Raspberry Chocolate French Macarons

makes 2 dozen cookies

For the Meringue

200 grams confectioners' sugar

110 grams almonds, blanched, sliced, slivered or ground

3 extra large egg whites (90-100 g), left uncovered in the refrigerator for  up to three days

Pinch of kosher salt

35 grams of granulated sugar

Pink food coloring, powdered or gel

For the Filling

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon raspberry extract

Line two large baking sheets with a silicone mat or silicone coated parchment paper; set aside

In the bowl of a food processor, process the almonds and confectioners' sugar together until finely ground, about 2-3 minutes.  If using powdered food coloring, add it at this time; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the whites and salt on medium speed until foamy.  With the motor running, gradually add the granulated sugar, then increase speed to high and continue to beat until the whites hold soft, glossy peaks.  If using gel food coloring, fold it in at this time.  Using a runner spatula, fold in the almond mixture until it is thick and sticky.  When it is ready, the batter should drop from the spatula in a smooth molten mass. This will take about 1 minute or 50 strokes.

Spoon the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (Ateco #808), pressing out excess air.  Twist the bag firmly just above the batter, then pipe 1 1/2-inch diameter rounds onto the prepared sheets, about 24 per sheet.  Tap the bottom of the baking sheets sharply, once, on the work surface to release any large air bubbles. Let the cookies stand, uncovered, at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky and a light crust has formed, at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.

Meanwhile, place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 295° F.

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the tops are crisp and the bottoms dry, about 16 minutes.  Cool completely on racks.

For the Filling

Add the chocolate and butter to a medium bowl.  In a small saucepan, heat the cream just until it comes to a simmer.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to rest for five minutes.  Stir the chocolate until the mixture is smooth.  Stir in the raspberry extract.  Let stand at room temperature until cooled completely and thickened. 

To Assemble Cookies

Carefully flip the cookies over on the baking sheets (they will be fragile) and partner them up in size.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round tip with the ganache and pipe or spoon kisses of ganache onto half of the cookie bottoms.  Sandwich the cookie halves together.  Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to one month. Allow the cookies to come to room temperature before serving.  Enjoy!  

Printed from thegalleygourmet.net