#34 Chocolate Macaroons with Espresso Ganache (Again)

A few months back, I attempted to make French Macaroons for my friend Debby. No one told me that they were such a pain to deal with! They didn’t cook right, the ganache didn’t ever set…it was just a straight disaster.

For some reason, I was feeling adventurous and attempted these little suckers again. To my surprise, they turned out! Although macaroons are very tastey, they just are not really worth all of the effort in my opinion.

First thing about macaroons is that a lot of the stuff is measured out using a scale

 

Waiting for the oven

Just like many other cookie recipes, this one needs some type of sheet down when you’re cooking. If you don’t cook a lot, the easiest approach is parchment paper. If you do cook a good amount, and honestly if you dont cook a lot I wouldnt suggest making this for your first kitchen adventure. The best thing to use for these, and pretty much all other cookies, is the Silpat. Everything comes out evenly cooked and the bottoms look gorgeous.

These were cooked with the Silpat:

How gorgeous is the bottom of this?

 

All of them came off the pan without any problem at all

These were cooked with parchment paper:

Not such a pretty bottom!

So sad

 

Moral of the story: Buy a Silpat. Seriously.

Success

 

Chocolate French Macaroons with Espresso Ganache

110 g blanched almonds
200 g minus 2 tbsps powdered sugar
2 tbsps cocoa powder
3 egg whites (about 100 g), room temperature
50 g sugar

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and pulse until well-blended. Whip the egg whites until foamy and gradually add the granulated sugar while whipping until a shiny meringue forms (but not too dry). Add the almond mixture to the meringue and quickly incorporate the mixture into the meringue while taking care not to overbeat. You want to achieve a batter that flows and “ribbons” for at least 5 seconds. Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted with a large plain piping tip (Ateco 809 or 807) and pipe small rounds onto a baking sheet lined with silpat (or parchment paper). The rounds should be about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and at least an inch apart.

Let the macarons sit out for an hour to develop a hard shell. Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size.

Espresso Ganache:

1 cup heavy cream
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 tbs granulated sugar
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp instant espresso powder

Heat the heavy cream, 2 tablespoons butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a 2 1/2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place 8 ounces semisweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder in a stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and espresso. Let sit for 10 minutes, then stir until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.

(Recipe from userealbutter.com)

Enjoy!

 

#2 – Chai Cupcakes

This has been an interesting week. I managed to come down with some intense cough, imagine an old man who has been smoking for 60 years coughing. Thats been lovely. On top of that, I’ve come to realize I don’t know where I’m going with my life. I know I’m only 19 but it’s still a big issue. So this whole week I’ve been bouncing around ideas of switching to Environmental Studies and going to culinary school. All I know is that whatever I’m doing right now, just isnt cutting it.

With that, people were concerned that I wasn’t going to be baking this Thursday but alas I did. Although I am posting this technically on Friday I can assure you all of the baking was done Thursday evening with some technical difficulties…

Lets just say, Coriander and Cardamom are definitely NOT the same spice. I guess that is what I get for talking on my phone while at the store?

The Spices

I did have a special guest this evening! My lovely friend Shawna came home from SDSU and stopped by to observe. I’m also proud to say that I have inspired my Brother and my close friend to start their own blogs :). You can check those out off to the right side of this page under “Blog Roll”.

Enough about that nonsense, lets get to the dessert!

After a ton of debate, more so with myself then with anyone else, I ended up going with the Chai Cupcakes this Thursday just because they looked so cute and different. The Hazelnut cake will be a side project, or next Thursday.

I found a few recipes but this was the one I liked the best. Some of them used actual Chai Tea bags but this one used real spices which I liked better. As long as you don’t buy the wrong spices like me 🙂

CHAI CUPCAKES RECIPE (Makes 12 Regular Cupcakes or 30 Mini)

Chai Spice Mix

1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground Ginger

1 teaspoon ground Cloves

1 1/2 teaspoons ground Cardamon

Main Ingredients

1 ½ cups Cake Flour

1 ¼ teaspoons Baking Powder

½ teaspoon Salt

2 teaspoons Chai Spice Mix

½ cup Unsalted Butter (Room Temp)

1 cup Sugar

1 Egg and 2 Egg Whites

½ cup Whole Milk

OVEN: 350             TIME: 15-18 minutes (15 for mini cupcakes)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Prep your cupcake tins with liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Chai Spice Mix.
  4. Using a mixer (or a handheld mixer), cream together the Butter and Sugar.
  5. Add in the Eggs and Egg whites slowly, make sure to blend together well between each egg.
  6. Add in the flour mixture and the milk in 3 alternation additions, starting and ending with the flour mix. Beat just to combine each addition.
  7. Using a spoon, or whatever you’re happy with, fill the cupcake tins 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes for Regular Cupcakes. Around 15 minutes for the Mini Cupcakes. If you’re not sure you can always check if they’re done by sticking a tooth pick in and checking if it comes out clean.
  9. Important: Make sure to rotate pans half way through. Many ovens cook unevenly and this will help keep all your little cupcakes nice and perfect.

Ganache Frosting

4 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate

1/2 cup Heavy Cream

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Easy Instructions:

  1. Chop up the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat resistant bowl.
  2. On the stove bring the Heavy Cream and Cinnamon to a simmer.
  3. Pour over the chocolate, wait a minute, and then stir together.
  4. Place the ganache into the fridge for about an hour to let it stiffen up a bit.
  5. When it looks thick enough take it out and whisk it until it looks fluffed up.

 

Beautiful Batter

My lovely friend Shawna did a great job of chopping up the chocolate 🙂

 

Here they are!


Because frosting in a circle is just so average.

 

I hope you enjoy!

Until next week,

Madeline

PS: All of the pictures were done on my new Canon G12. I’m in love. They all came out beautiful 🙂 Highly recommended.