Happy Easter! The weather was bleak and rainy, but it’s ok. Have a macaron. With chocolate ganache filling.
Yes, I did just say those words.
First time making macarons.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a snob, but … twas easier than expected?
I guess that’s what happens when you combine the power of three bakers. :)
We did a really simple macaron recipe because it was our first time and we wanted to minimize the number of things that could go wrong, but I think we’ll probably branch out and experiment some more now.
Ah, the possibilities.
Espresso & pistachio?
Caramel fleur de sel?
Our little trio was very productive on Saturday when the weather decided to be unexpectedly lovely. About 70 degrees with a slight breeze… Around lunchtime, we headed out into the fresh air of spring and parked our butts at Silverlake Meadow. It’s a sweet little park next to the reservoir that just opened several months ago. We spread out a blanket and lied down.. finally a little free from school, textbooks, and stress. Nothing like reading a good book and this month’s Cosmo while wiggling your toes in some soft green grass. :) And after taking some silly pictures and taking a lazy warm nap, we packed up and had some currywurst before heading over to the Art in the Streets Exhibit at the Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo.
They certainly made a big fuss about getting too close to exhibits that will only be there for a couple of months. Graffiti is a pretty interesting art form. It’s territorial, unique, vandalizing, modern, but transient. It can be erased, painted over, wiped out, ruined by the elements. A little blip on the radar. No one is going to try to preserve your work for hundreds of years like they will with a Picasso or Michelangelo. If you’re lucky, the paint will last for about a decade or so before it fades, crumbles, and disappears. And when the city whitewashes it over, no one will even remember it was there.
Can baking be considered art? Is cooking art?
Probably the most fleeting of all art forms.
These macarons lasted about a second before they were scarfed down.
Sometimes I’m pretty amazed at how quickly two dozen cookies can disappear.
French Macarons with Chocolate Ganache
For the macarons:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
For the chocolate ganache
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
Sift the almond flour and confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder mixture twice until the lumps are gone.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes.
If you want to add food coloring, add now (We used one drop of yellow, but in hindsight, a couple more drops would have made them look more Easter-y and cute.)
Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macaroons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees. Let macaroons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
Heat the heavy cream and bring to a light boil in a saucepan. Add chocolate and remove from heat. Stir until the chocolate is melted. Cool until it is at a spreadable consistency. We had trouble with it because it was a bit runny so we stuck it in the freezer for a bit until it was okay.