACAROONS!

Difficulty 4/5

There are people who really don’t understand what the fuzz is about macaroons. They think they are pretty, but “meh” flavour-wise. To those people I say: try these! These are sweet, almondy, just beautiful! I specially love the chocolate ones (because duh) but the vanilla ones are also super delicate and refined. I promise that if you follow my directions (this is one to follow them!), you’ll get a very pretty result :). I recommend you read everything first and understand it and then go ahead and do it.
Portions: 20 macaroons each

Ingredients:
General macaroon recipe:
– 270g sugar
– 80ml water
– 135g egg whites
– 200g ground almonds
– 200g icing sugar
– 80g egg white optional depending on texture
– For chocolate macaroon: 20g unsweetened cocoa powder
– For vanilla macaroon: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract + food colouring optional

French vanilla buttercream:
– 180g sugar
– 75ml water
– 40-50g egg yolk
– 50g whole egg
– 250g butter
– 1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate ganache:
– 270g dark chocolate couverture
– 230ml whipping cream
– 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Procedure:
1. For both macaroons we use the same base: an italian meringue. So for this, we cook the 270g sugar on the recipe with the 80ml water to 116C. If it goes over, add a bit of water to lower the temperature and wait for it to come back to 116. When it hits 112, start whisking the egg whites on the stand mixer so they are foamy (no liquid egg whites left, but not more than that or it will be too stiff). Add the sugar down the side while on med speed. It’s important that the sugar does not touch the whisk or it will throw it against the walls of the bowl. It’s better to have a small trail running down the side. Don’t be too slow or the sugar will cool and not cook the egg whites.
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2. Whisk on high speed until the bowl feels at room temperature
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3. Sieve the almond flour and icing sugar (also the cocoa powder if you’re doing the chocolate ones).
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4. Add half of the dry ingredients to the meringue and fold. Also add the vanilla extract and colouring (careful with this one, it can go intense with a couple of drops) if you’re doing the vanilla ones. Once almost completely together, add the other half and keep folding. The texture will look something like the photo below.
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5. Now we need to adjust the texture. The objective is that these macaroons are liquid enough so that if you fold and tap gently against the counter, the marks will blend back into the mix, like the one below. This is achieved by adding extra egg whites (raw) little by little. I had to add almost all of the extra 80g for the chocolate, and only a tiny bit to the vanilla ones (it has more liquid from the vanilla extract and food colouring).
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6. Put them into a piping bag, ideally with a plain round nozzle (my life was hell because I didn’t have any at the kitchen where I was) and pipe on top of a tray with baking paper or silpat mat. I like the paper because you can draw some circles and then turn it over and pipe using the lines as reference.
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7. Tap the baking tray gently (you can put a cloth underneath) turning it around with every tap so that the macaroons spread out. They should be about 2-3mm tall.
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8. Bake at 140C for 15-18min until dry. You will be able to lift them from the surface when they are ready. This time will depend on the size you pipe them and the strength of your oven. Mine were about 7cm in diameter and they took 18min. The important characteristics  that they will develop is: a shiny rounded top and a foot that you see all around the base.
IMG_5496Here’s a picture of the vanilla ones also:IMG_5501

Now for the ganache: first, melt the chocolate in a slowly simmering bain marie (so the chocolate doesn’t burn), and warm un the cream just until steam comes out. Any more, again, will make the chocolate burn.
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Add the cream all at once and start swirling on the center and slowly but surely the cream will start to incorporate with the chocolate
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Finally add the cold butter and again swirl it around until COMPLETELY mixed
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Now leave it to cool and harden until it reaches setting point so you can pipe it. If you just leave it outside it can take a while. You could put it on a large surface so it cools down faster or you could put it in the fridge a few mins at a time and assess, mix. BEcause if it goes too far, then it will be super grainy and the piping ill be a mess
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Now for the buttercream: whisk the egg yolks and egg in a standing mixer until white.
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Cook the sugar and water to 116C and add it down the side like we did with the Italian meringue.
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Let it cool to room temperature while whisking on full speed and finally add the butter (which must be really soft) and vanilla extract
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Whichever it is you’re doing, when you pipe the filling in the macaroons you must be really fast or the butter will start to melt and split. I like to wash my hands in iced water before just in case.

IMG_5625IMG_5628IMG_5619That’s it!! I know it’s hard work and you do need to be really careful with the instructions, but once you get the hang of it they are really really worth it. French quality macaroons for you to enjoy 🙂

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Published by

Chef Lorena

Hello! My name is Lorena Salinas and I’m a chef. I absolutely love to cook and eat. Discovering new techniques, styles and ways to apply it to things that I already know gets me really excited. I really look forward to seeing people cook my recipes or even make them better than I originally did. Welcome to my food world! For info and collaborations e-mail cravingsjournal@gmail.com

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