Spoil mom this Mother's Day with Macarons inspired by French Pastry Chef, Francois Payard. A 3rd generation pastry chef renowned for his Macarons, the traditional French pastry that combines crunchy meringue layers sandwiching a creamy ganache or fruit jam, Payard has created a DIY Macaron making kit. Making French Macarons can be a challenge but Payard's kit includes everything you need to make impressive Macarons at home, every time.
The fun thing about Macarons is that the flavor possibilities are endless. Over the years Payard has made just about every flavor combination you can think of, but when I reached out on twitter he admitted to liking raspberry the best. So I decided that was the flavor I would try. I used the basic raspberry ganache recipe that came with the kit but changed the white chocolate to dark. You could easily substitute your favorite raspberry jam for the ganache. Be forewarned, the recipe makes a lot of cookies, though that isn't a bad thing when it comes to Macarons.
***Enter below for a chance to win "A Very French Mother's Day Gift Set" which includes a Silpat Macaron making kit, a Le Creuset Tea for One Set and Bonne Maman fruit spreads. ***
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Macarons
(adapted from Payard)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 or 3 drops red food coloring
dark chocolate raspberry ganache
Preheat the oven to 400° and position racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large, wide bowl, using a large rubber spatula or a handheld electric mixer, mix the confectioners' sugar and the almond flour with 1 of the egg whites until evenly moistened.
In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with the water and bring to a boil; using a moistened pastry brush, wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Cook over high heat until the syrup reaches 240° on a candy thermometer.
In another large bowl, using clean, dry beaters, beat the remaining 2 egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer at high speed, carefully drizzle the hot sugar syrup over the whites and beat until firm and glossy. Beat in the food coloring until the meringue is bright pink.
Stir one-fourth of the meringue into the almond mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining meringue. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/2-inch tip; pipe onto the prepared baking sheets in 1 1/2-inch mounds, 1 inch apart. Tap the sheets and let dry for 15 minutes.
Transfer the meringues to the oven and immediately turn off the heat. Bake the meringues for 5 minutes. Turn the oven on to 400° again and bake the meringues for 8 minutes, until they are puffed and the tops are firm and glossy. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let cool completely. Peel the meringues off of the parchment paper.
Spoon the ganache into a small pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch tip. Alternatively, use a resealable sturdy plastic bag and snip off a corner. Pipe the filling onto the flat sides of half of the meringues. Top with the remaining meringues and serve.
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ganache
10.5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
5.25 ounces heavy cream
4.8 ounces fresh raspberries, chopped
Place chocolate in a bowl & set aside. Bring heavy cream and raspberries to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let infuse for 2 minutes.
Pour raspberry cream over dark chocolate and whisk until smooth. Let cool 2 hours or overnight.