Henry’s Vanilla Macaroons with Double Chocolate Ganache

Henry went to a cooking camp at Sur La Table in the summer and learned how to make these.  These pictures are from two different attempts.  The first time the batter was too thick and had a little peak on top that kept them from laying level which was a problem because they kept slipping apart once the filling was spread between.  The second time the batter was looser and didn’t have the peak but the outside shell cracked easily.  I think a thicker batter tasted better but the peak problem needs to be solved.  Both times they tasted amazing!  The macaroons from the bakeries here in NYC don’t come close to these!   Sooo good!

Below is the original recipe from Sur La Table but we omitted the freeze dried strawberries and added my homemade vanilla extract to the batter.  Half of the chocolate ganache got doctored up with cream cheese and powdered sugar.  I don’t know the amounts and we used both fillings in each macaroon.  Even though this sounds like a lot of work don’t skip the food processor step to get the almond flour very fine and also the sifting 4 times is important.  It gets rid of all the big chunks of almonds.  Follow the recipe closely.


Strawberry Macarons with Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 35 sandwich cookies

7 ounces confectioners’ sugar

4 ounces almond flour or meal

2 tablespoons freeze dried strawberries, finely ground into a powder

4 large (4 ounces) egg whites, room temperature

Pinch of cream of tartar

3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

Wilton pink food coloring (optional), no more than 1/4 teaspoon

1 recipe white chocolate ganache (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with silicone mats on top of paper templates.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse about a third of the confectioners’ sugar with the almond flour and strawberry powder until a fine powder is formed. Transfer to a mixing bowl with remaining confectioners’ sugar. Using a drum sieve, sift mixture four times onto a sheet of parchment paper. Set aside.

To make the meringue: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar. Once all sugar is incorporated and the mixture is thick, scrape down sides of bowl, add food coloring and increase speed to high, whipping until stiff, firm, glossy peaks form.

To complete the macaronnage step: Sift the almond flour mixture 1/3 at a time over the egg white mixture and fold using a large spatula until mixture is smooth and shiny. Once all the almond flour mixture is incorporated, check for the correct consistency, as the batter should be nicely firm, have a glossy shine and drip slowly from the spatula.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain round tip (#12) and pipe 1 1/3 inch rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Gently tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. Check for a slight crust to form on the macaron. The macarons should not stick to your finger when lightly touched.

Bake macarons one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 to 15 minutes. If the macarons are still soft inside, lower oven to 300 degrees, cover with aluminum foil and bake for a few more minutes. If the top of the macarons look crinkled, your oven temperature may be too hot. Allow macarons to cool on baking sheets for 2 to 3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.


Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

6 ounces heavy whipping cream

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium-high heat to a simmer. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and pour hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute.

Slowly stir chocolate mixture with a silicone spatula to combine. Add butter and whisk mixture until smooth. Let cool, stirring every 10 minutes. Once ganache cools, use a small offset spatula and gently spread between two macaroons.

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