Surely just those three words are enough to have any gourmet, or for that matter gourmand, salivating. Macaron, as opposed to macaroon, are the delicate meringue based confection made ground almonds, sandwiched together with a cream, buttercream, chocolate ganache or fruit purée. When sandwiched like this they are called a gerbet in French. It is widely believed that Catherine de Medici was responsible for introducing the confection to France via the pastry chefs she brought with her from Italy upon her marriage to Henry.
Whilst popular back in the 18th & 19th centuries, it was only in recent times when famous French pastry chef Pierre Hermé revitalised the macaron offerings of renowned macaron house of Ladurée that their popularity took off. Sometimes the macarons are made larger and filled with fruits as well as buttercreams then served a dessert or at afternoon tea. One of the most famous is Pierre Hermé Ispahan, a combination of rose macaron with lychees, raspberries and a rosewater buttercream, top with a rose petal.
I’ve tried many macaron chocolatier recipes, but this one has always worked a treat. If you make a decent amount, you can freeze the unfilled shells and defrost & fill when needed.
- 145g icing sugar
- 125g ground almonds
- 25g cocoa powder
- 145g egg whites
- 190g granulated sugar
- 45ml water
- 2g powdered egg whites
For the ganache:
- 100g dark chocolate
- 100ml whipping cream
- 35g salted butter
- Mix half the egg whites, and all of the cocoa, icing sugar and almonds together to form a thick paste
- Heat the granulated sugar and water together in a pan until it reaches 121c on a sugar thermometer. Whilst it is reaching temp, beat the remaining egg whites with the egg white powder until they form soft peaks.
- Pour the sugar mixture in a steady stream over the eggs whites whilst whisking vigourously (electric whisk is best). Carry on whisking until egg whites drop to around 40c
- Mix a third of the egg white mix into the almond paste mix and beat in well, then fold in the remaining egg white mix. Put the mixture in a piping bag and pipe out onto lightly oiled parchment lined baking sheets. Allow the mix to set in a warm and dry place until it is no longer tacky to the touch. Bake at 160c for about 20 mins. Cool and set aside.
- For the ganache, break the chocolate into a bowl. Heat the cream until just at boiling, then add 1/3rd of the cream at a time to the chocolate, mixing as you do. When the chocolate is fully melted, slowly add small chunks of the butter until fully mixed. Cool in the fridge until it is of piping consistency then fill the macaron shells.
- Once filled, leave the macarons in the fridge (covered) for 24hrs, then bring back to room temp and eat!
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Article Source: EzineArticles.com