Posts Tagged With: ganache

The Speculatoor

I feel like that's a jaunty pretzel. IMG_9576

With the close of the month of May comes the beginning of every student’s favorite season: summer.  I neglected my blog through second semester (whoops) due to far too many other preoccupations (such as essays, readings, homework, and those dratted friends I love so much…) but scratchbatch is back in action for the summer !  🙂  As I’m bidding farewell to my school work for a small window of time (trading it in for francophone whippersnappers – oui, je suis “prof” en été), I figured a cupcake would be a nice transition piece.

As many of my fellow library-goers know, when I’m studying late at night…my weakness is chocolate covered pretzels and Speculoos spread. (If you don’t know what Speculoos is, you might want to check it out…this cupcake might as well be called the “Belgian Wonder” as it uses two ingredients Belgium seems to understand best: chocolate, and this spread made from spice cookies).  Sometimes together, sometimes apart.  But truly, those are my go-to nibble foods.  With a cappuccino.  Naturally, crunching away helps my productivity.  It does.  Really.  Kat knows exactly what I’m talking about. Meow.

In any case, what does this have to do with cupcakes ?  Given my love for this combination, I had the notion that perhaps these flavors would make a nice cupcake. (Baked and Wired, this is where you start paying attention – this cupcake is for YOU.  It says “Sell me !  I would be best friends with the Tessita and you know it !”  Cupcakes are rarely wrong about these things, so I suggest you listen up).  The Speculatoor consists of a moist vanilla cupcake filled with speculoos and pretzel topped with a thick, chocolate satin ganache. Yes, it tastes just like the real mccoy from this fabulous bakery.  No, I didn’t have to bribe the bakers…I just sort of made it up.  Every once in awhile you get lucky.

An easy cupcake to craft, it takes a bit of patience, but the end result is really quite decadent and delicious – worthy of D.C.

Vanilla Cupcakes:

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Dash of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon

Directions : Preheat the oven to 350F and line one muffin tin – this recipe will make twelve cupcakes.  Double it for 24.

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In a small container, mix together the yogurt, milk and vanilla.  Whisk together to incorporate and set aside.  This will be added in tandem with the flour a little later.  Why ?  Because we want the milk to react with the baking powder at the right moment in time – just before heading into the oven for the optimum rising reaction.

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In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, spices, and baking powder.  Stir well to evenly incorporate the leavening agent.  Set aside.

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In yet another container, cream the butter until nice and light.  Add the sugar slowly, again beating until fluffy. From here, add the eggs and mix until smooth.  I might add that bringing all the ingredients to room temperature make the mixing process easier BUT FEAR NOT if you didn’t realize this was helpful: you can always wrap a warm towel around the mixing bowl and all will incorporate sans problème.

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To the butter mixture, add the flour and the yogurt combinations; start with the dry and alternate between the two.  Mix until uniform and then pour into cupcake pan, being careful not to overfill the tray.

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Cook for about 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed.  Let cool before moving on to the next step.

Speculoos filling

3 heaping tablespoons of Trader Joe’s cookie butter
2 tbsp butter, softened
Some pretzels, crushed
A few turns of coarse salt
2 tbsp cream or milk
2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar

Directions : Place the speculoos and butter into a small container and whip.  The mixture should lighten slightly in color.

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Add the cream and the confectioners’ sugar, whipping again.  Add the salt. Take about 2/3 of the smooth mixture and transfer to another container.

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Into this, stir in the crumbled pretzel bits.  I like to taste along the way – I was looking for a center that would be sweet at the start, but upon chewing would yield a little burst of salt.  If you prefer just smooth and sweet, skip the pretzel step.

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When the cupcakes are cool, use your finger (or a 1/2 tsp) to create a little hole in the center of each cupcake.  Spoon in the crunchy speculoos-pretzel mixture.  Top with a little covering of the smooth speculoos concoction and set aside.

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Chocolate Satin Ganache

1/2 cup light cream (or half and half)
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (I would use less but I like VERY.DARK.CHOCOLATE.)
3 tbsp butter, chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla

I think this is the best chocolate frosting I’ve ever made.  It is really easy to make and will definitely become a staple in my cookbook.

