…tasty bites to stimulate your taste buds..

Posts tagged ‘Paris’

French Macarons with Chocolate Ganache Filling

I have waited months to reattempt this recipe.  The first time I had French macarons was at Cocola Bakery in San Jose when I was cake tasting for my wedding and saw how beautiful they look in the display.  Macarons in the U.S. pale in comparison to the ones in France.  While we were honeymooning in Paris, we stopped by the famous Laduree bakery and tried their macarons.  They were amazing.  Laduree had just about any combination you can think of.  We thought about bringing some back for our families but still had 5 days of travel before heading home.

Macarons are known as temperamental cookies and require a lot of patience.  I forgot how many failures I had.  The first time I made them, the mixture was runny and the macarons did not rise.  Another time, the oven was too hot and they all cracked.  My friend, Amy, came over for our poker party and gave me her macaron recipe and some awesome tips.  I followed Amy’s recommendation and did not age my egg whites.  Some recipes call for aging them in the fridge for up to 5 days, but I left my egg whites at room temp for a few hours.  After piping the macarons, I let them sit for 45-60 minutes to harden their shells.  I preheated the oven at 350˚F, and then turned the heat to 280˚F for baking to minimize overheating.  Everyone’s oven is different so you have to find your magic temperature.  I was so happy when I caught a glimpse of the macarons with their beautiful FEET through the oven.  FEET equal success.  I was jumping for joy!  Finally, after many attempts, the macarons came out perfect.  Hopefully, these tips will send you in the right direction on your macaron adventure.

Ingredients

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup almond flour (just ground almond)
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate
½ cup heavy cream

Directions

Pulse powdered sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times which helps the macarons have smooth tops.

Beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy.  Add sugar gradually and beat on high speed until stiff (when you upside down the bowl, nothing falls).

Sift flour over mixture, and fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites in three stages (don’t push down on eggs), continuing to fold until a ribbon forms.

Transfer batter to a ziplock bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Let stand at room temperature for 45-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and reduce oven temperature to 280 degrees. Bake until macarons are crisp and firm, and you see feet forming.  This should take about 10-12 minutes.

Let macarons cool on for 2 to 3 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack.  If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.

For the chocolate ganache filling, melt the chocolate and heavy cream in a double broiler, stirring occasionally until well blended.  Let the ganache cool to room temp.

Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 tsp of chocolate ganache.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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Crepes with Mascarpone and Rhubarb Raspberry Filling

Crepe is one of my all time favorite desserts.  Crepes are very thin pancakes originating from Brittany, France.  Back in the old days, crepes are made with buckwheat flour.  Today, there are many adaptations making the possibilities endless.  You can prepare a savory variation by adding fresh vegetables and herbs, cheese, seafood, or meat as breakfast or even a main entrée. To satisfy your sweet tooth, you can prepare different fillings with seasonal fruits and sauces, and pair with ice cream, or not.  When we were in Paris, crepe stands were at every corner and we ended up having crepes daily, a much cheaper alternative to expensive bistros.  This is my first time making crepes so bear with me.

Crepes

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tbsps melted butter
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
butter for coating the pan

Filling

4 oz of mascarpone cheese
4 oz of rhubarb raspberry jam (or your favorite jam)
fresh raspberries, whip cream, and powdered sugar for garnish

Directions

Using a mixer, blend all the ingredients together.  Press the batter through a sieve to remove any lump.  Refrigerate for 1 hour to reduce the bubbles which prevents the crepes from tearing during cooking.

Heat a small non-stick pan on low heat with butter to coat.  Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly.

Cook for 30 seconds or until golden and flip.  These crepes are paper thin so be careful not to tear them.  Lay them out flat on paperlined plate to remove any excess butter.

Spread mascarpone cheese and jam on half of crepe.  Fold the crepe into a quarter.

Serve with fresh raspberries and whip cream.  Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.  Bon appetit!

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