Monday, April 16, 2012

Macaron Mania! - Raspberry Macarons

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And here we go again. For a long time I thought I could just ignore my fears. But the time has come to face them. This time, it was the fear of making French Macaroons or Macarons. I don't think I've studied and researched a recipe like I have for macarons, however it was time well spent. Now I can say confidently that I made these Raspberry Macarons with a chocolate ganache and raspberry filling... and have conquered another kitchen fear. It may have been my first adventure in making them, but it certainly won't be my last!

The reason why I hesitated and put off making macarons for so long was because of the precise way they needed to be made. Everything involved just had to be perfect in order for them to come out - the time, temperature, weight, etc. If you haven't made macarons and you're putting it off like I did for awhile, just do it! In fact, fellow food blogger friends got together virtually to take on the French Macaroon/Macaron. We all had the same fears and got through it together. Whether they come out or not, what matters is that you tried... and the beauty is you can eat your mistakes too. This was really, really good and I was surprised how well they turned out. I'm looking forward to playing around with different flavor combinations very soon. The biggest bonus for me? These are gluten free!

Please check out the adventures below of fellow food blogger friends who tackled French Macaroons with me!:


from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks

French Strawberry Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache

from Does Not Cook Well With Others

Vanilla Macarons with Strawberry Rhubarb Filling
from Suz

Vanilla Bean Macarons with Biscoff Filling
from Eva Bakes


Raspberry Macaronsfrom What's Cookin, Chicago/Joelen

recipe from Food & Wine

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup almond flour, super fine
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 or 3 drops red food coloring
1/ cup seedless raspberry jam

Ganache:

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream



Preheat the oven to 400° and position racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large, wide bowl, using a large rubber spatula or a handheld electric mixer, mix the confectioners' sugar and the almond flour with 1 of the egg whites until evenly moistened.

In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with the water and bring to a boil; using a moistened pastry brush, wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Cook over high heat until the syrup reaches 240° on a candy thermometer.

In another large bowl, using clean, dry beaters, beat the remaining 2 egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer at high speed, carefully drizzle the hot sugar syrup over the whites and beat until firm and glossy. Beat in the food coloring until the meringue is bright pink.

Stir one-fourth of the meringue into the almond mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining meringue. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/2-inch tip; pipe onto the prepared baking sheets in 1 1/2-inch mounds, 1 inch apart. Tap the sheets and let dry for 15 minutes.

Transfer the meringues to the oven and immediately turn off the heat. Bake the meringues for 5 minutes.

Turn the oven on to 400° again and bake the meringues for 8 minutes, until they are puffed and the tops are firm and glossy. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let cool completely. Peel the meringues off of the parchment paper.

In the meantime, prepare the ganache. Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Allow the ganache to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.

Transfer ganache to a small pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch tip.
Alternatively, use a resealable sturdy plastic bag and snip off a corner.

Spread a little raspberry preserves onto the flat sides of half of the meringues. Place a dollop of the ganache on top of the raspberry preserves. Top with the remaining meringues and serve.

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