Because life’s too short to eat macaroons.
You’re confused. I get it. My phone and other snotty know-it-all devices persistently autocorrect ‘macaron’ to ‘macaroon’. My (former) editor and I nearly came to blows when she insisted on changing ‘macaron’ to ‘macaroon’ in my book draft. People regularly mispronounce the world’s most exquisite cookie to rhyme with ‘Brigadoon’.
My heart bleeds for all of you. I want to help. So here is a brief lesson on the differences between the two.
Macarons are made using almonds ground to magic powder by unicorns under a full moon. Each one is delicately tinted with fairy dust and flavored with angel kisses, puffed with morning zephyrs wafted over early fruits, and filled with sublimely complimentary delights. They are even better a day later, ready to dissolve on your tongue like love’s third kiss (since we all know those first two are full of fumbling and things bumping together that don’t quite match up).
Macaroons come from a Manischewitz tin and are made with blobs of dubiously dried coconut shreds. At some point in the distant past, your grandmother knew the secret to making these taste good, but that arcane knowledge is lost to us. Now the matriarch of your family will dump them on a plate and torture you with them at Passover. I’m so sorry.
If your unicorn hasn’t been vaccinated yet, and you can’t make it to Ladurée Paris, here’s the next best thing…
Macarons (Italian Meringue Method) from LeCuisine Paris
Makes 30-40 cookies
- 180g ground almonds
- 150g egg whites
- 270g powdered sugar
- food coloring of choice
- Sift the ground almonds into a mixing bowl.
- Measure the egg whites into a different clean mixer bowl.
- Using a whisk attachment, start whipping the egg whites on medium speed and start to slowly add the granulated sugar.
- Gradually increase speed, slowly add the powdered sugar and continue to whisk the whites until they form a glossy stiff meringue and the sugar is dissolved. Add the color and whisk just until combined.
- Carefully fold the ground almond into the meringue a little at a time and gently blend. Careful not to over mix.
- Put the mixture into a pastry bag. Put parchment paper on a baking sheet and form small rounds.
- Bake at 160ºC for about 12 minutes. Let cool on cooling rack and then remove from paper. The cookies should come off easily if they are cooked enough.
Filling (Dark or White Chocolate Ganache)
- 150g white or dark chocolate (64% cocoa content minimum for dark chocolate)
- 150g whipping cream
- 53g butter, room temp, cut into small cubes
- Espelette pepper (optional)
- Cut chocolate into small pieces if not already done.
- In a medium pan, bring whipping cream to a boil.
- Pour heated cream over chocolate, one third at a time, mixing on each occasion to ensure the mixture is smooth and homogenous. [optional: to really make the chocolate flavor pop, add a generous pinch of Espelette pepper.]
- Let the mixture cool a little before adding the butter. Incorporate the butter until smooth.
- Put ganache into piping bag. Refrigerate around 40 minutes or until texture is workable.
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