Sunday, September 23, 2012

Le Macaron

I realise the posts have been thin on the ground while I have been travelling but I promise to upload some decent food focused travel posts soon. In the interim, please rest assured I have certainly been consuming my fair share of macarons while in Paris. The favourite so far - white chocolate and jasmin tea from Pierre Hermes. I've also included the Laduree recipe for chocolate macarons should you feel the desire to make some. I'll be posting lots of recipes soon as well as interviews and pics of some of the great chefs I've met while here in Paris. Now off for a bite to eat before all the hungry ones make their ascent on the city for fashion week on Monday and put me off my dinner.

275g powdered sugar
140g powdered almonds
4 egg whites whipped (the older the eggwhites the better. Leave them out on the bench for a few days before making macarons)25 grams cocoa powder
325 grams bitter chocolate
300 grams heavy cream
75 grams butter (unsalted)

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Combine the almond powder, sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor until you have a smooth fine powder. It helps to sift and process a few times so the powder is incredibly fine for a more delicate shell.
Place the eggwhites in the powder. Beat rapidly and delicately with a wooden spoon to obtain a homogenous mixture, try to use a motion of stirring down toward the middle of the mixture and back up the sides again, constantly turning the bowl, until the mixture is even, light and fluid in consistency.
Prepare a pastry bag with a 1cm tip, then fill the bag with the mixture. Line a baking sheet (you get best results with a slipmat) with baking paper and squeeze macarons onto the paper (you should have enough mixture for about 45-50 macarons)
Cook for 11-12 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees on a baking sheet, leaving the door slightly ajar. Gently remove from the sheet and allow to cool.
For the ganache, pour the cream over the finely chopped bitter chocolate. Add butter at a temperature of at least 60C. Stir gently to incorporate. Let sit and cool to blood temperature - basically just an ambient room temperature. Garnish the macaron shells with a layer of ganache about 3/4 millimeters thick and sandwich the two halves together.

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