Summer seems to be winding down. The colors of my backyard, bright pink bee balm and verdant peppers, are fading. As I sit outside writing this, a gentle breeze tousles my hair and the sun warms (but not burns) my skin. Not exactly summer weather, rather, something transitional. Fall's coming.
With fall comes a return to school. As much as I can't wait to go back, I'm also faced with the reality that my baking abilities will once again be greatly reduced. So I have to take advantage of these last weeks to experiment in the kitchen, create elaborate desserts and family dinners.
Maybe that's why I had the uncontrollable urge to make macarons yesterday. They're something I will definitely not be able to make at school, due to their delicate and finicky nature. In general, I enjoy making macarons much more than I do eating them, which is true of a lot of things I make, but these especially. But chocolate macarons are different. Up until now, I've only made macs with a citrus flavor, and they never really did much for me. Chocolate macarons are rich and gooey and taste like brownies, but fancier and infinitely more adorable. If you've never tried tried making macs before but are interested, I'd encourage to try out this recipe. Enjoy your last weeks of summer!
Chocolate Macarons with Nutella Ganache
adapted from Desserts Magazine
3 egg whites, aged in the fridge
25 g granulated sugar
225 g powdered sugar
125 g almond meal
15 g cocoa powder
Line cookie sheets with parchment or silpats.
Mix together almond meal, powdered sugar and cocoa, set aside (if you want to make sure it's mixed thoroughly, give it a quick pulse in the food processor).
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites into a foam, then gradually add granulated sugar, until you obtain a glossy meringue.
Add the dry mixture to the meringue. With a rubber spatula, use quick strokes at first to break down the mass, then slow down until everything is incorporated. This should not take more than 50 strokes. To test, spoon a small amount onto a plate. If the tops flatten, you're good. If a small beak remains, give it a few more strokes.
Fill a pastry bag with a small round tip and pipe small rounds onto the cookie sheets. Preheat oven to 300 F. Let cookies sit and harden for an hour before placing in the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, let cool completely before filling.
from Cake and Allie
½ cup of heavy cream
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 Tbs Nutella
Place chocolate and Nutella in a medium sized heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream to a simmer. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and Nutella and let sit for 20 seconds. Stir to combine until smooth. Place ganache in the refrigerator until thickened, but still pourable. Make sure to stir a few times during the process so the ganache is a uniform consistency throughout. Using an electric mixer, whip ganache until it is a pipeable consistency and light in color. Place ganache into a piping bag and pipe a small circle onto one macaron shell. Top it with a similar sized shell and squeeze together carefully.