Calling these macarons chocolate dipped strawberry macarons was culminated from what you could call a failure..but drizzling or dipping macarons in chocolate was an amazing idea waiting to happen!
So. I’ve lost my macaron mojo. I don’t know if it’s temporary or permanent, but my cocky macaron assurance has left the building. When I finally mastered these little babies last October, I was jubilant! I bragged all over creation about how every batch turned out perfect; beautiful feet and shells as smooth as a baby’s butt. I waxed on and on about possibly starting a ‘mac a month’ entry on my blog. I joined up with Deeba and Jamie’s monthly MacTweets- Attack. and I even bought almond meal in bulk since I was most definitely going to be using it A LOT now that I’d mastered macarons!
Well, I’ve been using it alright, but the bitches turned on me.
Every attempt at macarons the past 2 months has been met with complete failure. The thing is, I already know they’re going to fail before I put them in the oven. It’s a batter failure..either too thick or too loose; it’s always one or the other . The perfect magma-like consistency has abandoned me.
I’ve changed nothing. I age my egg whites anywhere from 24-48 hours, sometimes longer, and all the dry ingredients are weighed on my newly calibrated scale which is rarely, if ever, off. I truly believe the macaron gods are teaching me a little lesson in humility here, as in don’t overstep your boundaries with these chicks. Make them the center of attention rather than bragging about your sudden amazing ability to turn out pan after pan of supermodels every.single.time. They need exclusive adoration to thrive. Oh, and don’t call them bitches. I think that’s what did me in.
These chocolate dipped strawberry macarons are my third, yep count ’em, third attempt this month. Last month I had to skip it altogether because four tries didn’t turn out. On the third try this month, only 8 shells turned out ‘passable’ (translation – one good side to photograph).
However, I wasn’t going to miss this month’s Valentine Mac Attack, so I soldiered on and decided to make the most of those eight shells. Did I mention that the powdered red food coloring didn’t work either? No idea why, but I ended up with dull, mauve shells, so I air brushed the bitches (there I go again) red. Back to gel paste and drying the tant pour tant, if the macarons gods will give me another chance.
Since beauty wasn’t going to be an option this month, I decided to load these babies with chocolate. inside-out. I needed to disguise the imperfections and what better way to do it than with drizzles of chocolate? Chocolate dipped strawberries scream Valentine’s Day to me (well, if I had my way, they’d scream every day to me!).
Okay, so here’s what I did: I air brushed them red (because my red powdered food color was bluffin’), drizzled tons of white and dark chocolate over the cooled shells, then filled them with 1) Strawberry Dark Chocolate Ganache and 2) Strawberry Mascarpone Cream. Let me tell you, these were super duper tasty, and you know the old adage, beauty is in the eye..well mouth in this case, of the beholder. They may not be beautiful, but their edibility factor is smokin’ hot.
That said, a friend pointed out the similarities between my macaron shells and Eddie Van Halen’s favorite guitar. I suppose there is a resemblance. Now I can say that these chocolate dipped strawberry macarons ‘rock’. I hate that word, but it fits.
So, for this Valentine’s Day, why not Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Macarons instead of the usual chocolate dipped strawberry bonanza? I’m sure you’ll have better luck than me, as long as you don’t call them bitches.
Now on to the winner of my first giveaway! I used random.org and subtracted my 3 comments plus one of two posts from someone, leaving me with a lucky number between 1-43. As you can see above, the number 2 turned up, and that corrresponds with the lovely Diva of Beach Eats! Congrats, Diva! Send your address to email@example.com, and I’ll get it right in the mail. Finally, Lauren of Celiac Teen did a wonderful thing (and an amazing job – she worked so hard on this!). She gathered a bunch of bloggers and asked we donate recipes (87 recipes, by 71 food bloggers, from the comfort of our homes and hearts,) so she could create the below ebook for purchase, all proceeds donated to the victims of the Earthquake in Haiti. Click on the photo below and grab a copy of your own, knowing all the to.die.for yummies you make from this book will be helping so many people!
Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Macarons
Recipe verbatim from Helene of Tartelette
90 grams egg whites (about 3)
30 grams granulated sugar
200 grams powdered sugar
110 grams almonds
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. Place the powdered sugar and almonds in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. 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 falls back on itself after counting to 10. 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.
2. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 280F. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 15 to 20 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. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer. To fill: pipe or spoon about 1 big tablespoon of butterceam in the center of one shell and top with another one.
Strawberry-Dark Chocolate Ganache
6 ounces dark chocolate (about 1 cup chopped)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup strawberry preserves or jam, OR *reduced strawberry puree
2 tablespoons (1 oz) butter, cubed and softened
1. Chop the chocolate into small, even pieces and place it in a medium heat-safe bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring it to a simmer, but do not allow it to boil.
2. Once the cream is simmering, pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Gently whisk it together until the chocolate melts and you have a smooth, shiny chocolate liquid–this is your ganache. Add the softened butter and the strawberry preserves, jam or puree and whisk until they are incorporated. Press a layer of clingwrap on top of the ganache and chill until it is firm enough to pipe.
1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup strawberry preserves or jam, or *reduced strawberry puree
1. In a bowl with an electric beater combine the mascarpone cheese, strawberry preserves, jam or puree until uniform in color. Pipe onto macaron shells and sandwich with another.
*For both fillings, if using the reduced strawberry puree in lieu of the preserves or jam, add 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, depending on how sweet you like it.
Drizzle sandwiched macarons with melted white and dark chocolate.