This week, macarons were on my mind. Perhaps it was unpacking my beautiful books of Ladurée recipes while moving, or maybe it was the chilly weather which just calls for a dessert that is light in texture, yet rich in flavor. Either way, I had a bit of macaron fever this week and made the simplest variation, with plain almond shells and dark chocolate ganache filling.
This recipe is straight from my Ladurée macaron cookbook and I could never dare to take credit for it. It is definitely the best recipe I have come across for classic shells and, when followed exactly, yields a beautiful result (if you have eaten a Ladurée macaron, you know that result is truly special).
While you can certainly grind your own almonds, I typically choose to get a pre-ground almond flour, just to make it that much easier. I pulse the almond flour and confectioner’s sugar in a food processor to make sure it is super fine before folding it into the meringue.
After piping the cookies, I always let them sit out uncovered for about an hour before baking. This allows a skin and “feet” to form, resulting in a better cookie. Perhaps the best thing I’ve learned through troubleshooting macarons is not to over-whip the egg whites. If the peaks are too stiff, this will dry out the cookies and create some textural problems. Whisk until firm, not stiff.
Before and after baking, above. They turned out beautifully, although my piping could certainly have been neater! I will include the recipe proportions below.
2 3/4 cups ground almonds (flour)
2 cups + 1 Tbls. confectioner’s sugar
6 1/2 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup + 1 Tbls. granulated sugar
Pulse almond flour and confectioner’s sugar in food processor until super fine.
Whisk 6 egg whites until frothy. Add half of granulated sugar and continue to whisk until lighter in color, then add the rest of the granulated sugar and whisk until firm, but not stiff, peaks form.
With a spatula, gently fold in almond mixture until incorporated. Add 1/2 egg white to moisten batter.
Fill piping bag and pipe disks onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
10 ounces high quality dark chocolate, chopped
10 ounces heavy cream
Place chocolate in large bowl. Heat cream until scalding, then pour over chocolate. Let sit for 60 seconds, then gently stir until incorporated.
Let cool at room temperature, then refrigerate until firm enough to pipe.
Pipe between macaron shells.
These are truly an easy way to get a macaron fix! Of course there are endless variations, but this classic combination is so delicious 🙂