Saturday, July 16, 2011

French Cocoa Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache (Macarons are Gluten Free!)

I did it!  I made macarons!  After tasting some for the first time a couple years ago and falling in love, I’d had them on my list of things to learn to make.  Not sure why it took me so long and I can’t wait to make them again.  Even Kevin liked them!  I used a recipe from Joanne Chang found online at the Fine Cooking website.  She does a great, short video how-to for the cookies.  There are many variations available, but I chose to do Cocoa Macarons with a dark chocolate ganache inside. (Surprise.) 

Cocoa Macarons 7-6-11 I followed Joanne’s recipe and techniques pretty exactly.  Especially her plea to measure the ingredients with a scale.  She made her cookies with just the traditional almond flour base, but also gave measurements for adding a little cocoa to the batter. 

I think my cookies are a little small, but they are not small on flavor at all, making it easy to pop more than one in your mouth at any given cookie-eating sitting!  The simple batter is just made with whipped egg whites, a little sugar, almond flour and in this case some cocoa.  The batter then goes into a piping bag and little round mounds are piped onto a cookie sheet. 

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I sure mine are small because the largest piping tip I have isn’t the suggested 1/2 to 3/4-inch tip, it’s more like 1/4 inch.  I need to go piping tip shopping! ;)

I don’t know if my macarons have a little too much “feet” (the bottom of the cookie that sticks out a little), but I don’t really care because they turned out so yummy and petite and perfectly chocolaty.

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I’ll keep playing around and trying some different recipes an techniques and decide what works best. 

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The ganache is perfectly dark chocolaty and so simple to make.  Joanne’s recipe is just dark chocolate and cream.  I added a little vanilla extract and almond extract and loved it!

Look at this little army of macarons!  The recipe made 32 of the smaller ones for me.

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My friend Bonnie was visitng with her sister and they ate a few of these cookies and liked them, too.  Macarons are almost better after chilling in the refrigerator overnight, at least we thought so.  Some recipes will tell you they are best the day they are made (Joanne’s does), but after chilling with that ganache in between (then brought to room temperature), we loved the chew it gave them.  They were just a little on the crispy side fresh.  Either way though, they are light and crispy an airy and chocolaty goodness.  

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Sealing the deal here, you know you want to try these!  Can’t wait to try them with other flavors and fillings!

Here’s a few websites with lots of great instruction—but don’t let all that info scare you.  Read a few things and then have at it—it’s pretty simple!

How to Make Macarons by Eat Live Travel Write.

Helene’s blog, Tartelette is swimming in macaron goodness and expertise.

Food Nouveau has a great post about macaron making.

The list goes on and on—just Google “how to make macarons”—endless information and countless varieties!

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25 comments:

Suzanne said...

Wow! These look good enough to eat! I've never made them nor have I eaten one, but I'd sure like a couple of these. Beautiful!

Jessica said...

Incredible! Your post makes me want to tackle macarons - and I think the feet are cute, by the way. Beautiful, beautiful macarons!

basicallybaked said...

Your macaron are GORGEOUS!! Congratulations on such a successful first attempt. They look chocolatey wonderful! I finally had a macaron that I liked a lot but I'm still not inspired to make them. Maybe if I had chocolate ones like yours....?

Bonnie said...

I love to make macarons. I love David Lebovitz' chocolate macarons and I add ganache and homemade orange marmalade to the middle. Your feet are lovely.

Pamela said...

Awesome! You did such an amazing job with these! Now I really want to give these a try. I am definitely checking out those links and moving these higher on the list of recipes to try!! Gorgeous!

Kayte said...

Okay, you and I both know I did not get the chocolate gene, but I have to say, these look spectacular in execution and their little selves are just perfect in every way. I am envisioning them in say strawberry or lemon...heavenly!! You rock. I showed them to the guys and they said "Wow, what are those? Let's have those!" I said, "Oh, those are French cookies and you can only get them in France where they make them in their special ovens." They said, "Oh...." That lasted about two minutes and then they both said together, "Wait a minute....." They didn't buy it. No surprise.

jillbert said...

WOW! They look fabulous! How exciting to have them turn out so well on your first attempt!

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

wow they look perfect great job

Gloria said...

I love the picture of the inside of the macaron. I have never made them and that picture makes me want to make them. Who can resist a little perfect chocolate cookie? Yours look fabulous!

Lisa said...

Oh, you got such beautiful feet on your macs, and the ganache is just oozing out the right amount, and calling my name! I now dub you Le Katrina because you're french to me at this moment - it's a skill to turn out macarons that lovely :) BTW, would grana padano NOT meld perfectly in ginormous butternut squash ravioli??

Lisa Ernst said...

Great job! I had my first French macaroon last summer in NYC. Naturally it was chocolate. I loved it, and yours look every bit a good. Maybe better as I know you wouldn't skimp on the chocolate ganache.

Sinful Sundays said...

Those look fantastic! I want one and am going to try making macarons sometime soon!

Georgia Pellegrini said...

Beautiful macarons! I'm impressed they turned out so well on your first try.

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

I have yet to make macaroons. Now I have to. These look fabulous!

Baking Ribbons said...

I am impressed with you taking on complicated projects with so many other things going on in your life! I would love to try a chocolate ganache filled macaron. I just posted about the salted caramel and Lavender lemon macarons at Chez Arnoud's in MN. Sue's post from Basically Baked lead me there. I will leave making these to you professionals!

Baking Ribbons said...

BTW, yours are better looking than those at the professional bakery-bakers who make them all the time!

Evan said...

WOW! you did an amazing job with these, Katrina! Such an amazing first attempt. I'm going to have to send this post to the FC Editorial staff tomorrow :)

The chocolate version was my favorite, too..I like to sandwich both ganache AND lemon curd between the cocoa cookies.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Wow Katrina. Congratulations. Macarons are something I haven't tried yet, so I'm all the more awed. Great job, and that ganache looks amazing :D

Mimi said...

They look fantastic! Now that you know how easy they are to make there will be no stopping you.
Mimi

Cookin' Canuck said...

You did a great job on these macarons, Katrina! Beautiful!

Assistant said...

This was your first attempt at macarons? they look wonderful, very impressive job!

What other kinds of macaron recipes did she have? And is there a specific reason why you use almond flour?

thanks for posting, can't wait to try them out
Liz-CoolProducts

Casey said...

I have one word about these. Gorgeous!

Shelby said...

Impressive - I have never tried them before. Mainly because Grumpy won't eat a macaroon. I think Barbara at Barbara Bakes has a lot of macaroon recipes too!

Diane {Created by Diane} said...

They look wonderful!

Leslie said...

Ahhhh.they look perfect!