Directions : Pour the cream into a small saucepan and let come to a light boil. In another bowl, place the chopped chocolate.  I used Bakers unsweetened chocolate squares, 4 of them, but I think using a higher quality chocolate would yield an even better product.  That said, I wasn’t disappointed by my pantry’s standby.  The hot cream will melt the chocolate; whisk to combine.  Add the butter and mix together.  Again, the combined heat should be enough to melt the butter.  Whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla last, stirring until just combined.  Let cool.  I placed mine in the freezer to cool faster…impatient little cook that I am.

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When cooled and thickened, break out your hand mixer (I have a trusty old Sunbeam) and whip until nice and spreadable.  The mixer might groan a bit but this step is crucial.

Spoon into a pastry bag and swirl onto the cupcakes !  I topped mine with chocolate drizzled pretzels, but there’s no need to be fancy about it.

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Enjoy with a cup of tea (or hot milk) !  Bon appétit 🙂

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Categories: English | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Boston Cream Pie

A slice of life

Birthday cakes can be tricksy at times.  You are trying to make something that both appeals to the person in question AND to the other guests AND to yourself (in this case).  You don’t know if folks are wild about frosting, or prefer cake.  What about ice cream ?  Should candles grace the top ?  Far too many questions.  I’m already overwhelmed.

While I was home, my dad celebrated his birthday (he’s probably 21* now, quite the young’un).  He notoriously doesn’t like to eat white sugar.  Or chocolate.  Or sweets in general when attempting to be healthy.  However, I (being his daughter) know his weakness :  Boston Cream Pie.  When my sister and I were younger, he would sneak one out of Roche Bros. supermarkets as a treat or a fun dessert – which is how I came to know what Boston Cream Pie even was, for it is somewhat of an obscure dessert, with origins both in New York (for the original “pudding cake”) and in Boston (from the Parker House, which copied the NYC cake but topped it with chocolate glaze).  A nice, light, vanilla sponge cake filled with rich vanilla cream and slathered with fine chocolate ganache, this is a surprising birthday gateau – no ice cream necessary and yes, the candles will stay on and no – there is NOT very much butter involved.  It is surprisingly simple to make (once you get over the fact that yes, you need a billion eggs) but will take time and patience, for each component has to be done at a separate time.  If you have a snow day to spent inside, give this “pie” a whirl !

Pastry Cream :

1/4 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/8 cup flour
3 tbsp cornstarch (scant – err on the side of LESS)
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

I like to make the cream EITHER before I make the cake OR while the cake is cooking – it just depends on your preference, for the cream will need to chill for awhile.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the egg yolks and the white sugar.  Whisk together until nicely ribboned.  Ribboning is when the sugar and the eggs are combined so that the whisk, when lifted out of the pan, causes the mixture to run in a nice, thin ribbon of light yellow goodness back into the bowl.

Mmm. Yolky.

Mix mix mix

Finished product !

Add the flour and the cornstarch and mix again until smooth and pasty.  It should seem very thick and remain a light yellow. The flour and the cornstarch will act as thickening agents for the cream.  When they are heated, they release amylose, a starch molecule, that expands when exposed to water.  The eggs are also thickeners – as they cook, their protein structure changes to become less fluid and more solid.

Flour power

Extremely viscous.

Set aside for the moment.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk until it is barely boiling.  You will see steam rising from the milk and small bubbles forming on the sides of the pan.  THIS NEXT STEP IS IMPORTANT SO PAY ATTENTION :  We are going to do a little pouring and it might get messy but “if you’re alone in the kitchen, who’s to see ?” (Thank you Julia Child/Meryl Streep).  Here is the game plan : because the eggs are not hot, but the milk IS hot, we don’t want to just dump the eggs into the milk as they will cook/curdle/the cream will not be creamy.  It will be lumpy.  No one wants tapioca-like cream when tapioca is not an ingredient.  So, we have to temper the egg yolks – give them a chance to get used to the heat before throwing them into the fire..rather like when you don’t want to get into the cold ocean right away and you slowly tiptoe your way in.

Pour half of the hot milk into the egg mixture being sure to WHISK FRANTICALLY.  Then, pour the eggy concoction into the OTHER half of the milk, do not stop whisking, and place THAT back on the heat.  Whisk whisk whisk until you think your wrist is going to cry.  The mixture should instantly start to thicken. Add vanilla.  When it looks like custard, remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl.  Place this bowl IMMEDIATELY into the fridge or into an ice bath to stop the cooking.  I never use the ice bath – I just chill mine – and all is usually well.

