The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts by The French Culinary Institute with Judith Choate, includes recipes like Chocolate Macaroons (Macarons au Chocolat); Almond Sponge Cake (Biscuit Joconde); Orange-Cinnamon Swirl Breads and Pecan Sticky Buns; and The Basic Steps to the Proper Execution of Great Yeast-Leavened Bread Doughs.
Makes 25 macaroon sandwich cookies
Estimated time to complete: 2 hours
For the meringue
For the ganache
Prepare your mise en place.
Preheat the oven to 162 degrees C (325 degrees F).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Sift the granulated sugar, almond flour, and cocoa powder together. Set aside.
To make the meringue, place the egg whites in the bowl of the standing electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat on low to aerate. Add the confectioners' sugar, raise the speed to high, and beat for about 4 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Take care not to overwhip the meringue or it will be dry, and it will be difficult to fold in the dry ingredients.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold the sifted dry ingredients into the meringue until well blended.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with the #4 plain tip.
Carefully pipe fifty 2.5-centimeter (l-inch) rounds of macaroon batter onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Bake the macaroons for about 10 minutes, or until firm and very lightly colored around the edges. (Macaroons should not color much during baking.) Watch carefully, as the high sugar content may cause the cookies to burn quickly.
Immediately transfer the macaroons to wire racks to cool.
Place the chocolate in a medium stainless-steel bowl. Set aside.
Pour the cream into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to just a bare boil, watching carefully-bubbles should form around the edge of the pan, but the cream should not vigorously boil.
Pour the hot cream it over the chocolate. Let stand for a minute or two.
Using a wooden spoon, stir the softened chocolate into the cream, beating until the mixture is completely smooth and homogeneous. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Set aside, stirring occasionally to ensure that the chocolate is completely melted, for about an hour to allow the mixture to come to room temperature.
When the macaroons are cool and the ganache has thickened somewhat, using an offset spatula, lightly coat the flat bottom of 25 of the macaroons with ganache. Set another macaroon on top of the ganache, pressing to make a sandwich cookie.
Serve immediately or store, airtight in layers, at room temperature for a day or two.
For a smoother texture, the sugar, almond flour, and cocoa powder can be ground in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until very fine. Sift the mixture and proceed as directed.
If the macaroons overbake and become crisp, place them in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 8 hours or overnight to soften.
Evaluating Your Success
The baked macaroons should be soft in the center, but not wet.
The baked macaroons should be an even color and have a strong chocolate flavor.
The finished macaroons should be consistent in size and shape.
This page created June 2010
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