We began our day with our usual chocolate tasting; all from the French company- Bonnat. Each of these chocolates demonstrates the terroir of tasting from Brazil.
- Vale do Juliana (75% cocoa): strong, tannic, dry cocoa and sour raspberry
- Kaori (75% cocoa): well balanced, sweetness, rich and smooth, caramel, cinnamon. Tastes similar to milk chocolate ***one of my favorites
- M. Libânio (75% cocoa): tart bright notes of red berry, nuttiness, smooth and long lasting finish
Today, I also presented my project on chocolate macarons. This project was very lengthy and difficult; however, the task of teaching myself a new skill was incredibly rewarding.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE MACARONS:
- 1 cup (125 gr) powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (50 gr) fine almond flour
- 3 tbsp (25 gr) cocoa powder (I used Hersheys)
- 2 large egg whites at room temperature (60-65 grams)
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 5 tbsp granulated sugar
FOR THE PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
- 4 oz (120 gr) semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 2 drops peppermint extract
FOR THE CHOCOLATE MACARONS:
- Preheat oven to 350 F (190 C).
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (alternatively use silpat for macarons).
- Sift together powdered sugar, cocoa powder and almond flour. Discard any large pieces.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until they begin to foam, for 1 minute.
- Slowly add sugar, beating on medium-high speed. Beat until stiff, for 3 minutes.
- Fold in the dry ingredients in two additions, using a rubber spatula. Fold so the mixture is smooth, not runny.
- Fill a pastry bag, fitted with 1/2 inch tip (or just cut the tip of the bag and do not use a piping tip) with the batter.
- Pipe batter into 1-inch circles, spaced at least 1 inch apart. Tap baking sheets on the counter a few times, to release any air bubbles.
- Let macarons sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour, so the tops are no longer glossy.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 F (160 C). Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheets for at least 15 minutes, then remove and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Try to match shells with the same size, so you can glue them together with the ganache later.
FOR THE GANACHE:
- In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream until it just begins to boil and remove immediately.
- Place chocolate in a bowl and pour hot cream on top. Add peppermint extract.
- Let it sit for 1 minute, then stir with a rubber spatula. Stir continuously, until mixture gets smooth. Let it cool completely in the fridge or at room temperature, before you use it.
- Pipe ganache onto one shell, then sandwich with another.
- Macarons taste best if refrigerated for at least 1 day, before serving.
I gathered recipes and techniques from a multitude of sources. However, the content that I used for my final presentation concerning the history and the differences between french macarons and coconut macaroons are displayed below:
“Macaron.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
“Macaron History: Francois Payard.” Mr Macaron. Everying macaron! N.p., n.d. Web 25 Jan. 2017. http://www.mrmacaron.com/history.html.
“The History of Macarons.” The History of Macarons. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2017. http://www.madmacnyc.com/history-of-macarons