I've a frisky whisk...

You should be able to sample without drippage.

Let chill until cold and ready to use as filling !

Sponge cake :

5 large eggs
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (for egg whites)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line two 9” round pans with parchment paper (or grease well with butter).  Sponge cakes can be a little tricky, so using parchment paper takes some of the anxiety out of the removal process.  Separate three of the five eggs and allow them to come to room temperature before using.

In another bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  I love nutmeg and I think it tastes really nice sprinkled into the cake batter, so I add a few shakes of that to the flour mixture.

Place the milk and the butter in a saucepan over low heat and remove one the butter has melted.

Butter me up ;)

"buttermilk"

 
In a mixer (or by hand in a large bowl), beat 6 tablespoons of sugar with the yolks and the two eggs until they lighten significantly in color.  Just as we did with the pastry cream, make sure they from a thin ribbon when lifted from the beater.  Add the vanilla and mix well.

L'eggo !

Whirrrr

Frothy (like my name)

In another bowl, beat the three egg whites (with a pinch of salt and the cream of tartar) until they resemble soft peaks.  If you are doing this by hand, it can be very tiring – soft peaks should allow the whisk to lift up, make a poof, and then that poof will stay stationary.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the warm milk mixture until just combined. Be careful not to overmix as the batter has yet to be folded.

Blending the flour.

HERE COMES THE BEST PART !  Fold the egg whites into the batter very gently.  In a sponge cake, the egg whites are the rising agent – there is no baking powder that causes the cake to expand.  Instead, it is the air trapped in between the newly-arranged proteins of the egg white that give the cake is sponginess/spring.  That said, if you mix too much, it will fall and taste rubbery.  Not enough ?  You’ll have blips of egg white (that don’t taste like anything) interspersed throughout.  It’s a delicate balance but aim for a swirled effect and the cake should turn out fine.

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Pour into prepared pans and bake until golden brown and springy to the touch – about 20 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven.

The cake is a lie.

Chocolate glaze :

6 ounces (or so) of nice dark chocolate, chopped (I use chips)
1/2 cup cream
1 1/2 tbsp butter
Optional :  A little amaretto or frangelico adds a nice touch.

Place the cream and the butter in a pan over low heat.  Once it begins to simmer, pour the chocolate in and let stand for 2 minutes (off the heat) before whisking smooth.  Add the liquor if desired.

Butter and milk, again. Brown gold.

 

Assembly :

First, take one layer of the cake and dust the top with confectioner’s sugar – this will make it less sticky and easier to handle when placing it on the cake stand (or plate).

Dusty...

Remove the cream from the fridge and spread over the cake layer – don’t be afraid to load it up. Some might ooze out the sides, but that can be tidied up later.  The cream is my favorite part, so I’m not really fussed if it’s a smidge messy.

Oh creamy goodness.  Come to mama.

Place the final cake layer on top of the cream and slowly spread the warm chocolate ganache over the layer.  Do one thin layer, wait until it cools a little, then add another layer to avoid too much dripping.  That said, I think part of a Boston Cream Pie is a few rivulets of chocolate down the sides…but it’s up to you.

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COVER IN CANDLES, SING TO THE OLD MAN, AND ENJOY !

Bon appétit !

Happy Birthday !

Categories: English | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chocolate Raspberry Crunch

My sibling loves chocolate.  In fact, I think she loves chocolate more than anything else on the face of the planet.  Except for stuffed animals.  And Doctor Who.  Maybe.   In any case, she celebrated her birthday just the other day and I was (naturally) in charge of the cake.  She told me she wanted chocolate and raspberry to be involved…but other than that, I had free reign.

In all honestly, I was just going to make a straight-up double-chocolate cake with raspberries on top.  You know, chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream, raspberries.  BOOM.

But…then I got to thinking.  I could make a raspberry filling.  Hmm.  And all that chocolate needs some variation.  Maybe I could make a feuilletine-type layer, with a little crunch for “texture,” as they say on all of those fancy cooking shows (that I adore watching).

