Is there ever a time when time doesn’t pass faster than it seems?
It’s been a almost a month since my holidays started. A whole month.
I know I always say time passes too quickly, but I can’t help it when I look at the calendar and it’s been another month but there’s still about 10 things that I was meant to do that month which I didn’t even get time to think about (for instance, blogging more than twice a month?).
Before I know it, it’ll be Christmas!
I feel like I should be doing more in preparation for Christmas since it’s my favourite time of the year- like listening to more Christmas songs, starting to make Christmas themed foods or going to more Christmas events. Instead, I’m spending my holidays doing what I normally do- going out with friends, baking (and blogging), watching TV and just relaxing. It’s quite busy actually!
Ever since the beginning of the holidays, there has not been a day when there has not been a bowl of left over egg whites, yolks or cream in the fridge. I’ll admit that I do tend to leave stuff in the fridge for longer than they should be in there (I don’t bake that much) but I am baking a bit more than usual, in hopes of catching up on my lack of baking this year and to get through my list of ‘to try’ recipes.
Like most bloggers, I usually attempt a recipe only once or twice, not because they don’t turn out great, but because I simply don’t have enough time, nor the stomach space, to try all the new recipes I want to and to make things over and over again. Macarons are something I’ve only attempted once, but they don’t completely fit in this category because the reason I haven’t made them again is not because I had other things to make, but rather, out of laziness (of having to age the egg whites and making almond meal) and fear of failure.
If anyone has been following my blog for long enough, you may remember that the last (and first) time I made macarons was a whole two years ago, when I first started this blog- a rather surprisingly successful attempt too, which I have always considered a fluke. I didn’t know what a macaron really was or how it was supposed to taste, so I had my second surprise when my sister bought me a macaron and we found it tasted exactly the same as the ones I’d made!
I’d expected my second attempt to be a failure, so I was surprised again, as they actually turned out macaron looking- I’m thinking it’s more because of the recipe than my ‘skills’ 😉 They’re far from perfect though, especially since they’re lumpy and not nice and round, due to my lack of piping bag and piping tip. But they still tasted great though, which is, of course, the most important thing!
Chocolate Macaron Recipe
The original recipe can be found here
3 egg whites (preferabbly ‘aged’ egg whites)
50 g granulated sugar
200 g icing mixture (minus 2 Tb)
2 Tb cocoa powder
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry and your macarons won’t work.
2. Combine the almonds, cocoa powder and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Pass through a sieve.
3. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like magma or a thick ribbon. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper baking sheets.
5. Preheat the oven to 300F. Let the macarons sit out for an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don’t let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Pipe or spoon some ganache on one shell and sandwich with another one.
1 cup milk chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
In a heavy saucepan over medium high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat, drop in the milk chocolate and let stand a couple of minutes. Gently stir the chocolate into the cream until smooth. Set aside until it cools down and thickens a bit (a trip to the fridge is ok)