For my birthday this year, a bunch of my friends and I took a private baking class at Le Cordon Bleu. Since it was my birthday, I was allowed to choose what we baked! and as you can see, I chose Parisian Macarons! We learnt quiet a few useful tips so this past weekend, my friend Meaghan and I tried to give macarons another shot since Oreo Macarons came out pretty well! Here is our Coffee Chocolate Macarons!
Everything is weighed, including the egg whites. This might mean you are only using half a white. But don’t worry, you could save it and use it to make an omelet the next day for breakfast!
We made sure to have the Chef that taught us, Chef Jocelyn, supervise while we made the cookies. Hopefully bring us luck as these cookies are really tricky!
The first time we made macarons, we did not grind the almond flour and icing sugar together. This tip is very helpful as it allows all the shells to be the same consistency. But be careful as you do not want to heat up or grind the almonds too much as the oils will come out and create more of a paste!
Feel free to shake the machine as it’s blitzing as this will help circulate the heavier particles that might get stuck on the bottom due to their weight.
Whatever particles did not make it through the metal sieve, we re-processed. We did still end up with about a tsp that wouldn’t go through. Do not add these.
Chef Jocelyn said it is best to whisk the egg whites by hand and not by machine. This will ensure they are not over beaten. This is a soft to medium peak. If you have this peak, it’s a good time to add the cream of tartar and the sugar a little bit at a time until medium to stiff peaks form.
Once everything is folded together, Chef Jocelyn said we have to “macaroner”. The french verb to scrape the batter against the side of the bowl until it is shiny.
We noticed right away that it was shinier when we did this.
Chef Jocelyn piped them in circles with a swirl technique when he lifted the tip, (this is me trying to sort of do that??) but I think in the end, however you feel the most comfortable piping, they will turn out. On a slight angle in the middle of a circle with a slight twirl when lifting the tip might be best.
This is what happens when you pipe them too close together. Make sure that you leave about 1/2″-1″ in between as they do spread out.
Look how perfect the “feet” turned out! So proud!
Yet the circles weren’t exactly perfect. But macarons can be any shape! Chef Jocelyn made ones that looked like hearts and sticks, not just circles! Plus this gives a personal homemade touch when they’re not “perfect” circles.
If you do not have another piping tip to spare or you do not want to clean the first one, you can spread the chocolate ganache on lightly with the back of a spoon or a cheese knife. The only thing with this method is that the shells are delicate so you should cup them with your whole hand to spread out the pressure. This method may also lead to adding too much chocolate ganache, which isn’t always a bad thing. 🙂
Pressing gently the shells together creating these mighty fine cookies.
Coffee Chocolate Macarons
Prep time: 1-1.5 hours Cook time: 25 minutes Cool time: 1 hour
0.110kg Almond meal/flour
0.225kg powdered/icing sugar
10g instant coffee/espresso (in grams because they are so light)
0.120kg egg whites
0.050kg regular sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup whipping cream
12 oz chocolate, I use dark but semi-sweet would work as well
In a food processor, grind together the almond flour, icing sugar and instant coffee until fine.
Using a metal sieve, sift almond mixture into a medium bowl. If there are still a lot of bits that will not go through the sieve, you can re-grind in the food processor.
In another medium bowl, whisk egg whites by hand as not to over whip into medium peaks. Add cream of tartar and sugar a little bit at a time. Whisking until medium to stiff peaks form on the whisk when lifted.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the almond mixture. Once folded, scrape the batter against the side of the bowl until shiny. This is called “macaroner“. You will know when to stop when you lift the spatula and the ribbons of batter hold their shape when they fall onto each other for 15-20 seconds.
Place batter into a piping bag with a big round tip (#12). On parchment or silpat lined baking sheets, pipe out 1 inch circles and tap the baking sheet on the counter to release any air bubbles from the batter. (optional: sprinkle instant coffee granules onto half of the shells) Let rest for minimum of an hour up to 3 hours in the summer, and 30 mins to 1 hour in the winter. This is due to the humidity in the air. You can test the rounds to know when they are ready when there is a crust when you gently touch them.
Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Once heated, bake for 15-18 minutes.
**My suggestion is to create a tester batch as we adjusted the temperature a little bit for the second baking sheet to 330 degrees F and they came out perfect. It depends on the humidity and elevation of your city.**
Once baked, let them rest on the baking sheet on a cooling rack until completely cool. They will peel away easily from the parchment.
While cookies cool, add the chocolate chips/chunks into a medium heatproof bowl. In a small sauce pan, heat up 1 cup of cream until just boiling. Do not scald the cream. Once cream has just come to a boil, pour over the chocolate and stir until all chocolate has melted. The longer you allow it to cool, the harder the ganache will be. Place in the fridge to cool until pliable.
Once cookies are fully cooled, release them from the parchment and place in pairs.
Take the chocolate ganache out of the fridge and with the back of a spoon, whip the ganache until it can be spooned easily and it can hold its texture. Add the chocolate ganache to a piping bag with the same #12 tip.
Pipe ganache on one shell and place another on top creating a macaron cookie!
They can stay for up to a week in an air tight container on the counter.