And we were off to the races.  I ended up making two round layer cakes of regular chocolate cake.  I cut each layer in half and put a different filling on each layer, one being a chocolate cookie crunch (feuilletine), a raspberry buttercream, and a dark chocolate raspberry ganache, finally smothering the entire gateau in chocolate buttercream. And lining it in fresh raspberries.

Yes.  I know.

Need I add that it was about 90F outside and there is no AC here in da kitchen.  The chocolate melted all on its own….

I don’t really have a name for this cake…so “Chocolate Raspberry Crunch” is a working title.  Any suggestions are MORE THAN WELCOME .  Also, given the experimental nature of this cake, I do not have specific measurements for the fillings.  I’ve given approximations, but know that you may need to change the amounts if you (dare?) attempt this delicious, decadent and dangerous torte.

For the cake : look on the back of a Trader Joe’s cocoa box !

3 1/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 1/3 cups cocoa
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
12 oz butter
3 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla

 Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans.  Know that this cake does sometimes make extra batter – the pans I normally use are a little small, so I often have a little leftover.  If you use pans with a removable bottom (like I did this time), all the batter will fit.
Crack the eggs into a large bowl.  Cream together the EGGS and the SUGAR until you reach the ribbon stage.  For more information on ribboning, please scroll down to the Fraisier post.  🙂 Add the milk and vanilla and mix until smooth.
In medium pot, melt the butter and stir in the cocoa powder until it looks like velvet.  Yes, velvet.
Mix together the flour and the baking soda in a large bowl.  Add this to the egg mixture at the same time as the chocolate, as if you were making brownies.  Stir until uniform and incorporated – about 2 minutes.  TASTE:  It should taste like chocolate.  This is my one big critique of chocolate cake :  it often doesn’t take enough like chocolate, so I end up adding more cocoa…
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and place in oven.  Let cook for about 45 minutes or until springy to the touch.  Remove and let cool.

For the feuilletine :

A handful of chocolate chips…
Some butter….
A bunch of butter cookies (shortbread, waffle cookies – anything crunchy with a vanilla-type flavor.)

Prepare a jelly roll pan by covering it with tin foil (or parchment, or wax paper…whatever you prefer).  I placed mine in the freezer to cool it off.

Put the cookies in a small plastic bag and beat with the back of a spoon until nice and crushed.

In a separate pan, melt the butter and the chocolate chips, stirring until smooth.  Pour the cookie crumbles into the pan and stir until they are covered in chocolate.

Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the jelly roll pan and, using the back of a spoon, spread it until it is as thin as possible.  I made mine into a circle, guestimating the size of the 9” pan.  Place this in the freezer to chill/set.

For the raspberry buttercream :

Raspberry syrup (seedless)
Butter, soft
Confectioner’s sugar

In a large bowl, cream the butter.  Add the raspberry syrup and taste for raspberry flavor.  Add sugar until the butter taste has diminished.  Set aside.

For the dark chocolate raspberry ganache :

Another handful of chocolate chips
Cream
Raspberry syrup

In an effort to minimize dirty dishes, I re-used the pan in which I melted the chocolate for the crunch layer.  If you do the same, start by adding the raspberry syrup and whisking over high heat.

Bring that syrup to a boil.  Add 1 tbsp cream and continue whisking.  When hot hot hot, remove from heat and add the chocolate chips.  Let sit 1 minute before whisking together to combine.  Add another tbsp cream and taste.  It should taste like a lindt raspberry truffle.

Add more chocolate or raspberry or cream to adjust the flavor as you like it.  The mixture of the syrup and chocolate is surprisingly forgiving and can take a fair bit of variation.  Let cool in the fridge.

For the chocolate buttercream:

1 1/2 sticks butter, soft
1 1/3 cups cocoa
Powdered sugar
Cream (for texture)

In a large bowl, whisk the butter until light and creamy.  Add the cocoa and whisk again.  Add sugar until the frosting is as sweet as you like.

I make a very bitter frosting – I really like the deep and strong flavor of cocoa powder, so I avoid adding a lot of sugar.  In fact, little note for everyone : when recipes state how much powdered sugar to add, I usually halve it.  Too sweet !

