Milk Chocolate Macarons!

What is a more classic flavor than chocolate?! I’ll answer that one for you, nothing! Well…..maybe vanilla? This was my third attempt at making chocolate flavored macaron shells and….I guess the third time really is a charm! The first time was…tragic…tragic…we try not to speak of it. The second time was much much better but still odd. I was simply adding some Hershey’s cocoa powder to my normal macaron mix….and it was making the shells….weird. They were fine in the oven but when I took them out they…wrinkled? Not cracked…but wrinkled. Really odd. Maybe it wasn’t the chocolate? Maybe I just had bad luck the times I tried chocolate?

Anyway, I made these for an….ORDER! My FIRST order! 100 Macarons 50ish chocolate 50ish strawberry. It was an all around learning experience. By the time I am finished it will have taken me almost a whole day to fulfill this order….It’s a lot more work than I thought! I am so happy though to be making my first order. Honestly, I was TERRIFIED that they would all come out horrible and inedible and just…a mess. But they came out PERFECT! Also I think I discovered some tricks. For one I based this off the Pierre Hermé bitter chocolate macaron recipe. He says to bake them at around 350°F and for 12 minutes and I found that the temperature works MUCH better for me and I increased the time to 14 minutes and I think this is the golden temperature and time for Italian meringue macarons!

Also I think studying French has rubbed off on me….maybe it is my 1/3 French heritage? (French, Irish and English) But I was at Target and saw a book on woopie pies and…they look so….unrefined…so barbaric! Lol macarons are much more sophisticated as far as cookie sandwiches go 🙂 Macarons have more of a…je ne sais quoi! I need to try a woopie pie though before I judge. Honestly they are probably delicious. Macarons just are more my style. I like complicated, detailed, complex things. Macarons are more me.

So I am more of a milk chocolate kinda guy. Bitter chocolate is….bitter. Why am I eating chocolate if it is bitter? Explain me that. So here’s my adaption of the bitter chocolate recipe. Next time I think I will sift cocoa powder on top of the shells. That would be CUTE!

One of my French teachers, who is also from France, told me I should definitely pursue this and try to go to pastry school. I really think this is what I should do. It is a direction and I need direction. Honestly I have been going through a really rough time in my life. Things have been very…difficult. Macarons and pastries in general are fun for me to make. I know I need to slow down on the baking because it has been out of hand! But it keeps me busy and I like doing it. Here’s the recipe 🙂

The Milk Chocolate Ganache

1) Bring the cream to a boil and then pour it in three parts over the milk chocolate chips, whisking the whole time.

2) Whisk the mixture together until homogenous and then add the butter and continue whisking until everything is thoroughly mixed.

3) Refrigerate the ganache until it is thick and creamy.

The Chocolate Macarons

1) Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and make sure not to seize the chocolate. Heat it slowly until melted.

2) Mix the almond flour and powdered sugar together and sift into a large mixing bowl. Divide the egg whites into two 110 gram portions and mix one of these portions into the dry ingredients and mix together with the food coloring until you have a homogenous batter.

3) Pour the water and super-fine sugar together in a sauce pan and stir together. Then add the other 110 gram portion of egg whites to an empty mixing bowl. Cook the sugar-water syrup to 118°C. Once the syrup reaches around 110-115°C start whipping the egg whites on high until they form stiff peaks at which point the syrup should have reached 118°C. Carefully pour in a thin stream of the syrup to the egg whites while continuously beating them on high.

4) Continue to beat the meringue on high until the side of the bowl is no longer hot and the meringue is only mildly warm. Then add it to the mixture.

5) Use a large spatula to fold the meringue and almond/sugar mixture together until the mixture is completely smooth and homogenous, then add the melted chocolate. The mixture should shine, flow like “magma” and be able to form a ribbon that stays visible for 30 seconds.

6) Add the mixture to a piping bag and pipe the macarons onto parchment paper on an air bake baking sheet in around 1 to 1.5 inch circles. Set the macarons aside to crust for at least 30 minutes but I leave mine for an hour. If the room is humid then leave them to crust even longer. You should be able to touch the macaron and have it not be sticky and already forming a hard shell that doesn’t leave a finger print or indention. Also lightly tap the backing sheets to release and air bubbles or use a toothpick to pop them. Do this early though because if you wait too long the macarons will have already formed enough of a shell that when you pop the bubble, the batter wont smooth out to fill in the bubble.

7) While the macarons are drying preheat the oven to 350°F. Once the macarons are sufficiently dry bake them for around 14 minutes. Around 5-7 minutes into the baking process open the oven door to let the trapped steam escape and rotate the baking pans. The baking time depends on several things. If the macarons are too moist they will need extra time to bake. The bigger they are piped the longer they need to bake, smaller macarons bake faster. After around 14 minutes take the macarons out and let them sit on the baking tray for a few minutes and then slide the paper off the baking tray.

8) Let the macarons cool COMPLETELY before attempting to remove them. Otherwise they will break and then all that work was for nothing!

9) Once the macarons are completely cooled attempt to remove them from the parchment paper.
   
10) Once the macaron shells are dried and cool and your milk chocolate ganache is ready, you are ready to assemble the macarons! Place the milk chocolate ganache into a piping bag and pipe the fillings onto one shell and then twist the another shell on top! I pre divide all of my macaron shells in half that way I can distribute the ganache more evenly because I can more easily visualize exactly how much cream I have and how many shells I have to fill. Then refrigerate them for 24-48 hours and enjoy!

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