Chocolate raspberry French macarons
· 70 grams super-fine almond flour (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon)
· 90 grams icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) (1 cup)
· 45 grams white sugar (granulated or caster) (1/4 cup)
· 60 grams egg whites or about 2 medium egg whites (1/4 cup)
· 3–4 drops gel food coloring
· 1 teaspoon vinegar (for wiping down the bowl)
· 60 grams heavy cream (1/4 cup)
· 60 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
· 14 grams unsalted butter (1 Tablespoon)
1/3 cup raspberry jam
1. Take the eggs out of the refrigerator and leave on the counter to come to room temperature. Line a baking sheet with either a silicon mat or parchment paper. (I prefer parchment paper — later you can dab some macaron batter under each corner to keep it flat.)
2. Grind the sugar: If you have caster sugar, lucky you! Measure it out and set aside. If you have granulated sugar, measure the sugar into a food processor and pulse for at least ten seconds. You want it finer than granulated but not as fine as powdered sugar. Set aside.
3. Grind the almond flour: Measure out the almond flour and icing sugar into the food processor. Pulse the almond flour and icing sugar for at least ten seconds — you really want to get that almond flour as fine as possible. Then sift together into a medium-sized bowl. Discard any large flour or sugar granules that didn’t make it through the sifter. If I want my macarons perfect, I measure the discarded clumps and replace with an equal amount powdered sugar. (This is usually less than 5 grams.) Set aside the sifted flour/sugar.
4. Prepare: Measure out the vinegar into the bowl you plan to whip the eggs in. Use a paper towel to soak up the vinegar and rub down the sides of the bowl and your beaters/whisk. This helps remove any fat deposits that would hinder the meringue from whipping up. Make sure all vinegar is soaked up by the paper towel and the bowl is dry. Prepare the piping bag you plan to use to pipe the macarons. (I don’t use a tip, I just snip the tip off a wilton piping bag so that there is a 1/4-inch opening.)
5. Beat the Eggs: Separate egg whites into the bowl. Be CERTAIN there is no egg yolk in the bowl. Begin beating/whisking the eggs on high speed. They will become white and foamy. When the whites become completely white and ripples start to form (about 1 minute), add 1/3 of the sugar while continuing to beat the eggs. Once incorporated, slowly add the remaining sugar and continue beating for two minutes, or until completely white and soft peaks form. (That is, when you pull the whisk out, the tip of the peak might curl back on itself, but the peak does not sink back into the bowl.) You should be able to tip your bowl completely upside down and be 100% confident that the whites won’t pour out. Add 3–4 drops gel food coloring and beat just enough to thoroughly incorporate the color.
6. Finish the macaron batter: Add 1/3 of the almond flour/icing sugar mixture to the egg whites. Using a spatula, fold the flour into the eggs by sweeping the spatula under the bottom of the mixture, up and over, and letting the mixture fall back on itself. Once the first third of flour/sugar is completely combined with the egg whites, add the remaining almond flour/sugar mixture and continue to fold until completely combined — no dry bits and no streaks. When it first combines, the mixture will likely be very thick (i.e., it does not easily fall off your spatula). Use the spatula to press down on the top of the mixture in between each fold to press some of the air out. Continue doing this until you can lift your spatula, turn it sideways, and the macaron batter slowly oozes off the spatula. (Think slow moving lava.) You should be able to draw a figure 8 with the mixture slowly oozing off your spatula, as opposed to it falling off in thick clumps. Your batter is ready!
7. Fill your piping bag, hold your bag directly vertical, and pipe small circles onto your prepared baking sheet. (You can use a paper template underneath your parchment paper if you want a guide, but don’t forget to remove it before baking!) When you lift the piping bag, it will leave a small nipple or bump of batter. If your batter is the right consistency, this bump should sink back into the macaron. (If it doesn’t, don’t worry. I’ve got tips and no matter what, it’ll still taste great. Just remember to fold and press a little more next time.) Once you’ve piped a full sheet, pick up the baking sheet a few inches and slam it down on the counter a few times. This will help release any air bubbles that have been created in the macarons. You can also use a toothpick and pop any mini bubbles you see on the surface. (Tip: if you still have bumps from piping, lightly wet your finger and tap the bump down.) Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 30–40 minutes, until they develop a “skin.” You should be able to very lightly stroke your finger across the top and not come away with any batter.
8. While the macarons are setting, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the macarons for 16–18 minutes, until they’ve developed “feet” and lightly pressing one with your finger does not leave an indentation. Remove from oven and cool completely on the pan. Once cool, store in an airtight container until you are ready to assemble.
9. Assemble! Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until it is just about to bubble. Pour over the chocolate chips, let sit for two minutes, and then stir. As you stir, add the butter and stir until everything is combined. Place in refrigerator to cool until thick enough to pipe. (If I’m in a hurry, I put the ganache in the freezer and keep a close eye on it.) Once set, spoon the ganache into one piping bag and the raspberry jam into another piping bag. Pipe a ring of ganache around the outside of one macaron half. Pipe a small plop of raspberry jam into the middle and top with another macaron. The ganache should be higher than the jam in height, so that the ganache seals itself against the other half of the macaron before any jam escapes. Continue until everything is filled! Place the macarons in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. You can remove them 30 minutes before serving or just continue to eat them straight out of the refrigerator!
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