I had baked some Chocolat Macaroons, recipe adapted from Pierre Herme's Chocolate Desserts:
140gm finely ground almond powder
250gm confectioners' sugar
25gm dutch processed cocoa powder
100gm egg whites
1. Line two large insulated baking sheets with parchment paper, or line two regular baking sheets and put each one on tops of another baking sheet. Fit a large pastry bag with a plain 1cm or 1.5cm tip. Set these aside for the moment.
2. If you've got almond powder, just sift it with theconfectioners' sugar and cocoa. If you're starting with almond, place the almonds, sugar and cocoa in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until the mixture is as fine as flour, at least 3 minutes. Stop after every minute to check your progress and to scrape down the sides of the bowl.This si not a quick on-and-off operation. Although the almonds may look as thought they're pulverized after a minute or so, they won't be: The nuts really need 3 to 5 minutes to ground to powder or flour. When the almonds are ground, using a wooden sppon, press the mixture through a medium strainer.
3. For this recipe to succeed, you need 100gm of egg whites, which means using 3 large egg whites plus part of a fourth white. The easiest way to get a portion of a white is to put the white into a cup, beat it lightly with a fork and then measure out what you need. Once the eggs are measured, they need to be brought to room temperature so they can be beaten to their fullest volume. You can leave the whites on the counter until they reach room temperature, or you can put them into a microwave-safe bowl and place them in a microwave oven set on lowest power; heat he whites for about 10seconds. Stir the whites and containue to heat them - still on lowest power - in 5 second spurs until they are about 23C. If they're a little warmer, that's okay. To keep the eggs warm, run the mixer bowl under hot water. Dry the bowl well, pour the whites into the bowl and fit the mixer with whisk attachment.
4. Beat the egg whites at low to medium speed until they are white and foamy. Turn the speed and supple - when you lift the whisk, the whites should form a peak that droops just a little. Leave the whites in the mixer should form a peak that droops just a little. Leave the whites in the mixer bowl ot transfer them to a large bowl and working with a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients gently into the whiotes in three or four additions. It will seem like a lot of dry ingredients to go into a relatively small amount of whites, but keep folding and you'll get everything in. Don't worry if the whites deflate and the batter looks a little funny - that's just what 's supposed to happen. When all the dry ingredients are incorporated, the mixture will look like a cake batter, if you lift a little with your finger, it should from a gentle, quickly falling peak.
5. Spoon the batter into the pastry bag and pipe it out onto the prepared baking sheets ( to keep each sheet of paper steady, "glue" it down by iping a bit of batter at each corner of the baking sheet): Pipe the batterinto rounds about 2.5cm in diameter, leavingabout 2.5cm betweeneach round. When you've piped out all the macaroons, lift each baking sheet with both hands and then bang it down on the counter. Don't be afraid - you need to get the air out of the batter. Set the baking sheets aside at room temperature for 15minutes while you preheat the oven.
6. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 220C.
7. You should bake these one pan at a time, so dust the tops of the macaroons one pan with cocoa powder and slide one of the sheets into the oven. As soon as the baking sheet is in the oven, turn the temperature sown to 180C and insert the handle of a wooden spoon into the oven to keep the door slightly ajar. Bake the macaroons for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are smoooth and just firm to the touch. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and turn the oven heat back up to 220C.
To remove the macaroons from the parchment - they should be removed as soon as they come from the oven - you will need to create moisture unde the cookies. Carefully loosen the parchment at four corners and lifting the paper at one corner, pour a little hot water under the paper onto the baking sheet. The water may bubble and steam, so make sure your face and hands are out of the way. Move the parchment around ot tilt the baking sheet so that the parchmentis evenly dampened. Allow the macaroons to remainon the parchment, soaking up the moisture, for about 15seconds, then peel the macaroons of the paper and place them on a cooling rack.
8 When the oven is at the right temperature, repeat with the second sheet of macaoons. Remove from the patchment as directed above and let cool.
For the ganache:
For each sandwhich, pipe a dollop of a ganache about 1.5 cm across on the flat side of one cookie and top with another cookie, flatside down, using it to spread the ganache so that it runs to the edge. Transfer the filled macaroons to covered container and place them in the refrigerator to soften overnight before serving.
Big Boys Oven