Assembly:

This is a little tricky.  First, cut both layer cakes in half.  Place the bottom layer of one of the cakes on a large, flat cake plate.  Get the crunchy layer out of the freezer and (bring to room temperature if possible.  I didn’t have to wait long given the suffocating temperature of the kitchen) and place the empty cake pan overtop.  Cut the feuilletine down to size, nibbling the leftovers.  Place the chocolate layer on top of the cake and then peel the foil (or paper) off. Place the second cake layer on top.

Grab that raspberry buttercream and spread that on top of the next layer.  Leave a border without frosting – it will leak out as you put the other layers on.  Cover with the third cake layer.

Remove the ganache from the fridge and bring to room temperature – though highly viscous, it should still flow.  Pour overtop the third layer of cake, again leaving a little border by the edge so that it will ooze properly.  Cover with the final layer of cake.

Get the chocolate buttercream and cover the cake, being sure to spread overtop the sides before adding more to the top.  Decorate with raspberries.

CUT AND SERVE, preferably with a glass of ice cold milk OR fresh-brewed coffee.

Bon appétit !

Categories: English | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Homemade Oreo Thin Mints

I usually am not a fan of packaged cookies…why ?  BECAUSE they are easy (at hand, perfect for nibbling, pre-made, no stress, so simple…) and expensive (why, Nabisco, why ???) and full of unknown ingredients (preservatives ? Wax?  Wood shavings ?).  Mixing everything up by hand is just how I grew up (for the most part) and so boxed cookies are a “special event.”  Social Teas and Le Petit Ecolier excluded.

However…the other night, a friend of my family’s brought over these delicious little creations that are sort of like thin mints (those Girl Scout cookies that are über popular) and a peppermint patty.  It’s a thin wafer cookie – the bottom of an oreo – with a layer of mint cream on top that is subsequently smothered in chocolate.  On a hot night, these cookies are oddly refreshing…particularly when they come out of the freezer.

Somehow, I didn’t think my mother would be keen on buying Oreo’s latest creation, so I decided to make them myself.

Yep.  I’m making THIS :

It’s surprisingly simple HOWEVER BE WARNED : This recipe takes time.  Each individual component is easy to make, but the process of assembling the cookies themselves is rather involved.  If you have children who like helping in the kitchen (or a bunch of people who like rolling out dough and cutting it into shapes à la Christmas cookies…), then this is a great recipe.

I promise you…it’s worth it.  My sister says that these are the best cookies I’ve made to date in my life…given my love of baking, that’s a pretty regal compliment.

For the cookie:

8 oz butter
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt (optional)
1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cream butter until light and fluffy.

Add the powdered sugar and beat again, keeping that fluffy texture.  Add the cocoa powder and watch out for cocoa clouds!

Stir in vanilla.  Add the flour; combine until the dough forms a ball.  Knead on countertop before putting it in plastic wrap.  Allow the dough to chill in the fridge for 1 hour (or in the freezer for 15 minutes).  Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface and cut into rounds.

Place on a baking sheet (the cookies won’t rise) and cook for about 10 minutes.

For the filling:

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 1/2 tbsp water
2 tsp peppermint extract
1 tbsp butter

Combine the 2 1/4 cups sugar, the corn syrup, water, extract, butter and salt and beat until combined. It will be quite malleable.

Dust work surface with remaining sugar and pour mixture overtop sugar.  Knead until smooth – it only takes a few turns.

Roll between two sheets of parchment paper until about 1/4 inch thick.

Freeze until firm – about 15 minutes.

For the coating:

10 oz semisweet chocolate
1 tbsp butter

Melt the chocolate and butter over the stovetop on LOW HEAT.

Assembly:

When the cookies have cooled, lay them on out a baking sheet covered with tin foil.  Remove the mint filling from the freezer and place on countertop (peel off parchment paper).

Using the same cutter as was used for the cookies, cut rounds of the mint filling and place them on top of the cookies

.

If your kitchen is warm and the filling starts to get sticky, place in the freezer again before covering with the melted chocolate.

Store in the freezer and laugh in the face of Oreo !

Bon appétit !

Categories: English | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Macarons

Sometimes, we want to challenge ourselves.
See just how far we will go to accomplish a task.
The recipe in question : Macarons
The challenge : How to make them with only two bowls, a measuring cup, and a whisk as our tools.  In other words : the old-fashioned way.

