Mar 20
2009

Celebrating with Dark Chocolate Ganache Filled Macarons

in Uncategorized

Did you know that today is a very important holiday? Non? Today is le Jour du Macaron–Macaron Day!
Today, Pierre Hermé Paris, as well as a number of other pâtissiers, is celebrating this day by offering free macarons to patrons and selling a special Macaron rouge (red macaron) for 1 Euro to help raise money for the Fédération des Maladies Orphelines (FMO) (the organization provides aid to sick orphans and money to research various diseases). Since we’re not all as lucky as Carol of Paris Breakfasts, who is actually in Paris celebrating the occasion, I had to bring the holiday to California.
Not to be confused with macaroons, like the ones I posted about yesterday, macarons are a traditional French pastry made by sandwiching cream or ganache between two meringue-like cookies. The cookies have a light crispy shell and are soft and chewy on the inside.
One thing I love about making macarons is watching the magic that happens in the oven.
You know that you’ve done things right when the shells start to rise upward, developing little “feet” beneath them. My macaron day was a successful one–feet included.
I made plain macarons, using raw almonds which gives the shells of the macarons a freckled effect (for pure white shells, use blanched almonds), and filled them with a simple dark chocolate ganache.
I think we should have a Macaron Day once a month…
Macaron Batter
Makes 20 macarons
Recipe from A La Cuisine!

1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
4 oz. (1 cup) almond flour or finely ground almonds
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. egg whites at room temperature (this usually works out to about 3 large egg whites)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1. Allow egg whites to thicken by leaving them uncovered at room temperature overnight.

2. On three pieces of parchment, use a pencil to draw 1-inch (2.5 cm) circles about 2 inches apart. Flip each sheet over and place each sheet on a baking sheet.

3. Push almond flour through a sieve, and sift confectioner’s sugar. Mix the almonds and icing sugar in a bowl and set aside. If the mixture is not dry, spread on a baking sheet, and heat in oven at the lowest setting until dry.

4. In a large clean, dry bowl whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip to stiff peaks–the whites should be firm and shiny.

5. With a flexible spatula, gently fold in icing sugar mixture into the egg whites until completely incorporated. The mixture should be shiny and “flow like magma.” When small peaks dissolve to a flat surface, stop mixing.

6. Fit a piping bag with a 3/8-inch (1 cm) round tip. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheets, in the previously drawn circles. Tap the underside of the baking sheet to remove air bubbles. Let dry at room temperature for 1 or 2 hours to allow skins to form.

7. Bake, in a 160C/325F oven for 10 to 11 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to keep the oven door slightly ajar, and rotate the baking sheet after 5 minutes for even baking.

8. Remove macarons from oven and transfer parchment to a cooling rack. When cool, slide a medal offset spatula or pairing knife underneath the macaron to remove from parchment.

9. Pair macarons of similar size, and pipe about 1/2 teaspoon of filling (dark chocolate ganache recipe below) onto one of the macarons. Sandwich macarons, and refrigerate to allow flavors to blend together. Bring back to room temperature before serving.


FM’s Dark Chocolate Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped

1. Heat heavy cream just to boiling point. Remove from heat and stir in dark chocolate. Let stand 2 minutes. Stir until well incorporated and smooth.

2. Refrigerate until the ganache has cooled and thickened, but is still spreadable.


*If you’ve never made macarons before, or you need a refresher course, check out these tips:

Macaroon(ed)! — Inside A Black Apple
Macarons 101 — Desserts Magazine Issue #2, pp. 36 – 43, by Helen McSweeney if Tartelette (the Macaron Queen!)

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }



Fuji Nana March 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I don’t know, I think I might need to test the quality of these macarons. Could you bring, say, a dozen over to my house?

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Meg March 20, 2009 at 7:55 pm

These look beautiful!! I’ve never tried these. Thanks!

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K and S March 21, 2009 at 12:02 am

c’est bon! happy macaron day!

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pixen March 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I second your proposal of every month is a Macaron Day!

The 1st time I tasted macarons were 3x smaller than the one you pictured in your hand! Being unskill in pastry department made me paid quite hefty sum for such size. I guessed nothing beats the homemade version huh. :-)

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lucysmom March 21, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Was this as complicated as it sounds. I would love to make them but seems very involved.

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Fuji Mama March 21, 2009 at 2:28 pm

pixen– Yes, the ones I made were actually quite big! Bigger than the recipe directs you to make them…

lucysmom– No, they actually are quite simple, and are pretty quick to make (except for having to let them rest for an hour–the actual working time in the kitchen is very short). The problem with macarons is they have a reputation of being finicky because sometimes they don’t develop feet or the shells crack. The trick is making sure you don’t overbeat the mixture, but that you beat it enough. I’ve found that if I follow the directions as exactly as possible I don’t have any problems!

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Bob March 21, 2009 at 9:21 pm

You know, I’ve never had a macaroon. Those look wicked good, I might just have to make some.

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Leela March 22, 2009 at 12:38 pm

These look beautiful. As a macaron junkie, I say “amen” to the once-a-month macaron baking. Better yet, once a week. :)

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mamakd March 22, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Yum! Dontcha just love holidays! I have some leftover ganache from a cake I made and I may just use it to make these sandwiches. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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finsmom March 23, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I havnt been brave enough to try making my own macaroon yet, but these have inspired me to do so! Thanks for sharing!

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kirbie March 25, 2009 at 10:26 am

Oh, I tried these things at a french bakery in Vegas and have been looking for good ones ever since. Now I can try to make my own!

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paperseed March 25, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Holy cow, these look fantastic. I would buy these in a heartbeat, but now I’ll have to see if I can motivate myself to make them.

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Christina March 31, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Oh mon dieu! I had no idea there was a macaron day! Last month I made macarons, but my family ate them before any pictures could be taken. Yours look great! Is this something that happens every year?

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Fuji Mama March 31, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Christina–Yes, it is every year! This is only the 4th year it has been in existence though. Pierre Herme created the day 4 years ago. Great idea, don’t you think?

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Pocky May 9, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Hey Mama!
I know I’m almost two months late, but I couldn’t resist telling you how awesome your macs look! At first I thought they were store bought when I glanced at the photo on Foodbuzz. This is amazing. People always blog about macarons but I’ve never actually seen anyone bake their own. WoW!

I’d love to try this myself, but I think my baking skills are still a bit lacking. lol :)

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violet September 20, 2009 at 5:02 am

omg this recipe makes AWESOME macarons :D they were so yummy. i couldn't stop eating hahah making my second batch now.

only thing i realised after i made them is that the measurements for the chocolate ganache were slightly too much for the batch of macaron batter above. so maybe half the measurements would be just right.

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notyet100 March 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm

awesome…

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Fujigrandma March 15, 2012 at 11:42 am

At almost 86 years I have almost quit baking, until I see your recipes , then I am almost convinced to start in again. However I love to read and dream! Your creativity is amazing. If I see cherries in the market I AM going to make those Lemon Cherry Tea Cakes. And I’ll share with friends.

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