Haniela's: ~Chocolate Cherry Macarons -Italian Meringue Method~

Sunday, July 10, 2011

~Chocolate Cherry Macarons -Italian Meringue Method~


I'm officially calling this delightful confection the best food model ever. I love how macaron looks in the picture. Don't you? They can take on any color possible, everything seems to work for them.
You don't believe me? Just visit Tartelette's for the visual macaron tour and you understand what I mean.
~
Italian Meringue method for macaron making has been haunting  me for a very long time, probably since I learned about it. Some love it some don't; to me it simply  seemed so complicated and I always got lost while reading variety of  recipes, why does it have to be so complicated?
I hope you get the idea while following this recipe. I tried to break it up in steps so hopefully you won't have  to scratch your head while reading it.


Italian Meringue Macaron Shells

1.
Make the sugar syrup
and Italian Meringue
60grams fresh aged egg whites
1/2tsp cream of tartar
50grams water
150grams caster sugar

2.
Folding and Piping
 
60grams fresh aged egg whites
150grams finely ground almonds
150 grams powdered sugar
food coloring, if using


* Aging Egg Whites is really a crucial point when making French Macarons, You can get more air into old egg whites. In France, macaron pastry chefs never use brand-new eggs. Eggs are kept at room temperature; they keep them out for ...three days, also aged egg whites whip up much more stiffly that way and hold their shape better while baking.


Almond Flour
If you can't find almond flour, you can make your own. Simply blanch the almonds, remove the skin and process blanched almonds in the food processor or a blender. When using a blender, be patient, and process almonds in batches, sift each batch and process again, and sift. You want to get a fine texture
( one time I made a big mistake of leaving the almonds in the water too long and they absorbed too much liquid and basically I ruined them. If you feel that your almonds are little too wet, I suggest placing them in the oven a very low temperature to dry them)
 
1.
Make the sugar syrup
and Italian Meringue

kitchen tools you need
a medium size sauce pan
pastry brush, small bowl with water - for brushing the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystallizing
candy thermometer
Stand mixer or you could also use a hand held mixer, it can be done
Flexible spatula to fold the batter

In a medium size sauce pan combine   50 grams water and 150 grams granulated sugar, stir  until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil, don't stir after this point. Brush the inside with wet pastry brush, just above the liquid to prevent sugar crystallizing.Leave it alone, if needed brush it again. I usually  brush  it twice during the process
Insert a candy thermometer, without touching the bottom of the pan, and cook the syrup until it reaches soft ball stage 115C/ 240F.

Once the sugar syrup reaches about 110C/230F, in a bowl of standing mixer whip 60 grams fresh aged egg white with 1/2tsp cream or tartar until soft peaks are formed, slowly add cooked sugar syrup, be careful syrup is extremely how,   make sure you are pouring it down by the side of the bowl, not in the center of the bowl where the wire beater is.
Beat on medium high until meringue doubles in volume and  cools down to 50C/122F

2.
Folding

In the meantime while your Italian  meringue is beating, in a large bowl sift together 150 grams almond flour and  150 grams powdered sugar, repeat sifting one more time.
To the sifted almond flour-powdered sugar mixture add 60grams fresh aged egg whites. Stir gently until combined. *If you'd like you add food coloring to the mass at this point. 
At this point once your Italian meringue is cooled to recommended temperature you can  progressively add Italian Meringue to the almond flour mixture.First add about 1/3 of the meringue and using a wide flexible spatula fold the meringue in, using wide strokes, starting at the very bottom of the bowl, scraping the sides and folding, add the remaining meringue and continue folding. You are trying to achieve "lava" consistency of the batter. Make sure you don't stir, try not to over do it. Once you incorporated meringue into the dry mixture you can test for the consistency this can be done by using your spatula, starting at the very bottom of the bowl, slowly scrape, fold like you were trying to fold one half of the batter over another, creating a wave like shape, once the batter falls into the bowl and flattens you should be ready to go and process with the piping. There may be a slight peak, once you tap your bowl it will disappear.

Piping and Baking
150C/300F, 12-15 minutes
large pastry bag fitted with plain round tip

line your baking sheets with silicone mat or parchment paper and pipe even rounds.Let piped shells rest for about an hour or so, until "skin" forms, you can test this by lightly touching the tops of unbaked shells and if they are not sticky you are ready to go.
Bake shells at 150C/300F for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the oven.
Once baked remove from the oven and let cool.

Filling
1/2 cup heavy cream
1cup dark chocolate chips or finely chopped  good quality chocolate bar
1/4  cup finely chopped either dry cherries or drained  whole cherries from cherry preserve

Heat heavy cream until small bubbles start to form around the edges, pour hot cream over chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate. Let rest for 3 minutes, then stir with wooden spoon until you get thick shiny chocolate mixture.Stir in chopped cherries and let rest for several hours in the fridge or until spreadable consistency.

Sandwich Macarons
Fill the baked and cooled macaron shells with the filling; the most important part is to let the sandwiched macaron shells rest for several hours, best for 24 hours in the fridge.  Take the macarons from the fridge about 30 -60 minutes prior serving.

~♥~
Tip 
Junkie handmade projects


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