Sunday, March 30, 2008

French Chocolate Macaroons

This recipe is courtesy Luscious Chocolate Desserts, and yes, all of the desserts have indeed been luscious. Generally, you think of macaroons as having coconut, but traditionally, they were done with almonds. These almond macaroons were fabulous and very well received. If you don't normally stock blanched almonds, just blanch your own. It's very easy to do; just plunge them in to hot water, boil for 1 minute, then plunge them in to cold water, peel off the skins, and let them dry on paper towels.

1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
2 tsp. granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Pulse the almonds with 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add the cocoa powder and the remaining 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar and pulse until well blended. Beat the egg whites with the salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until the whites form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Add the granulated sugar and beat just until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. With a whisk or a rubber spatula, gently fold in the almond mixture.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe out 1-inch-diameter mounds about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the tops are cracked and appear dry but the macaroons are still slightly soft to the touch. Transfer the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to barely dampened kitchen towels and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully peel the paper off the macaroons and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

Bring the cream just to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Add the chocolate and butter and whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes, or until the filling is firm enough to hold its shape when spread. Spread generously on the flat side of half of the macaroons. Top with the remaining macaroons, flat side down, pressing together gently to form sandwiches. Makes about 20 sandwich cookies.

1 comment:

Maren said...

Holy Cow you have been baking/cooking like mad! They look very tasty. Does that mean they were well received by the Food Critic (Barrett)? Then they must been delicious.