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Oh My Ganache

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t understand what the big deal was about macaroons. This changed when I tried these amazing macaroons from Laduree in Paris.

That weekend, I bought more macaroons at the Farmer’s Market …

… and they were so good we packed them away before I could even take a decent picture.

Still, when Heather from Hangry Pants announced Macaroon Monday, it took me a while to commit to the idea of actually trying to make macaroons. I am a novice baker, and these fussy things are known to make pastry chefs tremble.

But I am not one to shrink away from a challenge, so armed with this recipe from Epicurious and additional tips from Joe Pastry, I bravely forged on. Also, I couldn’t stop thinking about macaroons so, clearly, something needed to be done. And as it turned out, while making perfect macaroons is really hard, making delicious macaroons is actually very doable.

The Making of Macaroons

First, you mix the dry ingredients (almonds and sugar). This was easy enough and gave me the confidence to keep going, as well as the realization that I really need an apron.

The meringue was a lot more nerve-wracking (Phase I ends at “soft peaks” and Phase II ends at “glossy peaks”, which someone somewhere really needs to do a better job of defining.

You whisk your egg whites and salt …

… mix in the sugar and food coloring …

… and fold/stir in the dry ingredients until well mixed. Apparently, you have to fold enough times to get most of the bubbles out, but not so many times as to result in runny batter.

My macaroons ended up cracking, which according to Joe Pastry may have been because I didn’t fold enough.

One can’t be too timid around pastries.

They sense fear.

Then, you look triumphantly upon your meringue, noting that it looks kind of like the youtube videos you may or may not have been watching at the airport on your way home from Toronto on Friday*

*(with the volume on – I mean, you’ll never see these people again, right?)

Then, you fill your makeshift pastry bag with the meringue and start to squeeze out perfect, even macaroon rounds.

Try not to be too hard on yourself for not buying a real pastry bag. There is always next time.

 

Fix your mistakes by eating them, food safety be damned.*

* Please note that I am not actually recommending you eat foods that contain raw egg whites. I am simply stating that I did this in a moment of desperation. Ok, several moments of desperation.

Experiment with different sizes and shapes … on purpose, of course. While your macaroons sit/bake, you make the ganache.

Oh My Ganache

The ganache was really good. I actually doubled the recipe as an Epicurious commenter suggested, but the original recipe was right and now I have all this extra ganache sitting in the fridge. I am not sure whether to eat it as is or to make more macaroons. Thoughts?

My ganache was made with Belgian bittersweet chocolate chips …

… which blended beautifully in with the cream.

I fought my impulse to quadruple the butter …

.. and the ganache turned out really well!

A few of my cookies did crack … but at least they tasted really good!

Some turned out more round …

… and some looked really traditional!

I think I am going to try this again on Tuesday, with less fear and a real pastry bag. I *know* I can get them perfect.

… wait, is this how addictions are born?

Related posts:

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  2. Eleven Things
  3. Super Easy Mushroom Soup

18 comments

1 Hangry Pants { 11.08.10 at 9:31 am }

They look great!

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2 Victoria (District Chocoholic) { 11.08.10 at 9:38 am }

I vote for making truffles out of the extra ganache. Very nice work.

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Alina Reply:

That’s an interesting idea! Do you know an easy recipe? Something for me to research for sure…

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Victoria (District Chocoholic) Reply:

Just take your ganache, roll it into balls, and cover in either melted chocolate or cocoa powder. At the end of this post http://districtchocoholic.blogspot.com/2010/08/adventures-with-chocolate-in-kitchen.html
I have some info about dipping in chocolate.

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3 S @ extremebalance.net/blog { 11.08.10 at 10:26 am }

Impressed! Well done, Alina—my first attempt was considerably more pathetic.

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Alina Reply:

Thank you! I feel like I maybe discovered a secret talent or something Can’t wait to eat more when I get home!

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4 Michele @ Healthy Cultivations { 11.08.10 at 10:47 am }

These look so tasty, and I love the colors.

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Alina Reply:

Thank you! I was a little bit surprised that so much of the pink disappeared after baking.

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5 charlotte { 11.08.10 at 11:04 am }

Those look delish!! You may have just inspired me to give them a try too. (Although I also would have to use a ziploc baggie for a pastry bag…)

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Alina Reply:

If I can do it, you can too!
You know, my technique with the ziploc baggie did get better over time. I just think it requires more skill without the metal tip.

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6 Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather { 11.08.10 at 11:09 am }

So cute! I love creamy ganache - you did a great job!

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Alina Reply:

This ganache recipe is good on its own too. I was licking the spoon

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7 Joslyn @ missfitbliss { 11.08.10 at 12:11 pm }

Girl! That was a serious undertaking! I love the pic of you with the pastry bag. You look so determined!

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Alina Reply:

Thanks - I was concentrating really hard! There was no going back.

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8 Julie @SavvyEats { 11.08.10 at 12:25 pm }

They look SO great! I’m making mine this afternoon…nervous!

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Alina Reply:

Good luck! You can do it!!

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9 Who Tried Something New? | Hangry Pants { 11.09.10 at 8:54 am }

[...] Alina: Macaroons with Chocolate Raspberry Ganache [...]

10 Evan Thomas { 11.09.10 at 5:57 pm }

Awesome, awesome job!
And I will find any excuse to make ganache

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