Why, Hello There!

I created this food (and craft) blog at an amazing point in my life: I am getting married! Follow the journey to my wedding day as I cook my way through our year and a half engagement. I truly believe food is love; it calms the soul, and lightens the heart. I am pleased you are here to share my many recipes, crafts and thoughts. Thank you so much for joining me, and may you always eat and be married!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Chocolate Espresso Bean Macarons

Today I had a party all by myself in the kitchen.  I had so much fun creating the first successful batch of French Raspberry Cream Macarons that I had to do it again.  So Hillary (my baking partner in crime) came over and we tried again with slightly different ingredients; well it was somewhat of a disaster, a delicious but ugly disaster.  So today I avoided doing my last bit of homework to satisfy my obnoxious need to prevail.  And what do you know, I whipped up a great batch of chocolate macarons.  The filling is really where you can get creative with these cute cookies.  Yesterday Hillary made a vanilla bean creme filling that was simply amazing.  Today I made a slue of fillings, but the chocolate espresso bean filling with the chocolate shells was my favorite.  Okay, now for the recipe:


Chocolate Espresso Bean Macarons




Macarons:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup almond flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
 

2 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons granulated sugar


Espresso Chocolate Creme:

2 cups confectioners sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp finely ground espresso/coffee beans (I used a French Roast)
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp water plus more if needed




METHOD:
Preheat oven to 275-300 degrees F

Beat egg whites and sugar for 8-10 mins. 
TIP: #1 egg white should be room temp. To create room temp eggs, submerge in warm water for 5 mins.

Whip until they form a peak that stands upright.

TIP#2 Sift almond flour, powdered sugar (confectioners), and cocoa powder. Add salt. You want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty on top to your cookie.

Fold flour/sugar/cocoa mixture into the egg white mixture.

TIP#3 This is where all your hard work can really go wrong. Under mix and your macarons will be lumpy and cracked when the bake with no feet, over mix and your macarons will be flat and won't have feet, the mark of a well-made macaron. 65-75 turns of your spatula when folding is about the right amount of time.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag.

Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

TIP#5: tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking.

TIP#6 Let them sit out for 20--30 mins, or up to an hour if you want. This will allow them time to dry out a bit before hitting the hot oven. They should be "tacky" to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is another important step to assuring your macarons develop feet! When they dry out they can't spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up. That's what creates the feet!

Bake for 18-20 mins. DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray.
Meanwhile mix the filling. Whip butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Slowly add sugar ground beans and cocoa powder. Add water until a thick but creamy consistency is achieved.
 
Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip (about ¼ " in diameter)

Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on one of them. Top with the other shell.


If not eating right away, keep refrigerated. 
Bon Appetit!

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