April 5, 2008

macarons part 2

After a long break and the need to recover from my sugar overdose : ) from the previous batch of macarons I made (which my husband and I feasted on), I finally got back to macaron making part 2. I took out the egg whites which were sitting in the fridge ready to be whipped up and allowed it to stand at room temperature for several hours. My target this time was to make chocolate and coffee flavors. I've been reading how good the chocolate ones are so I was excited to give it a try. My husband was likewise excited when he saw me getting ready to make some. I used the reliable Italian meringue method again [making a syrup] which I'm more comfortable with. I guess there's no need to do the French meringue technique when the Italian method works well for me. But then again, once I've mastered the correct consistency of the batter, I may give it a second look. But for now, I'm happy and content with the Italian meringue.

I had no problems with the coffee versions (shown above). I used espresso powder which I mixed in with the powdered sugar and almond flour. The espresso powder just blended right in as I started folding the beaten egg whites with the almond flour mix. I must have undermixed since the batter didn't spread out much but the result was great. The underside was perfectly dry and smooth, as shown below:

The coffee macarons easily slid off the parchment paper. I had a slight problem with the chocolate version though. They all formed the feet and rose quite well but they came out very thin and fragile and some of the tops even collapsed when I took them out of the oven. They were still very moist so I suspected they must be undercooked. The underside wasn't as dry as the coffee ones but I still had no problem peeling them off the paper. I will try to correct the problem by increasing the baking time a little bit next time. The additional cocoa in the recipe must have been the cause but other than that, the texture and the flavors are just great. We usually eat them without any filling although I personally think Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread) works great as a filling for the ultimate chocolaty macaron sandwich.

Nutella filled chocolate macaron

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