This past year I have had a lot of time on my hands to develop skills I thought I never would have been interested in. I’ve come to find that I really love to bake (although our current house in California doesn’t have a dishwasher, which makes it more of a chore). Cookies are my absolute favorite to make because of their simplicity and deliciousness. I have made French macarons twice now, so they of course are far from perfect, being a tricky cookie to master. Yesterday, I made chocolate macaron cookies filled with a dark chocolate ganache. I couldn’t help but share the product of my labor!
If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have seen the various macaron recipes I have pinned the past couple days. I used THIS recipe for the cookies, and using ingredients I had on hand, did a little bit of research to come up with a ganache recipe that worked for me. This recipe measures ingredients by weight, which is preferable since the ratios of ingredients need to be very precise for macarons, but the first time I made macarons I used a recipe with volume measurements, and although they weren’t perfect (and many of them stuck to my parchment), I had several cookies that came out really well. If you don’t have a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients, search Pinterest for a recipe that will work for you!
If you’re not familiar with how to make ganache, it is really simple! It only uses two ingredients: chocolate and heavy cream. Generally it is best to use semi-sweet chocolate, but since I didn’t have any and didn’t want to make a special trip to the store, I substituted unsweetened baking chocolate. To add a touch of sweetness, while heating 1 cup of cream, I added 1 tbsp of granulated sugar for every 1 oz. of chocolate. I used 8 oz. of chocolate and the result was a very dark, bittersweet ganache. I wanted it a tad sweeter, so I ended up reheating the ganache and adding more, which made the texture lumpy instead of creamy-smooth. Don’t make the same mistake as me, taste your ganache before allowing it to cool completely!
After the cookies were sandwiched together and stored in the fridge overnight, the ganache has set up and the cookies are quite good. Believe it or not, macarons are BEST when they’re allowed to age in an air-tight container for anywhere between 24 hours up to a week. I have heard they also freeze well, but haven’t tried it. If you want to make macarons for a special event, be sure to plan ahead and bake them a few days in advance.
Thanks for reading, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my Saturday with Pat!