Tuesday, September 18, 2012
coffee nutella macarons
i think i've really perfected my macarons recipe. yes, i'm super proud of myself. there are no longer any hollow shells or cracked/broken bottoms. and the cookies don't really stick to the parchment paper like they used to anymore. of course occasionally i get a few mini sticks here or there taking them off the sheet, but for the most part they come off just fine. i'm just so glad that after many, many trial-and-errors that i think i've gotten it down. i'm sure there will be future batches where it may not be 100% perfect, but for the most part will do just fine.
so what did i do differently these last few times? ummm... first off, not a whole lot. everything else is still pretty much the same, the only difference is my confectioner's sugar and almond flour ratio is now 1:3/4 instead of 2:1. before i used to do 2 parts sugar, 1 part almond flour, but now it's 1 part sugar and 3/4 part almond flour. for some reason the extra almond flour added has really allow the cookie to not have any hollow/air pockets and cook evenly.
now, did i measure (weigh) all my ingredients precisely? i have to admit, i don't always measure/weigh everything. most of the time i eyeball all my ingredients. i know, it's not the conventional way one should bake because sometimes one little thing off and you can totally screw up a recipe (yes, i've done that plenty of times, like adding too much cornstarch when making pastry cream!). but somehow with macarons, now that i've made them a bunch of times, i feel like i know exactly what's enough, etc. of course i still use a measuring cup to measure my dry ingredients, but the ingredients aren't always leveled. yes, terrible, i know! so if you're just starting out or have been baking for a long time you still shouldn't do what i do unless you don't mind the outcomes. anyway, these macarons turned out great and i'm so happy because i absolutely love coffee nutella macarons. it sure beats paying $1.75-2 for one tiny cookie. ;)
piped macaron batter, resting waiting for skin to form before heading into the oven
macaron shells out of the oven and cooling
another view of these yummy coffee nutella macaron shells. the feet look great!
putting together these delicious coffee nutella french macarons
aren't they just scrumptious?
if you'd like to make some of these delicious cute little sandwich cookies yourself, i say david lebovitz's got a pretty decent french macaron recipe for anyone who wants to try a different recipe or make them for the first time. although i must say i think my mini adjustment to it makes it so much better. i'd love to share it, but i haven't put it all down and finalized it yet. when i do have the recipe all made up and ready to share, i will be sure to post it on here. i can't wait to see if you guys feel the same way as me, because it does make these cookies so much better! :)
here's the recipe at last! enjoy and let me know how yours turn out if you do make them! :)
Coffee Nutella Macarons
recipe adapted from David Lebovitz
1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar
3/4 cup almond meal (about 3 ounces or 75 grams)
2 tablespoons instant espresso
more instant espresso for macaron shell topping (optional)
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar
1 Jar of Nutella (you won't need the whole jar! just enough)
Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
Sift together the powdered sugar, almond meal and 2 tablespoons of espresso so there are no lumps (usually I just use a fork to break any large lumps). If your almond meal isn't so fine, you can put the ingredients into a blender or food processor to make it finer. Personally, I'd just use the sifter and dump out any remaining crumbs that didn't make it through the sifting process.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer (or if you prefer, you can use a bowl and hand mixer), beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1.35-inch (3.5 cm) circles evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart. Quickly after it's piped, sprinkle a few espresso powder over each shell (this step is optional, personally I do it because I like how the macarons look once they're baked).
Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons. Then let it sit for at least 30-60 minutes depending on humidity (okay, I've done it with just 15 minutes before and they turned out fine, but whatever you do, do not skip this step; even at just 15 minutes) before baking them in the oven, 15-17 minutes (I typically bake mine on the middle rack). Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
To assemble: Before assembling these cookies, make sure to pair up all the cookie shells so they are as close as possible in size. Then using a knife, spread a good amount of Nutella on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together. (You can pipe the filling it if you prefer less mess. I personally sometimes can't be bother to go through the hassle of putting my filling in a bag and cleaning up after it.)
Let them stand at least one day (keep them refrigerated) before serving (serve at room temperature), to meld the flavors. Or if you can't wait to dig in and eat, I say wait a few hours, at least! (Shhhh, I've eaten them newly assembled too, and they taste just as yummy. Just a little crunchy, but that's okay. hehehe). But really, for the best optimal flavor and taste, you must wait at least one day. They really are THAT good and worth the wait!
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Makes about 16-20 cookies. Enjoy and happy eating! :)
Note: I typically just bake mine for 15 minutes (middle rack in the oven) and they turn out fine. But yours may be different as all oven temperatures vary so letting them bake the full 17 minutes may be fine. I say set your timer for 15 minutes and add on from there. Regarding the sitting time, I've baked plenty of macarons with just having the piped batter sit for 15 minutes while the oven heats up because I don't always preheat my oven as the first step and they turn out fine too. You'll find it that once you've made these a few times, you'll get the system down. Good luck!