I am backhome in France for the holidays. There is nothing better than being in such a lovely country at this period of the year. It seems like Christmas starts way earlier than anywhere else here ... I already started eating delicious pastries in the morning, eating "foie gras" for lunch, tasting different chocolates for snacktime and drinking champagne during happy hours.. Yes, right now, I am close to heaven. I admit it.
But out of all these delicious treats , my favorite ones are "macarons". These little fancy things are just the best. They taste so good!
The famous macarons place is called "Ladurée", you can find the stores in different places: England, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switwerland, Turkey and United States (but only in New York).
Recipe for “macarons au chocolat”
½ cup (125ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
4 ounces (120gr) bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15g) butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup (100gr) powdered sugar
½ cup powdered almonds
3 tablespoons (25gr) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large egg whites
5 tablespoons (65gr) granulated sugar
• Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).
• Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
• Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps.
• In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
• Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag.
• Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
• Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten themacarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
To make the chocolate filling:
Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the corn syrup.
When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate.
Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the pieces of butter. Let cool completely before using.
• Spread a bit of batter on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together.
• Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors.
• Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze. If you freeze them, defrost them in the unopened container, to avoid condensation which will make the macarons soggy.