Macarons with Raspberry Ganache

by FoodBabbles on February 1, 2012

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Ahhh, the mystical macaron. They’re all the rage right now. Truly! I’m sure you’ve heard of them and perhaps tried them. If not… You must!  Macarons are a sweet meringue-based confection that’s made from egg whites, sugar and almonds. These little cookies then sandwich buttercream, jams or ganache. They have the reputation for being notoriously hard to make for most people.

They’re just about the cutest thing out there! They have a smooth, domed top with a little ruffle around the very bottom which is known as the “feet.” This is usually one of the areas where people get hung up… They have no feet. The other area where people get hung up is that they have a tendency to crack. I encountered each and every issue while experiencing my first macaron attempt.

I meticulously researched perfect macaron making. I went to the website, Bravetart since Stella is someone I know to be a macaron master so I trusted her information 100%. On her site you will find several macaron making myths as well as commandments to live by. I found both of these posts to be incredibly helpful. However, despite reading them and re-reading them prior to even starting, I still hit several macaron-making pitfalls.

I made 6 different batches of cookies. Seriously. That’s a lot of macarons… Close to 80 to be exact!! Sadly the majority of them were a gigantic, glaring failure. I suppose I should have expected that for my first time but I honestly went into this project with such optimism. I was going to totally ROCK those macarons! I even told Mike I was going to make two different variations. Talk about cocky optimism. Needless to say, I did not rock the macarons and I’m lucky I turned out one semi-pathetic variation.

You’ll notice these macarons have no feet however, they didn’t completely crack so that was a plus in my book. They still tasted magnificent!

With my first batch of macarons, I noticed a fissure across an entire row. I immediately knew what had occurred and realized that potentially many of my other macarons were doomed to the same cracked fate. I remember reading that if a rogue strand of meringue didn’t get incorporated during macaronage, but did get scooped up into my pastry bag this would result in a continuous crack across several rows of macarons. Great. Batches 1 and 2, down the tubes.

The next batch all collapsed on top of themselves. Have I mentioned yet that none of these cracked and pathetic macarons had feet? Not a one! Talk about feeling defeated. I literally, sat in front of my oven watching batch after batch. I sat there just watching as the horror unfolded time and time again.

Finally, as I watched my last batch of macarons bake expecting to see them crack upon themselves into hollow little shells of what should have been cute little French cookies, I saw them emerge… Could it be? Yes!! It was! Feet!! After spending all day making batches of meringue and folding in almond flour and confectioners’ sugar only to have the same hopeless results time after time, I had FEET!!!! Now, these cookies are still lopsided, the domes are not smooth and I seriously need to work on my piping skills but these suckers have feet so that is progress! I couldn’t have been happier.

These don’t have smooth domes but they have FEET!!!

So in the end, these macarons aren’t perfection but let me tell you, they taste damn good and they have feet so I’m calling this a success for sure. I now have a new goal in life and that is to come back to revisit another macaron in the near future to get those cute little smooth domes with no cracks and then I am going to truly rock the macarons but for now, I’m eating these and loving every bite.

The delicate outside crust yields a chewy inside that melds with a raspberry ganache that is pure heaven and I didn’t have to go to a fancy bakery to get them. I’m feeling a little proud of myself right now.

So,  hope you’ll be joining us again next month as we try making eclairs! If you aren’t already a part of First On The First, feel free to drop me a line and start joining in on the fun. We’d love to have you!

Enjoy!

~K

PS… As mentioned above, I intend to now master the macaron. The only way to get better at something is to practice, practice, practice. That is why you will be seeing monthly macarons! All sorts of them! I just found out about MacTweets which is a monthly themed macaron challenge. I can’t wait to try my hand at making more macarons and also getting creative with flavors and colors. It’s going to be such fun!

Macarons with Raspberry Ganache 

You can find the recipe for making the macaron shells HERE.

Print This Recipe Print This RecipeRaspberry Ganache 

6 ounces high-quality, semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

1/8 teaspoon raspberry extract

– In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt together the chocolate and cream.

– Once melted, remove from heat. Add the butter and raspberry extract, stirring until all the butter has melted.

– Allow ganache to cool completely to room temperature and thicken a bit.

– Assemble your cookies by placing about a quarter-size amount of ganache on one macaron shell. Very gently top with second macaron shell using a twisting motion until ganache meets the edge of the cookie.

– Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Cookies are best when eaten 24 hours later. Allow the cookies to come to room temperature before eating.

– Enjoy!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Avital Greenbaum (@sliceonutrition) February 1, 2012 at 8:56 am

At least you got some height on those domes- mine were kinda flat. Excited for eclairs next month!

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FoodBabbles February 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Ooo! Yes! I don’t even know what is involved in making eclairs but I can’t wait to find out 🙂

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Carrie @ poet in the pantry February 1, 2012 at 9:08 am

I couldn’t wait to read about yours, and now I’m glad I did! Yup, that’s a success in my book!! How did I not know about MacTweets? I may need to find the time to do that. I definitely need some practice.

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FoodBabbles February 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I read about it on Mardi’s (eat.live.travel.write) site since she’s all about the macs… and she makes beautiful ones!! That’s how she got better, by joining up with them. Hope you join in too! That would be such fun.

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Deanna Segrave-Daly (@tspbasil) February 1, 2012 at 9:31 am

Wow – loved reading all the details especially since my blog partner, Serena, took on the macaroon challenge this month. I had no idea the level of difficulty but judging by your photos, I’d say you did rock this challenge (plus they just sound divine.) Looking forward to eclairs next month!

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FoodBabbles February 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Thanks Deanna! I can’t wait to try them again. So dangerously delicious! And yes, I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone’s eclairs.

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Anna @ hiddenponies February 1, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Nice work, and what dedication!! If my first two batches had flopped I would’ve called it a day I think 🙂 I’m definitely trying your filling next time, that sounds amazing!

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FoodBabbles February 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Thanks Anna! Hope you like the filling… I couldn’t stop eating them! I had to give them away 🙂

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Donna @ What the Dog Ate February 2, 2012 at 12:22 am

Those look so pretty. Congrats on not giving up. I’m going to make another batch this weekend for my mother’s birthday and use your raspberry filling. Yum!

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FoodBabbles February 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Hope you enjoy it Donna!! It was a hit here.

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monica February 2, 2012 at 6:51 am

that is impressive!!! I love macarons. I go all over NY/Brooklyn to find them. La Maisson du chocolat in short hills have them, not my favorite but will do..you will be broke and fat after eating like 3. I was waiting for a macaron blog from you!!!

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FoodBabbles February 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Ooo! I’ll have to check out La Maisson du chocolat since I’m in Jersey that’s not far. And I’m ok with being broke and fat for macarons 😉 They’re SO good!

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Princess Polkadot February 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I think they’re fabulous, and I think I’m going to start practicing more, too. Maybe I’ll see you at MacTweets!!

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FoodBabbles February 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm

That would be great!! Between #baketogether, #FirstOnTheFirst and MacTweets we’ll be baking together all over the place!

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Julia {The Roasted Root} February 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Ah jeez, I STILL have not made a single macaroon. Yours look delicious and thanks for the ganache-making tips. When I finally do try these out, I will follow your instructions to the T, as I always have problems melting chocolate 😉

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FoodBabbles February 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Thanks! The macarons are definitely something I want to do more of and soon! They’re my new challenge in life and this ganache is ridiculously good.

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