Recipe: Almond macarons
For the macaron batter
- 4 cups ground almonds or almond meal
- 2-3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup raspberry jam or chocolate ganache
1 Place the ground almonds, 1 cup plus 2 tbsp of the sugar, and 4 of the egg whites in a food processor and process for 4 minutes to make a smooth paste. Leave the mixture in the food processor.
2 In a medium saucepan, combine 1-½ cups plus 2 tbsp of the remaining sugar and the water and cook over high heat until the syrup registers 245°F on a candy thermometer.
3 Meanwhile, in a clean, dry, medium mixing bowl, whip the remaining 2 egg whites and 2 tbsp sugar to stiff peaks. Pour the hot sugar syrup over the almond mixture in the food processor and process to combine. Transfer to a large bowl, then fold in the beaten egg whites with a spatula.
4 Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and preheat the oven to 400°F. line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
5 Fit a piping bag with a 1/4-inch plain tip. Fill the piping bag with the batter and pipe 1-½-inch circles onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Leave to dry for 15 minutes at room temperature, then bake the macarons for about 12 minutes, until dry.
6 Remove from the oven, let set for 5 minutes, then detach from the parchment and let cool completely.
Makes about 50 macarons.
Prep time: 20 minutes.
Resting time: 15 minutes.
Baking time: 12 minutes.
For the raspberry jam filling
- 1-¼ lb raspberries
- 2 cups sugar
For the chocolate ganache
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 tbsp honey
- 6 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
- 4-½ tbsp unsalted butter, softened
For the raspberry jam
1 Sterilize two 8-ounce jars and lids by immersing them in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and dry on a rack before using.
2 Wash the raspberries and place them in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the sugar, toss to combine, then set aside for 1 hour.
3 Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and slowly bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and skimming the surface to remove any impurities.
4 Increase the heat to medium-high and boil for about 15 minutes, until thickened. To check if the jam is ready, remove a small spoonful and allow it to cool slightly—it should be quite thick. If not, continue cooking and check again after a few minutes. When the jam has thickened, immediately spoon it into the jars and seal.
5 Spread some raspberry jam on the bottom side of one macaron and sandwich the filling with another macaron. Repeat with the remaining macarons and filling. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Makes about 2 cups.
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Macerating time: 1 hour.
Cooking time: 20 minutes .
For the chocolate ganache
1 In a medium saucepan, warm the cream and honey over medium heat to just under the boiling point.
2 Put the chocolate in a medium mixing bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Gently stir with a spatula until smooth. When the mixture registers 95°F on the thermometer, stir in the butter.
3 Set aside for 2 hours at room temperature to set.
4 Spread some chocolate ganache on the bottom side of one macaron and sandwich the filling with another macaron. Repeat with the remaining macarons and filling. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Prep time: 15 minutes.
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Excerpted from A La Mere De Famille by Julien Merceron. Recipes Copyright © 2011 Julien Merceron, Photography copyright © 2011 Jean Cazals. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books, San Francisco. All rights reserved.