This month’s MacTweet Challenge is a good one. We’ve been asked to recreate one of our favorite desserts as a macaron. What to do…what to do. Lemon Meringue Pie…no. Banana Whipped Cream Cake…another no. Creme Brulee…definitely no. S’mores…been done. German Chocolate Cake…bingo!
This and Strawberry Whipped Cream Roll are the two big birthday requests in my house. The more I thought about it the more perfect I knew GCK would be for this challenge. Who doesn’t love the rich, creamy coconut filling and those luscious chocolate layers? I knew I could make a macaroon just as good. Would you believe that I googled German Chocolate Cake Macarons and NOTHING came up. Any recipe I’ve ever searched for has had at least a million sources. Sugar cookies alone bring up 4,750,000 sites FYI. Maybe I’ve hit on something new. Wouldn’t that be fun. So here you are, ladies and gentlemen, at the threshold of a new discovery. The big questions is…will you like it?
My favorite chocolate macaron recipe is one I found at Barbara Bakes. Barbara is the person who built up my confidence enough to try making what seemed like an impossibly difficult dessert that I first tried almost two years ago when I was in Paris. It took three tries before those elusive little feet and nice domed tops appeared and even now, after making macarons many times, I still get a big smile and a happy heart when I pull a baking sheet of macarons out of the oven. If you haven’t tried making them I urge you to do so. It may take a time or two to get the feel of what the batter should look like when you are ready to pipe it onto the pans but it is well worth the effort. I made a template that I use that helps me pipe all the macs the same size and you can find the directions HEREfor how to make one for yourself.
Chocolate Macarons…from The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz at Barbara Bakes
1 cup (100 g) powdered sugar
1/2 cup powdered almonds (50 g) (I used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour)
2 large egg whites (75 g), aged 1 to 3 days at room temperature
5 tablespoons (65 g) granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. (In my oven this was too hot so I lowered the temperature to 300 degrees)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2 inch, 2 cm) ready. If you set the pastry bag in a glass it’s much easier to fill.
Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond flour and cocoa so there are no lumps. Use a food processor since purchased almond meal isn’t quite fine enough.
In the bowl of an 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 in 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).
Pipe the batter onto the parchment-lined sheets in 1 inch (3cm) circles, evenly spaced 3 cm apart. Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons. Sprinkle the tops of half of the macarons with finely chopped pecans when you pipe them. The nuts won’t stick to the dough after it forms a skin. Let them set at room temperature for about an hour until they form a skin that doesn’t stick to you finger when you touch them.
Bake for anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes depending on your oven. It’s trial and error until you find the temperature and baking time that work for you. Let macs cool and then carefully remove them from the baking sheet.
Coconut Pecan Filling
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
4 eggs yolks, slightly beaten
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 7-ounce package flaked coconut, chopped
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
Mix milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks and vanilla in a large saucepan. Cook on medium heat for 15-18 minutes or until mixture thickens and turns a light golden brown, stirring constantly. The mixture won’t be thick enough to spread and will thicken up after the coconut is added.
Add coconut and mix well. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate to a consistency that will hold its shape. Makes about 4 cups. Fill macarons and refrigerate.
This filling is delicious as a frosting for cupcakes.
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My friend, Marie, at Proud Italian Cook has written a new ebook of her treasured Italian sauce recipes. This is a must in every cook’s kitchen . Click this link to view her cookbook and to add it to your own library.
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TO BE PARISIAN IS NOT TO BE BORN IN PARIS, BUT TO BE REBORN THERE - Sacha Guitry