My friend, Cindy received a Macarons Cookbook for Christmas. As many times as I have been to France (well it’s only bee three times, but still) I’ve never had a Macaron so when I saw her cookbook and looked at the recipes for all of these sweet and savory treats, I had to ask her about them. She definitely piqued my interest. And if I would have know they were gluten free, I would have had them long before now.
A few days later, I came across a Valentine’s Macarons Class at Sur La Table so I called Cindy up to see if she wanted to take it with me.
Our class was yesterday. We made three different recipes ~ Raspberry Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache, Violet Macarons with White Chocolate-Rose Ganache and Hazelnut Macarons with Praline Buttercream ~ just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Today, I thought I would share the recipe for the Raspberry Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache with you.
The class was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. It was a full class with three teams. Each team was responsible for making the recipe for the different cookie and filling. After the cookies were cooled, we divided them up between the students each getting 7-8 cookies that we got to decorate however we wished. My only dilemma was should I eat them all myself or should I share them with my hubby.
Before I share the recipe, here are Cindy and I with our goodies that we made and decorated.
Raspberry Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache
Yields: 35 cookies
7 oz. powdered sugar, divided
4 oz. almond flour or meal
2 tablespoons freeze dried, finely ground raspberry powder
4 large (4 oz.) egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
3 1/2 oz of granulated sugar*
Wilton’s red food coloring (optional)*
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpat silicone mats or parchment paper and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse all of the powdered sugar and all of the almond flour to form a fine powder. Sift sugar mixture 2 times. Combine almond flour mixture and raspberry powder. Set aside.
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar. Once all sugar is incorporated, scrape down sides of bowl, and add red food coloring, as desired. Increase speed to high, whisking until firm, glossy peaks form.
To complete the macaronnage step, sift the almond flour mixture one-third (1/3) at a time over the egg white mixture and fold using a large silicone spatula until mixture is smooth and shiny. Once all the almond flour mixture is incorporated, check for the correct consistency – the batter should be nicely firm and drip slowly from spatula (when in doubt, under work).
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip (#12) and pipe 1 1/3 inch rounds on to prepared baking sheets.
Tap bottom of each baking sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Check for slight crust to form. Macarons are ready to bake when they no longer stick to a finger when lightly touched.
Stack the baking sheet with the macarons on top of an empty baking sheet. Bake one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 to 15 minutes. If the macarons are still soft inside, lower oven to 300 degrees, cover with aluminum foil, and bake a few more minutes.
Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filing with Dark Chocolate Gananche (see recipe that follows).
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Yields: 1 cup
6 oz. heavy cream
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon cognac or brandy (optional)
In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium-high heat to a simmer. Place chocolate in medium heatproof bowl and pour hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute.
Slowly stir chocolate mixture with a silicone spatula to combine. Add butter and whisk mixture until smooth. Add cognac or brandy if using. Let cool, stirring every 10 minutes. Once ganache cools, use a small offset spatula and gently spread between two macarons or put mixture into pastry bag and pipe.
*I would substitute the granulated sugar for palm sugar and the Wilton’s red food coloring for a more natural red coloring (i.e. beet juice or this natural food coloring from India Tree)
P.S. For dessert that night, I did share with my hubby. Each of us got 3 1/2 cookies…although he thought he should have gotten 4. ♥