Friday, May 8, 2009

Chocolate Macaroons

Today I made Chocolate French Macaroons for a Friday treat. They are different from coconut macaroons- they are more like meringues and have ground almonds in them. I have wanted to make these for a while. They turned out very yummy- the cookies have a very chewy, crumbly texture with the rich chocolate filling. My only complaint is that the recipe only yields about 15 cookies for all the work. Next time I will make two batches of the cookie part. There was plenty of extra filling left over.

French Chocolate Macaroons

1 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cup ground almonds (blanched almonds ground very fine in food processor)
3 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For filling, Chocolate Ganache (recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 300. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Uging a 1 1/2" cookie cutter or glass, draw circles on the back of the parchment.
2.  In a bowl, sift together confectioner's sugar and cocoa. Whisk in the ground almonds and set aside.
3. Using mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the salt. Continue beating on medium and add granulated sugar 1 teaspoon at a time; beat until the whites form medium-soft peaks.
4. Sprinkle half of the sugar-cocoa-almond mixture over the egg whites. Fold in with rubber spatula until just combined. Add the vanilla and remaining sugar-cocoa-almond mixture and fold in until just combined (turn egg whites over mixture while rotating the bowl; continue until you can't see more traces of unicorporated sugar). Drop or tap the bowl on counter to eliminate air bubbles.
5. Transfer mixture to large pastry or ziplock bag with 1/2 plain pastry tip. Pipe the mixture onto the marked circles on the cookie sheets.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. The macaroons should be firm to the touch, with dry bottoms that lift off the parchment easily. Cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer entire parchments to cooling racks and cool completely.
7. Assemble sandwiches by spreading flat side of one cookie with ganache, then adding another cookie on top, flat side down. After assembling, refrigerate for about 20 minutes until set. Keep leftovers in fridge.

Chocolate Ganache

5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Put the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
2. Heat the cream in saucepan until it just starts to simmer. Pour cream over the chocolate. Let sit 1 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is melted in. Let the ganache sit at room temperature or in fridge until it is spreadable.



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