Too much

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful! by Mae West
That's my philosophy about all things in life!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Parisian Macaroons with Chocolate Filling

After living in New York City for so long , there are certain things that i miss too much. Macaroons and Good Pizza are definitely on the top of the list. I have mastered a good thin and crunchy pizza dough Neapolitan style which I'll try and make in the next few weeks. But the macaroons are a new thing to me. You can walk into just about any bakery or patisserie in NY and have great macaroons, my favorite are the ones at Financier Patisserie. 

As I search for the perfect recipe i came across Martha Stewart's recipe, and seems easy enough that i could try. Even though it's a 4 item recipe, it can get expensive. If you are buying the almond meal ground and ready to go or if you are blanching and grinding your own , that adds up to the price a lot, so making sure that you get every step of the way right is your goal.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds
  • 6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Macaroon Filling

Directions

  1. To make the macaroons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners' sugar mixture until completely incorporated.

  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macaroons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.

  3. Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macaroons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macaroons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macaroons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

  4. To fill the macaroons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macaroons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macaroons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

  5. Variations:
    To make coffee-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops brown food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, blend 1/2 cup macaroon filling with 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon warm water for the filling.
    To make cassis-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops purple food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, use 1/3 cup good-quality cassis jam for the filling.
    To make pistachio-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops green food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, combine 1/2 cup macaroon filling with 1 tablespoon pistachio paste for the filling.

    For the chocolate filling:
    5 tablespoons of butter
    3/4 cup of milk
    8 oz of bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chopped


    In a small saucepan over moderate heat mix butter and milk until butter is melted, remove from heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until all chocolate is melted. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.

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