Results tagged macarons from David Lebovitz

Macarons et Chocolat

A while back it was cannelés.

Those little eggy pastries baked with a cracky-crust, that everyone was going ga-ga over and just had to bring home the copper molds to make. (Hands up, folks. How many of you have ever used them?)

Then everyone moved on to macarons, dainty little “sandwiches”, made from two crispy almond meringues, with a layer of buttercream or jam in the middle.

macarons

So when I heard that pastry chef Arnaud Lahrer, who’s won the award for the best macaron in Paris, opened a shop devoted solely to macarons and chocolate, I put on my reporter hat and caught the métro up to the 18th arrondissement to taste them.

Of course, I couldn’t do it by myself, so I enlisted my friend Heather to come and help with this daunting task.

Continue Reading Macarons et Chocolat…

Exceptions Gourmandes-Philippe Conticini

Now that you’ve all seen everything I have in my kitchen, I thought I’d show you a place I just discovered this week not far from where all that pastry magic happens.

(And I’m sure a few of you remember where all the magic that doesn’t happen around here ends up.)

nougat

Someone chided me for having French Wine For Dummies on my bookshelf, but gave me a pass for having Rocco’s book. Hey, it was a gift from him.

What was I going to say?—No?

Continue Reading Exceptions Gourmandes-Philippe Conticini…

Recipes To Use Up Leftover Egg Whites

Often bakers and ice cream-lovers will find themselves with a few too many egg whites leftover. So what to do with all of them?

eggshells

It seems I always have a container in the refrigerator and more often than not, I make a big batch of Chocolate-Coconut Macaroons. One batch gets baked (and eaten) right away and I freeze the other half in a freezer bag, which is great to have on hand for emergencies.

Liquid egg whites can be frozen just as they are. I usually do it in a specific quantity, and label it as such, since there’s nothing more infuriating than needing 1 cup of egg whites and trying to chip that away from a frozen-solid block in the freezer. Some folks devote an ice cube tray to egg whites, slipping one in each indentation so they know exactly how many they have. Just so you know, one large egg white is about 2 tablespoons and weighs 25 grams.

Here’s some recipes of mine and from others that are great ways to use up leftover egg whites:

  • Chocolate Macarons
  • Angel Food Cake
  • Homemade Marshmallows
  • Financiers (Eggbeater)
  • Egg White Cake (Nami-Nami)
  • Chocolate-Coconut Macaroons
  • Pecan Meringue Cookies (Simply Recipes)
  • Chocolate Angel Food Cake (Serious Eats)

    meringues
  • Souffléd Egg White Balls with Red Bean Paste (Rasa Malaysia)

    Continue Reading Recipes To Use Up Leftover Egg Whites…

  • 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris

    Pain aux ceriales
    How about a pain aux cereales?

    Here’s my list of Ten Great Things To Eat in Paris, things I think you shouldn’t miss!

    Continue Reading 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris…

    Chocolate Macarons from Laduree, in Paris

    macaronchocolateladuree.jpg

    After the end of a long week: I renewed my Carte de Sejour, braved the hectic but incredibleMarché St. Pierre at the foot of Montmarte…and tried to get an answer about why after 10 days, I still don’t have internet access or cable tv.

    With all that stress, I felt it was an absolute necessity to visit Ladurée twice this week, especially since all my homemade chocolate macarons got wolfed down at a friend’s birthday party and I forgot to stash away a few for myself. I needed to get my fix…and I needed it fast.

    But sometimes life tosses the weak a life preserver, namely chocolate-covered macarons – where have they been all my life?

    Ladurée
    16, rue Royale
    75, avenue des Champs Elysées
    21, rue Bonaparte



    Links

    -Coming to Paris? Check out my Paris Pastry App, your guide to the best bakeries and chocolate shops of Paris. It’s also available as an e-book for Kindle, Android, and other devices.

    - Check out my recipe to make your own French chocolate macarons at home. Dipping in chocolate is optional…

    French Chocolate Macaron Recipe

    french chocolate macarons

    One of the most vexing tasks some bakers come across is making the perfect Parisian macaron, those ethereal little domes of almond meringue seen all over Paris, often filled with buttercream, ganache, or a fruity filling of jam. Although the original macaron didn’t have filling, but were simply fused together while warm.

    So I decided to create two recipes for chocolate macarons: one with an Armagnac-scented prune filling, and another with the a pure, dark chocolate filling.

    prunes on spoon

    Tender, picture-perfect macarons are not easy to make. Les Macarons are all about technique, rather than about just following a recipe. Armed with a good recipe, almost anyone can make a decent brownie. You just mix, pour, and bake. I’m also a firm believer in cultural divides; there are some foods from other cultures are best left to their home turf. I’ve never had a great Madeleine in America and if you’ve ever had a ‘croissan-wich’ in the US, you know what I mean.

    Using my anti-globalization stance as an excuse, I’ve never tackled macarons until I moved to France. But here I am and I have no excuse.

    I phoned my friend Rob who worked at Fauchon, and he warned that the batter for perfect macarons needs to be folded just-so. One extra fold, and it’s all over. Not enough, and you won’t get that little foot. And he also advised that the chocolate macarons were the most difficult of all to get right But since those are my favorite, I was determined to get them right, no matter how many batches I had to make.

    piped french chocolate macarons

    Curiously, many recipes warn to let the piped cookies sit for two hours before baking to develop a shell. Testing that theory, I baked one tray right away which rose nicely but didn’t have the perfect ‘foot’. Two hours later, I baked the second baking sheet, the same mixture, the only difference was letting it sit. The second batch rose and had a nice little ‘foot’ around each.

