My fascination for macarons began summer after high school. I was interning as my real-estate-agent-of-an-aunt’s secretary. In the early afternoon, we visited some relatives who were leasing a studio. They had just moved into a unique 4 story town house/condo complex in Pasadena. It was through them, I found my favorite pastry. Two years later, I’ve returned to share my joy and what drew me to macarons, the bitter chocolate macaron.
After finding a macaron shell recipe that I enjoy, I’m happy to share with you all the macaron that got Pierre Herme started, and the macaron that got me started. I’m even more happy to say that I was assisted by Jessie, who is not only a talented dancer but a great friend.
The major difference in technique for these macarons is the addition of unsweetened chocolate to the macaron batter. This has created some inspiration for myself – I’ll report back to you on what my results are. I’ve adjusted the original ingredients into things that a home cook would be more likely to have.
I also didn’t want a ganache that was too thin so I reduced the amount of cream used for the ganache from 400 grams to 300 grams. The end result? An almost truffle like ganache!
While researching macarons, I came across a creation by Pierre Hermé called the Isapan. I wanted to put this together as a teaser for another post. Until then, happy baking!
Bitter Chocolate Macarons
For the macaron shells
- 300g ground almonds (ground to a powder)
- 300g powdered sugar
- 120g cacao pâte (or unsweetened chocolate)
- 110g aged egg whites
- 4.5g red food coloring
- 300g granulated sugar
- 75g mineral water
- 110g aged egg whites
- cocoa powder
For the bitter chocolate ganache
- 300g heavy whipping cream (the original recipe calls for 400 but I prefer a thicker ganache)
- 360g Valrhona Guanaja couverture chocolate, I used 72% cacao chocolate throughout.
- 40g cacao pâte (unsweetened chocolate)
- 140g butter, diced, at room temperature
- Chop the unsweetened chocolate and melt in a double broiler until 50 C. When the chocolate reaches 50 C, remove from the double boiler and and let it cool down while you proceed.
- In the meanwhile, process powdered sugar and ground almonds in a stand mixer and sift into a large bowl. Combine the other 110 g of egg whites with the food color and add to the sifted almond flour and powdered sugar.
- In a sauce pan, combine water and sugar and bring it to a boil. In a stand mixer, start beating your egg whites on low speed. When your syrup reaches 115 C, turn the mixer to medium (6 on a kitchen aid) and whisk. When your syrup reaches 118 C, remove from heat immediately, increase the speed to medium high (or 8) and pour the syrup down the side of your mixing bowl bowl (avoid pouring onto the whisk attachment, I missed and the syrup splattered all over the edges of the bowl, but thats ok! It’ll still work out, see foot note!). Keep whisking until your mixing bowl is warm to touch (50 C).
- Pour the merengue over the mixture from step 1. Fold gently. When the batter has stripes of merengue through the batter, about 25 strokes in, add the melted chocolate and continue folding. When everything is folded together, beat a few times without incorporating more air.
- Pipe circles of macaron batter out on parchment paper 3/4 of an inch apart. Rap baking sheets against counter, rotate by 90 degrees and wrap again.
- Preheat your oven to 350 C and let the macarons rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, opening the oven door quickly twice throughout. At the end of the 15 minutes, remove from oven and check for doneness. If the macaron needs more time, bake for another 2 minutes and remove.
- Cool on wired rack and fill when completely cooled.
Bitter Chocolate Ganache
- Heat the cream until small bubbles form around the edges of the pot over medium heat.
- While waiting for the cream to heat, chop chocolate and add it to a large bowl.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for a minute. Whisk the ganache together and allow it to cool to 50 C
- Whisk a few cubes of butter in at a time until you get a smooth ganache.
- Press cling wrap over the surface of the ganache and cool for at least 30 minutes. Spoon the ganache in a pipping bag and pipe in between macaron shells.
This is what happens when you don’t aim towards the side of the bowl, the macarons still came out alright though!
As for today’s prompt: my favorite joke. Why don’t cannibals like to eat clowns? Because they taste funny!
It had to do with eating, I couldn’t help myself.