Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Pistachio Macaroons with Chocolate Ganache

I attempted to make french macaroons this weekend. Attempt is the operative word here. I must say that I was overall really satisfied with the result! The only thing is that this is a labor of love and takes a really long time....These were not as puffy as some macaroons I've seen, but pretty darn close!! They actually tasted quite similar to the ones I ate from Paris In A Cup. Honestly though, I don't have a true standard to compare it to since I've never tried macaroons more than twice (my first experience was at Bouley, which I don't remember it well other than that I loved the taste and my second experience was at Paris In A Cup...

Okay, so the hard part of making french macaroons, which i mentioned in my earlier post, is that there are SOOO many versions of the recipes out there with each person convinced that their method would result in the most successful macaroon. This just resulted in more confusion por mwa...Anyways, so I sort of melded various versions, which maybe wasn't the best idea, but nonetheless, they turned out pretty good anyway. My family enjoyed it, although they could have been just appeasing me. haha!

My main inspiration was from a modified version of Tartelette's Pistachio Macaroons, adapted from Stephanie Glacier. 

The night before, I cracked three egg whites. I initially was going to leave them out overnight like many recommend. (I read that there are supposed to be antibacterial properties of egg whites? i don't know about that...) Well, after about 1 hour, I became nervous and thought gross! So then I put it into the fridge. 

The following morning, I became a little ball-sy and decided to take out the egg whites again and leave it out till I was going to bake it. 

Later in the afternoon, I created the green colored sugar with:
25g granulated sugar (approximately 1/4 cup) with 2 drops of green coloring and 1 drop of yellow coloring. I then whisked very vigorously, breaking up the clumps of colored sugar...It ended up creating this nice light green color. Awesome!!!

I then ground in my food processor approximately a little bigger than 1/2 cup of the Trader Joe's raw whole pistachios, 1/2 cup of the Trader Joe's almond meal, 2 cups of powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. (It was supposed to be 2 cups + 3.5 tablespoons of powdered sugar but I ran out of it...oh well. its too sweet in my opinion anyways. Annnd, the vanilla extract amount was random..I was too lazy to look up how much to put in, but i did read that adding vanilla to the mixture can help minimize the oil leakage from the nuts??). Looking back, I feel like there was quite a bit of pistachio oil leakage...Not sure how to rectify that...

I added the 3 egg whites to my mixer and whipped till fluffy, while slowly adding in my green colored sugar. All the recipes said to mix the eggs until glossy or shiny. I was having a little difficulty appreciating the shiny texture...So i whipped for quite a while...and thought, ok, maybe this is what shiny is supposed to be. (It reminded me of shaving cream...). I maay have overwhipped my egg whites?? Anyways, I then folded in the nut/powdered sugar...Counting the strokes...About 50 times. 

Then I filled the pastry bag (Wilton's decorator bag's 12 inch, #12 tip, coupler) with batter. Piped them onto a silpat (that is onto of a cookie sheet) with about 1 inch diameters, which spread into larger circles and let them rest for 30-40 minutes to develop a firm shell. (Some said 20, some said up to 2 hours). I also put the other half on parchment, which was kind of difficult to remove after baking, although I did use a wet warm towel underneath which helped the removal. Silpat, WAAAY better. 

Then I preheated the oven to 315 degrees. When i guessed the oven was at 315 degrees, I then put the silpat on a baking sheet, onto ANOTHER baking sheet since all recipes called for putting it on a double cookie sheet to help with more even cooking. I put it into the oven and stared into the oven intently. I watched them rise (yay!)..but it ended being only a little rise (BOOO!). I then saw the little "feet" grow (YEEES!!! I clapped happily. A sign of successful macaroons!!). Timed it for 10 minutes at 315.  I cracked the oven open and saw...slightly yellow tops. Oops...probably baked too long. So I pulled them out, although I was intending to bake them for a total of 12-15 minutes as the recipe had mentioned. Maybe my oven should be at a lower temperature? I don't know. So, I was excited that there was a hard shell and little feet, but...alas, they were a little flatter than the pictures. Buggers. I let them rest for only a few minutes and tried to quickly remove them from the sheet onto a plate. Unfortunately, many broken macaroons....

After the little macaroons cooled, I made a filling. I was originally going to use a white chocolate ganache, but decided to make the chocolate ganache instead because I felt like the macaroons were a bit too sweet already (but yummy!!!). The chocolate ganache is made of a semi-sweet chocolate. I had already ground another 1/4 cup of pistachios. Heated 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream just until a boil. Added it to 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips and 2 tbsp room temp butter. Whisked away and then added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. After this cooled (in fridge), i smeared a macaroon with the chocolate ganache and topped it with another macaroon! 

Voila! Crispy shell, chewy inside with a wonderful flavor of pistachios, filled with a semi sweet chocolate ganache. Success! Will try other flavors in the future and hopefully learn some more techniques with some more reading... 


GarlicBOSS said...

nice blend of flavors

Anonymous said...

Bring the oven temperature to around 300'F, and they will look better. The ones you made have protruding feet because the temperature is too hot :)

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