    I spoke with my friend from Fauchon again, who said, “Let them sit for a few hours? No way, we just popped those suckers in the oven right away.”

    So I tried another batch, baking them off as soon as I piped them out. This time the first batch had the perfect ‘foot’ and the second batch didn’t. Then I made yet another batch, where I tried rapping the baking sheet hard on the counter top to flatten the batter before baking, and that first batch looked great with little ‘feet’ but the second batch I baked later formed little domes.

    french chocolate macaron

    Determined, another batch followed. I took the advisement of Pierre Hermé who says to begin baking macarons at a very high temperature, then turn it down quickly. That caused all the macarons to crack (ouch!) which I knew could be alleviated by using double-baking sheets but I didn’t feel like trying it again and washing all those dishes.

    Anyhow, to make a long story short(er), here’s the successful recipe I came up with after seven tries, which are perfect. You can choose from either filling.

    Chocolate Macarons

    Makes about fifteen cookies

    Adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris (Broadway) by David Lebovitz

    Macaron Batter

    • 1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar
    • ½ cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized)
    • 3 tablespoons (25 gr) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
    • 5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar

    Chocolate Filling
    ½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream
    2 teaspoons light corn syrup
    4 ounces (120 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon (15 gr) butter, cut into small pieces

    Prune Filling
    15 medium prunes (pitted), about 5 ounces (150 gr) prunes
    2½ ounces (70 gr) best-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons Armagnac

    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.

    Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor since almond meal that you buy isn’t quite fine enough.

    In the bowl of a standing electric 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-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.

    Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.

    To make the prune filling:

    Cut the prunes into quarters and pour boiling water over them. Cover and let stand until the prunes are soft. Drain.

    Squeeze most of the excess water from prunes and pass through a food mill or food processor.

    Melt the milk chocolate and the Armagnac in a double boiler or microwave, stirring until smooth. Stir into the prune puree. Cool completely to room temperature (it will thicken when cool.)

    To make the chocolate filling:

    Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the corn syrup. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the pieces of butter. Let cool completely before using.

    spreadfillmacaronsparis.jpg

    Assembly

    Spread a bit of batter on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together. (You can pipe the filling it, but I prefer to spread it by hand; it’s more fun, I think.)

    I also tend to overfill them so you may or may not use all the filling.

    Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors.

    Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze. If you freeze them, defrost them in the unopened container, to avoid condensation which will make the macarons soggy.

    Recipe From:

    For further information, troubeshooting, and tips about making macarons, visit my post Making French Macarons.

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    The Cookie That I Couldn’t Eat

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    Ladurée

    Chocolate-Coconut Macarons (Recipe)

    Ladurée

    Ladurée makes what I consider the best macarons anywhere. And apparently so do many others: the four shops of Ladurée in Paris sell 12,000 macarons each day, over four million per year.

    macarons2.jpg

    Many Americans raise an eyebrow when confronted with their first French macaron, since macaroons in the US are normally chewy, egg white-based cookies heaped with shredded coconut. But both the French macaron and the American macaroon are based on the crisp Italian meringue cookies made of whipped egg whites, sugar, and ground almonds or bitter apricot kernels, called amaretti. However Ladurée gives credit to Pierre Desfontaines, a distant cousin of founder Louis Ernest Ladurée, who they claim first joined two disks of crisp macarons together with buttercream and ganache fillings in mini-sandwiches to create the now-classic Ladurée . But prior to Ladurée’s creation, the original French macaron had no filling; while still warm from the oven, macarons were joined together at their bases, fusing together as they cooled.

    Aside from taking credit for providing Paris with their now-legendary macarons and other sweet treats, the wife of Monsieur Ladurée decided soon after the original bakery opened in 1862 that she would open a the first salon de thé in Paris, where a woman could sit unescorted and not be considered ‘loose’. (My French dictionary doesn’t have a definition for ‘loose woman’…but if you come to Paris and want to see zaftig dames offering their services, take a stroll down the rue Blondel.)

    Recently, the macaron wars have been raging in Paris, as pâtissieres try to outdo each other by introducing wild and over-the-top flavors and outrageous packaging. Ladurée has of course entered the fray but with dignity and class, avoiding some of the silliness I’ve seen.

    Recently Ladurée macaron flavors include jet-black reglisse (licorice), herbaceous anis vert (anise), and the au courant flavor-combination-of-the-moment in Paris, citron vert-basilic (lime-basil).

    But to me, the there’s nothing better than the Ladurée classics: chocolat amer (bittersweet chocolate), dark café, and my absolute favorite, caramel-beurre-salé, a duo of almond-rich macaron cookies oozing smooth caramel…enriched with salted butter.

    Ladurée
    16, rue Royale
    Tel: 01 42 60 21 79
    Mètro: Madeleine or Concorde

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    Making French Macarons

    Sweet and Stinky

    My Paris

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    10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris

    I Love Macarons (Amazon)

    Ketchup Macaron Recipe


    French Chocolate Macaron Recipe