Chocolate Macarons

It is almost impossible to get some exercise in this town.  Even if you truly want to, there is always an enticing lazy solution lurking around the corner just begging you to take the easy way out .

Just this morning I scanned my to do list for today:
  1. Buy groceries
  2. Pick up prescription
  3. Hem Pants
  4. Mani/Pedi
  5. Work Out

The groceries and meds were delivered within half an hour of ordering them.  The tailor came over, took my measurements and promised to return my pants the next day. The salon sent the beautician to do my nails while my baby napped. At least I had to physically move and go to Studio Fitness to exercise.  But just then I checked my email to find an in-home personal trainer offer from Groupon. And you know which option I picked!

My list was done and I felt I didn’t actually do any work. So, I decided to make some chocolate macarons.Even though they are pretty easy to make, with all the steps and fiddling they are rather labour intensive. So,  I  jumped at the opportunity since I figured this was the only workout I was going to get today!
P.S. Since this is Dubai and there is always an easier option available,  rather than making these macarons yourself you can just catch me at Bakefest Dxb on November 26 at Wild Peeta and  eat them there!!


MACARONS AU CHOCOLAT

Recipe by: Lori Longbotham in Lucious Chocolate Desserts

INGREDIENTS:

For the cookies:
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
1  3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
For the filling:
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

PREPARATION:

1. To make the cookies for the chocolate macaroons, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Pulse the almonds with 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add the cocoa powder and the remaining 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and pulse until well blended.

3. Beat the egg whites with the salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large bowl just until the whites form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Add the granulated sugar and beat just until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. With a whisk or a rubber spatula, gently fold in the almond mixture.

4. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe out 1-inch-diameter mounds about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the tops are cracked and appear dry but the macaroons are still slightly soft to the touch.

5. Transfer the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to barely dampened kitchen towels and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully peel the paper off the macaroons and transfer to wire racks to cool completely. (The macaroons can be made 1 day in advance and stored in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container.)

Make the filling:

6. Bring the cream just to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Add the chocolate and butter and whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate covered, for at least 30 minutes, or until the filling is firm enough to hold its shape when spread.

Assemble the macaroons:

7. If desired, transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe the filling, or spread it with a table knife, generously on the flat side of half of the macaroons. Top with the remaining macaroons, flat side down, pressing together gently to form sandwiches. (The macaroons can be stored in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)
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