Chambord Macarons & White Russian
We recently moved and I'm officially settled in! Woohoo! I got very stressed about the move and took a little break from blogging, but now I'm feeling inspired again. Btw, anyone else recently buy a house? It's about the most stressful experience ever. Glad it's over.
Anyway, with a new house comes new appliances. Well, some newer than others. We replaced the fridge, dishwasher and washer and dryer, but not the oven. It's electric and my husband is set on switching it out with gas and getting a fancy range hood. He's still working out all the details for that but in the mean time I decided to test out the one we have with a batch of macarons.
I have a confession, I completely failed at making a lot of batches of macarons at the old house. No matter what I did they tended to flop. I tried so many recipes. My oven thermometer told me the oven was 50 degrees cooler but upping the temperature 50 degrees to compensate didn't seem to make a difference so then I thought maybe the thermometer was broken. Nothing worked. I thought I was a macaron failure.
So in an effort to reinspire myself and get my baking confidence back up, I broke in our "new" oven with a batch. Low and behold! I got my best macarons yet! I'm not a macaron failure after all! So if you're having issues no matter what you do, maybe have someone out to take a look at your oven. It may not be you.
Now onto the macarons, these babies have a Chambord ganache filling. If you don't know what Chambord is, you've been missing out. It's raspberry liquor that is absolutely delicious. I just made my normal ganache and added 30 grams of the good stuff to give it a little raspberry boozy flavor.
While on my Chambord kick, I figured I might play around with adding it to my husband's favorite cocktail, the White Russian. I realize my only other cocktail recipe was a White Russian... I promise to move on to something else next time, maybe I'll doctor my favorite, the Amaretto Sour.
CHAMBORD WHITE RUSSIAN
2 ounces vodka
1.5 ounces Chambord
1.5 ounces Chocolate Liqueur
2 ounces heavy cream
MACARON SHELL INGREDIENTS
This is the Italian method, if you want to give the French macaron method a go, Nutmeg & Honeybee has a great recipe.
150 grams almond flour
150 grams powdered sugar
110 grams egg whites, divided
55 grams water
165 grams granulated sugar
gel food coloring, I used rose
CHAMBORD GANACHE INGREDIENTS
227 grams dark chocolate
115 grams heavy cream
30 grams Chambord
MACARON SHELL INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Trace 5cm circles onto parchment paper and place onto a cookie sheet, making sure the side with the pen/pencil markings is on the bottom so it doesn't touch the batter. Or use a silicone mat that is already marked.
Sift together almond flour powdered sugar to make your tant pour tant. Add 55 grams of egg whites to your tant pour tant and mix together with a stiff spatula until you get a paste.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the other half the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Once that is achieved, turn the mixer down to low and let that run while you make your syrup.
In small, heavy bottomed pot, heat your sugar and water on med-high until it reaches 244 degrees F. Make sure you do not stir the mixture while it is heating.
Once it reaches the desired temperature, turn the mixer on high and slowly pour the syrup in. Let this run for about 5 minutes, or unil the bowl feels cool and the egg whites are glossy and smooth.
Add the gel food coloring and one-third of the meringue to the paste and mix just until combined. Make sure when you add in your gel food coloring you make it a few shades darker. It's going to lighten after you mix in the rest of the meringue and bake the macarons. Do not use liquid food coloring, it will thin out your batter.
Then mix half of the meringue that's left over until just combined. When mixing the last bit of meringue, continuing mixing until the consistency is like molten lava. It should drop off the spatula.
Put your batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large piping tip. Pipe your batter out onto your prepared sheet into the center of each circle. Each one should be 10 grams. I put my cookie sheet on my scale to make it easy. Once your cookies are all piped out, drop the pan onto the counter a few times to get some bubbles out and flatten them out a little. I also tend to take a toothpick and smooth out any tips.
Set out until they go matte and when you touch them they dent instead of sticking to your finger, about 15-30 minutes. While waiting, make the Chambord Ganache (see recipe below).
Once your shells are ready, bake for 9-12 minutes. You'll know they're done when they're able to pop off the mat/parchment.
Match up your cookies with ones that are the same shape and size and pipe a little bit of Chambord Ganache onto one side. Gently twist and press together.
Place in fridge for at least 8 hours. Bring to room temperature before enjoying.
CHAMBORD GANACHE INSTRUCTIONS
Chop the dark chocolate finely and place in a bowl. Heat the heavy cream until boiling and pour over the chocolate. Don't stir! Cover with plastic wrap, or put a lid on the bowl, and let sit for 2 minutes.
Add in Chambord and stir until combined. Note, if not all the pieces of melted chocolate are melted after you've stirred it, then place the bowl over a pot of boiling water and stir until smooth.
Place in fridge to set. You want to make sure it's really firm so it doesn't squish out the side of your macarons.