Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chocolate with Francois - Chocolate Macarons

Hello fellow Chocolate with Francois bakers! Long time no post from me. I have missed you all and can't tell you how wonderful it is to be back!

This month's recipe was Chocolate Macarons chosen by Leslie of Lethally Delicious . Leslie is a fabulous baker (you really are Leslie!) and someone I am glad to call friend. Be sure to stop by her blog and check out some of the wonderful recipes she has made.

I have made macarons before, but never using this method. I almost didn't make these as I was afraid of the whole cooked sugar into whipped egg whites juggle I would have to do, but, since it had been so long since I had baked with the group, and, since it was Leslie who was hosting, I decided to put my fears aside and just dive in.

I am so glad I did! I did have some of the sugar harden on the side of my mixing bowl and some small pieces of that hardened sugar made it into the cookies, but, other than a few bumps here and there, the cookies turned out wonderful. Well, actually the first batch ended up scorched a little. I think they baked a tad too long and I ended up cutting back on the baking time by 2 or 3 minutes. The rest of the batches turned out perfect. All but a few of the cookies had "feet", that ring of bubbly looking cookie around the bottom edges. Each puffed up and spread out perfectly. I think I could have piped them a bit larger as I ended up with about 50 individual cookies and I only made half the recipe!

The cookies were delicious just plain, no ganache. They were crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Rich with the flavor of the chocolate. I really had to sternly talk to myself in order to stop eating the cookies as they were cooling on the rack. I kept popping one into my mouth every time I walked by them. :)

I did manage to save a few and dipped them into the cooled and slightly thickened ganache. I didn't think they could be any better than they were, but I was so wrong. The ganache added a whole other dimension of chocolate, richness, and texture to the cookies. Absolutely Fabulous!  I lost count of how many I tasted, strictly  for quality control purposes. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :D)

I had only one complaint. Once the cookies went into the fridge, as Francois says they should be stored, the texture changes. They are no longer crispy on the outside. Don't get me wrong, they were still delicious and it didn't keep me or any of the people I shared them with (the hubby and the gang at Starbucks) from devouring them, but I think I liked them better freshly baked, still crisp and airy. But, crispy or soft, these are some dangerously delicious cookies, at least around me. They are a little bit of work, but so worth the effort. Give them a try!

14 comments:

  1. Your words reflect my exact experience: "feet" on my macrons, and a texture change in the fridge. Maybe FRancois has a dehumidifier in his fridge?
    Perfect!

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  2. Susan these turned out perfect...I'm late in baking (down with a bad bug ! ) but if mine turn out half as good as yours I'll be happy ! And I agree with the frig thing-I think it's a ruse to get us all to have soft mushey macarons while only a few who know the real secret keep the crispy crunchy ones !! Nice work,
    Sandy

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  3. Look at those beautiful macarons!!! You managed to get the mixer action shot that eluded me. :-)

    Thanks for your kind words, I feel the same about you! I'm so glad I read your post last night because I experimented with storing them outside of the fridge and I think it helps preserve the texture (which I also found irresistible). I'm glad your stern talking to yourself was more successful than mine was...I'm still stealing random cookies that didn't get a dose of ganache.

    Thanks for baking with me...it takes a lot of courage for someone to join me on this challenge!

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  4. Those look so perfect. And I am not a chocolate lover, so if I am thinking these look good, these definitely look good! My guys would be in heaven! Great job.

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  5. I think yours look perfect. Mine are not smooth, more like moon craters because I did not pipe them. We feel the same way you do about the refrigerator texture, but I have found if you leave them sitting out to get to room temp they almost taste the same as the first day you made them. Almost, not quite.

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  6. OH WOW! I've been seeing these pop up all ver the place, I think I'll try this recipe. They look so good, and I agree, quality control needs to be done by someone so it might as well be you, or in my case me.

    P.S. Can I ask a favor? OK...I would love to live on the east coast, and have a ranch, do you think so day we can get a tour of your property? (so I can daydream)

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  7. These look delicious! I'm late to the party this month so I will be baking these over this weekend. Wish me luck in this high humidity!

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  8. Susan: These look beautiful! These are still on my list to make!! But the tide just wasn't in my favor last weekend.

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  9. Those look wonderful. I've wanted to make macarons for a long time, but am still a bit intimidated.

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  10. Susan,
    Those look perfect! I've made macarons before, but not the cooked sugar method. Next time I'll give it a shot.
    Mimi

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  11. I've only made macarons once, and have been hesitant to make them again. But now I'm quite intrigued by the idea of chocolate ones! Yours look so delicious, especially with the ganache filling. Mmm.

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  12. look at those little feet! congrats! :) i've only made macarons once and it was a big fail...

    thanks for the kind words about my rum cake even though they look nearly burnt! ;)

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  13. Susan, those are so beautiful. I really need to do some since they are all over the net. I love Leslie's site too. We chocolate lovers have to stick together. Nicely done
    AmyRuth

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  14. gasp--I MUST try this--I am determined to bake decent macarons IF IT KILLS ME! Yours look just perfect!

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Please let me know what you think. I love to hear from other bakers.