Ah the joys of living in a dorm…

Macarons (yes, macarons, not macaroons because we are not fussing around with coconut!) are adorable and intimidating, two words I don’t usually like to see together.  They seems to be difficult, imposisble even to prepare, but really – they are just a meringue with a filling.  There is nothing scary about that – leave it to the dear français to make something seem more difficult than it is…

Here in America, these confections have quite the reputation : very few folks know how to make them because they just seem HARD.  I didn’t even know what went in them, let alone that it was just meringue.   However, with Pauline as my guide, we decided to tackle the classic French cookie.

She explained to me that they were in fact simple that she had already made them (successfully) before and that of course we could do it.

SURPRISE !

As we are attempting to whip egg whites by hand and prepare a simple boiled sugar solution, the panicking begins.  “We can’t whip the egg whites enough, this is never going to work, they won’t be perfect, we’re a failure…”  She may be a little pessimistic but I still love her dearly.

Aha.  Quite an adventure.  However, we survived.  Here as a witness, I am going to prove that macarons are really not so scary or difficult to prepare – they just require a lot of optimism and patience and perhaps a little luck.

Off we go !

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Ingredients :

3 egg whites
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 3/4 cups almond meal/powder/flour (found at Trader Joe’s)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water

Pour half of the egg whites (you will have to approximate – 1.5 egg whites) in a large bowl.  With a whisk, whip the egg whites until they are stiff.  If you do this by hand, you will be sore by the end – and do not be alarmed, it does take a little while to whip the eggs to this point.  I recommend taking turns if you are lucky enough to have a cooking buddy.  You should be able to turn the bowl you are using upside-down without having the egg whites fall out/budge. The proof is in the pudding…or the egg whites…as here’s a photo (not staged at all…) of our final product:

Set these egg whites aside for the moment.  In another bowl, mix the almond powder and the powdered sugar.  Add the remaining egg whites and stir until well combined.  If you want to add vanilla or another flavoring to the mixture, do so now.  When complete, set this bowl aside as well.

Now we arrive at the complicated step.

What is going to happen now is really fun but can be challenging if you are alone in the kitchen (or if you have never worked with molten sugar).  We are going to make a basic marshmallow – it’s like “Quick White Icing” for those who are familiar with the classic Joy of Cooking.  A sugar syrup will boil on the stove top to a certain point, and it will be then added slowly to the eggs whites all while whisking the egg whites into a frenzy.

Mix the water and the sugar together and put over the stovetop.  If you have a candy thermometer, you will boil this mixture until 238 degrees F, or the soft ball stage.  If you don’t, just watch the mixture – it will change consistency to be come glassy and slightly thicker.  Remove from the burner.

Grab the bowl with the whipped egg whites and prepare the whisk.  One person should be in charge of whisking while the other carefully pours the syrup into the egg whites. If you are using an electric mixer, set the mixer on HIGH and hold the pot over your head while pouring in the syrup.

The sugar must be added in a long, thin stream so as to prevent the egg whites from cooking given the temperature of the sugar (and the tendency for sugar to continue cooking even when removed from the eye).  The mixture will thicken and turn glossy.  Beat until warm to the touch.

NB: BOILING SUGAR IS VERY HOT AND IF YOU BURN YOURSELF IT WILL BE PAINFUL.  So please be careful.

Just for reference’s sake, here’s a photo of the marshmallow fluff :

Add the marshmallow to the batter one third at a time, making sure that everything is well incorporated BUT not mixing too much – once everything looks uniform, stop mixing.

Drop the batter one teaspoonful at a time onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or wax paper).  The macarons will stick if you do not line the cookie sheet.  We used aluminum foil because we didn’t have anything else.  We succeeded but I feel that parchment paper would be a better option.  Allow the cookies to rest for 15 minutes before placing them in the oven.

Cook them in a cool oven, about 315F for 10 minutes.  Take them out of the oven and let them cool before attempting to remove them from the paper.  They are very light and fragile, and will crack or break if manipulated while warm.

This is how ours looked – we were lucky and they were smooth with a nice “foot” or the frilly/frothy edges.

Now all that remains to do is fill them – we used chocolate ganache and caramel but anything goes.  Common fillings include buttercream and jam/preserves.

Bon appetit !

Categories: English | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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