Friday, July 15, 2011

DIY Chocolate

making choolate macarons Part 2 of Quel désastre Granted they look right. They taste GREAT! But...
making choolate macarons
This time I got the measuring and mixing of the almond batter right (sort of).
making choolate macarons The Macaronage I screwed up first go-round reached the 'MAGMA' (Tartelette's description) stage nicely I thought...making choolate macarons First time macaronage was too liquidy...
making choolate macarons I used M. Mercotte's trick (Also Jill's) of using a clothes pin to close off the pastry bag tip to prevent leakage when filling with the 'magma'. (Watch her video in French - the Eng. one doesn't work - you'll get it anyway). And I found my lovely Parisian special scraper - it was stuck to the bottom of the almond flour bag in the fridge.

Go figure :)
making choolate macarons Rick asked, "Where is BEAR?"
making choolate macarons BEAR was busy testing out the 'skin' of the piped macs after 30 minutes.

Voila! Tout va bien.
making choolate macarons Inside the oven after 10 minutes = I got Feettttttttttt!


making choolate macarons *A neat trick I found in the comments of the recipe I followed in the Huffington Post for these chocolate macarons - put them onto a rack and stick inside the freezer for 5-10 minutes. They practically pop off the parchment paper! Yahoo.
making choolate macarons And look!

Beautiful flat bottoms and shiny tops!

I forgot to taste though...uh oh

making choolate macaronsRegarding the ganache filling. This I found the easiest step. I looked at a lot of recipes and then improvised.

Basic proportions: 1/3 cup boiled heavy cream to 1 bar of 3.50 gr of dark chocolate is standard, plus throw in 1 tbsp of softened UNsalted butter at the end for a glossy look. I used SALTED butter to cut the sweetness and extra lashings of salt + 1 lash of Ceylon cinnamon to give some mystery. I planned on using McCormick's Extract of Raspberry but when I saw the Red Dye #40 I got their Almond Extract instead. Also I used a bar of Perugina dark chocolate w/ almonds bar for more almondy hints. Once it's chopped up fine in the Cuisineart you won't bite on any chunks of almond - so not to worry. I would love to try an infusion next time...making choolate macarons Looks good no? Tasted even better. By the way I softened the chopped up chocolate bar in the microwave at 20 second on low heat 5-6 x. Worked like a dream and less pots to clean. The ganache will easily resoften after taken out of the fridge and left at room temperature for a bit. Can I freeze it though? So much leftovers...

making choolate macarons Still looking very good and they taste yummy. I had 4 for breakfast, but...

I baked my meringue cookies TOO LONG!

25 minutes in MY oven is just too long and I forgot to taste them once they were cool :(

So in the end I made a really nice HARD cookie, but not a merinque.

Was it from overbaking?

Was it from overbeating?

Was it from NOT 'aging' the egg whites as some will tell you?

The mystery continues until I get back from Maine.

Will I solve this conundrum?
I must!

Remember there's still 5 pounds of almond flour in my fridge.

By the way I used Valrhona cocoa in with the almond flour and lashings of salt to cut the cookies sweetness. Je le deteste the overly sweet macarons I find here.

Just my 2 cents.

Stay tuned dear PBers and I LOVE all your helpful hints!



  1. Oooh, this looks so lovely! You make me hungry...

  2. Justine10:19 AM

    BRAVO for the step-by-steps!
    Yr doing all the work for us and sving us Beaucoup Quel desastres

  3. They are looking good! They are probably just overbaked a bit. Keep up the excellent work and enjoy your time away.

  4. You're getting there... can see you opening a macaron shop in NYC yet!

  5. Anonymous10:48 AM

    King Arthur Flour Baking Company used to have flavored oils that were meant specifically for flavoring chocolate. One year, I got the raspberry oil and still use it for my chocolate truffles. A little goes a long way. Check with them for ordering really good flavorings. I just hope they still carry them. Cheers, Stephan

  6. I'm used to vicariously traveling through you, but vicariously baking is just as fun! :-)

  7. Wonderful experimenting! Lovely results!

  8. Anonymous10:59 AM

    I'm impressed.

