Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Ganache Filling

this time round, i was REALLY pleased at how my cookies turned out. in my mom's words, the shells were literally good enough to be eaten on their own because they were dry and crunchy when they came out. and... i'm honestly quite happy to have them dry. i know, you must be thinking, but macarons are supposed to be chewy inside. AHA. this is when the filling and refrigeration comes in, and then leaving them for 24 hours to infuse and develop. after that, remove from the fridge and wait 5-10 minutes before consumption and they turn give an awesome shell disintegration bite with a chewy center. YUMZ. and to think i hated macarons.

i guess the only macarons i may start to eat would be the ones i make on my own because i can adjust the sweetness.

as before, i thought this chocolate macaron recipe was really awesome because they relatively used less sugar and because it used cocoa powder, the majority of the sugar goes to offsetting the bitterness of the cocoa powder.

the recipe from call me cupcake (link below) paired it with salted caramel butter (which i will post in abit) i paired half the batch with salted butter caramel and the other half with chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Macarons
Recipe from Call me Cupcake! (her macarons had such inspiring feet!!!)Makes about 35 whole

•100 grams blanched, ground almonds (make sure to grind more than 100 grams)
•100-110 grams egg whites (about 3 egg whites), aged 1 day at room temperature
•15 grams cocoa powder
•185 grams powdered sugar
•4 tablespoons sugar

1. Grind the almonds in a mixer or a food processor. Push the almond flour through a sieve to get rid of any large pieces or lumps.
2. Mix the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together with the ground almonds in a food processor.
3. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand- or stand mixer. As the egg whites start foaming, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue whipping until the mixture is glossy and stiff. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue sliding out.
4. Fold the dry mix carefully and slowly into the meringue, use a spatula. Add food coloring if desired until fully mixed. Don't overmix!
5.. Fill your piping bag and pipe the macarons onto a baking sheet. Let them set for 60 minutes to form a dry skin.
6. Preheat the oven to 150° C. Bake for about 14 minutes. Let cool completely, then spread caramel on them and sandwich them together.

i still faced some problems with cracking shells and insufficiently developed feet. i will try banging the tray harder the next time to get rid of trapped air bubbles that may have caused it to rise during baking leading to huge cracks on the shells. i also suspect the positions of the trays in the oven affect how the shells rise. the ones at the bottom seemed to have cracked more.

also, i froze all the shells after baking (macaron shells freeze rather well), and took them out for filling the next day. they condense rather quickly and may feel rather sticky at the smooth sides while filling but slide them in the fridge for a day and they'll be dry and nice (and yummy) the next day.

Rowenta: i used the fan mode for this. i will also try fan with bottom heat mode when i'm more adventurous but i will first figure out if my macarons will turn out better baking one/two trays a time. i currently fit as many as 4 trays (two big trays on two racks and two small trays one one rack). will update when i find a way to get 100% no cracked shells.

completely cooked, dry chocolate shell. i am so pleased with them :D even the timing for the recipe was so accurate that i didn't have to bake them longer then stated.

Chocolate Ganache
Recipe from Food is my Life

115 grams chocolate, finely chopped - Note [1]
125 ml heavy cream
15 grams unsalted butter, diced
Stove method: 
1. Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. 
2. Place the heavy cream in a small pot and heat over medium heat until the heavy cream comes to a simmer (small bubbles appear on the sides of the pot). 
3. Pour the hot cream onto the chocolate and let it stand for 1 minute. Stir the mixture until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. 
4. Add in the butter and stir until all the butter has melted. Let the mixture cool at room temperature until the ganache has thickened. 
5. You can place it in the fridge to speed up the process.
*I recommend refrigerating the ganache before usage. if you observe in the pictures below, the ganache even after cooling at room temperature was really runny for piping. i refrigerated it and took it out for piping the next day. it will come to a nice consistency in about 5-6 minutes. too runny you will have trouble storing them without it being messy. (see below pictures. i tried to snap a shot but the cookies were sliding off each other. lol)
Microwave method: 
1. Place the heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl (glass or ceramic). 
2. Microwave the cream on medium for 30 seconds until the cream is hot. 
3. Add in the chopped chocolate and stir – the chocolate will start to melt. Place the bowl back into the microwave and microwave for 10 seconds. 
4. Stir the mixture and if there’s any remaining un-melted chocolate, repeat the process (do not microwave for too long at one go unless you want to burn your ganache). 
5. Once all the chocolate has melted, add in the butter and let the mixture cool.
6. If making the ganache a day in advance, cover and refrigerate it. Take it out of the fridge 15 – 30 minutes to let it soften before filling the macarons.

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