Ohh… the Macaroons!
When I saw Marcia’s post about French Macaroons in her blog (A vida escrita a mao) I knew I had to try them. I have always heard about macaroons and never had I seen neither eaten one of those cookies. But as soon as I saw Marcia’s picture I could not resist… it was definitely love at first sight! They were so beautiful and delicate, perfect rounds filled with chocolate that instantly made my mouth water.
There are a few times when I look at a recipe, usually with a picture, that I fell I have to make it. These cookies were one of those recipes and let me tell you: it did not disappoint me a bit!
I love to cook and bake and usually get good results in the kitchen with both cooked and baked goods, but when it comes to cookies… I suck! I do everything the recipe says, I have a thermometer inside my oven and always check the temperature, use butter and everything at the specified temperature, I even bought silpats and one of those cookies scoop, but guess what, something always comes out wrong and I rarely get good results. Except for today!!
These were not only one of the best cookies I have ever tasted, but were also the best ones I have made! I know I don’t have anything else to compare it to, since it was the first time I tried French macaroons, but for me these cookies were perfect. They came out nice looking, just as the ones at Marcia’s blog, and they tasted exactly as she described them there: a dense almond “foot” with a brownie-like consistency and a thin crunchy "dome" on top. You bite into it breaking the delicate dome, then you reach into a wonderful chewy interior and soon the decadent ganache layer… how can it be bad? It is heaven! Everything melts together in your mouth and as Marcia says “your life is changed forever”! And boy, is she right, these cookies are wonderful, delicious and a lot more than that! I can’t even describe it.
It was love at the first sight, even more at the first bite; my culinary life has definitely gained a new dimension of flavors and experience with those French Macaroons. You have no idea how happy I am with my achievement today, a nice day in the kitchen, a perfect cookie day!
Oh yes, chocolate DO makes us happy, very happy indeed!
Marcia's French Macaroons
200g confectioners sugar
110g almond flour
57g granulated sugar
3 egg whites left at room temperature overnight (or at least 8 hours)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (optional)
In another bowl beat egg whites with an electric mixer to soft peaks, add granulated sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold in egg whites into dry ingredients. Mix until everything is incorporated together and the mixture achieves a “lava consistency”. Put the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with the plain round tip.
Draw 3.5 cm (~1.5 inch) circles onto parchment paper leaving space in between them, turn over the paper and cover a baking sheet. Pipe the mixture in the circles. Let piped cookies rest for 1 to 2 hours, until a skin forms on top.Bake in preheated oven at 320F (160C) for 10 minutes, leaving the door semi-opened if possible (I stuck a wooden spoon into mine to keep it partially opened).
Let cool and sandwich 2 cookies together using a cooled ganache filling (equal parts chocolate and whipping cream - 200 grams each).
(Check out Marcia’s post and pictures here: http://www.marcinha.co.uk/archives/2005_01.html#006709)