French Chocolate MacaroonsBy Lori Longbotham from Chronicle Books' Luscious Chocolate Desserts
Macaroons:1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Large egg whites
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Filling1/2 cupheavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
This and many other wonderful
recipes may be found in
Luscious Chocolate Desserts
from Chronicle Books
First made by convent nuns during the eighteenth century, these are not at all like the macaroons most of us grew up with. They are one of my most favorite things about being in Paris, and I love walking through the city nibbling on them. I usually get them from either Dalloyau or Laduree. If you're not going to Paris soon, whip these up and make believe. You'll love the textural contrast between the crisp cookies and the luscious creamy ganache filling.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 Large baking sheets with parchment paper.
To make the macaroons: Pulse the almonds with 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add the cocoa powder and the remaining 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar and pulse until well blended.
Beat the egg whites with the salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large bowl just until the whites form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Add the granulated sugar and beat just until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. With a whisk or a rubber spatula, gently fold in the almond mixture.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe out 1-inch-diameter mounds about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the tops are cracked and appear dry but the macaroons are still slightly soft to the touch.
Transfer the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to barely dampened kitchen towels and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully peel the paper off the macaroons and transfer to wire racks to cool completely. (The macaroons can be made 1 day in advance and stored in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container.)
To make the filling: Bring the cream lust to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Add the chocolate and butter and whisk until smooth. Let coot to room temperature, then refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes, or until the filling is firm enough to hold its shape when spread.
If desired, transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe the filling, or spread it with a table knife, generously on the flat side of half of the macaroons. Top with the remaining macaroons, flat-side down, pressing together gently to form sandwiches. (The cookies can be stored in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)
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