  9. My fav extracts are made by FRONTIER.
    I get them at the local health
    food stores.
    No alcohol.
    Just wonderful flavor, especially the Vanille!

    Wonderful blogs about les macarons.


  10. You can freeze the leftover ganache - as you would say: bien sur!
    Won't the overbaked cookies softten up after 24 hours of sitting and absorbing the filling's moisture?

  11. belle reussite you true maven of macarons!

  12. You're getting so good..Feet and all..and all this before Maine..One daughter left today..w/ her family..the other goes in August.
    I love Maine..Enjoy.

  13. You are a Wonder Woman!
    Amazing feat. I only wished I could steal a macaron or two. Right now. ;-)

    I have the same bowl scraper, got it from my mom.
    They are also great for scraping sticky things from the countertops without scratching.

    A wonderful trip to Maine!

  14. oh they look so yummy!!!

  15. Anonymous1:25 PM

    My hat off to you. I wouldn't have the patients to make these. :)

  16. Congrats! These look great! I'd even try one!! And so glad Bear is helping too!

  17. Looks delicious despite the over-baking issue. Chocolate is chocolate! I am heading down to Vegas in less than 2 weeks - Jean-Phillipe's Patisserie chocolate shop. I will share any goodies I find. His cakes, chocolates and macarons are delicious. I may come back a couple pounds heavier as his shop is in my hotel :S

    The Wanderfull Traveler

  18. Well they look good. You will get the knack eventually. Have fun in Maine. Look forward to the post from there.

  19. stjulienlepauvre5:27 PM

    Oh, this is bringing on homemade chocolate baking cravings (running to kitchen to make brownies which will have to do until I'm brave enough to try to copy your macarons). Yum.

  20. Jean-Phillipe's Patisserie
    ! ! ! !
    OMG I would love to go there Murissa
    Worth every calorie I bet.

  21. Looks wonderful, Carol!
    I'm glad that you are getting the hang of it.
    I'm a chocolate nut, so maybe that is why this post looks so good - I can't relate to the green and pink macarons as much as I can to these!
    They look delicious - have a great time in Maine!

  22. Carol, I cannot overstate my admiration for your courage in doing this baking research in mid-July!

    Triple wow and a bravo on top to you.

    I would also direct your attention to page 147 of the August Vogue. I will say no more for now.



  23. Anonymous9:49 PM

    Oh Carol, I think you are the bravest BRAVO - practise does make perfect as they say x

  24. I don't know why but I am thinking with a side of ice cream ... yum.

  25. I have made these cookies but always ended up with meringue peaks. I must have whipped the egg whites too long and too hard. Your pictures give me impetus to try again, less aggresively.

  26. Carol, Yum!! They certainly look great, and the super cook that yoou are, I am sure you will get them perfect!


    Art by Karena

    Come over and enter my giceaway, a very special painting!

  27. They do look fantastic- which is the hard part. You can sort out minor timing issues easily I'm sure.

  28. Congrats on your macarons! They look delicieux! I have yet to try and make some, but after seeing your 'step by step' I am feeling a little inspirée! Merci!!

  29. Great improvement there Carol!

  30. Macarons are so much fun. I make them all the time now so just warning you--they are addicting.

  31. Merci pour le link and for the gorgeous step by step pictures. I just got home from Paris where I made sure to eat at least one macaron a day. Now I just need to bring Paris home to me by trying your recipe at home.

  32. Oh, Carol, it's amazing!!!Well done! Your macarons are beautiful!!! Congratulations!!! Kisses and hugs!!

  33. I am still at the stage of collecting recipes and information on how to make these precious goodies. The more I read the more I get the feeling - this is not easy. Anyways I am following your endeavours closely and love your watercolours. congrats on your publication in vogue even if they didn't credit you. We all know.
    Greetz from Germany

  34. Christine11:10 AM

    I have been reading your blog for a couple of years and enjoy all the French pastries posted, particularly macaroons. Finally, after a long time I visited Laduree in NYC and tasted these delectable treats! I am officially addicted! Keep posting about macaroons.


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