Sunday, December 23, 2018

Confessions of a Confectionista: Tiramisu Macarons

Ever since I made a vanilla and chocolate version of macarons several years ago, I've been both looking forward to and secretly dreading my next attempt at these cookies.  I love how delicious they are, so delicate and tender.  But that also means they're a giant pain in the butt to get from batter to eating without breaking or otherwise damaging them.  Several hours later, I can attest to the deliciousness that is tiramisu flavored macarons.  Worth. Every. Minute.

Tiramisu Macarons
Adapted from Confessions of a Confectionista blog

120 grams almond flour
200 grams confectioner’s sugar
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
90 grams egg whites (about 3 large eggs), at room temperature
50 grams granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

For the filling:
½ cup mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon Kahlua
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Finely grated chocolate (optional)

Add almond flour, powdered sugar, and instant espresso powder to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine and break apart any big lumps. Sift almond flour and sugar mixture into a clean bowl. Then, sift again. Discard any large pieces that do not pass through the sieve.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites until foamy. Add granulated sugar, salt, and cream of tartar and beat on medium speed for 5 to 10 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. The beaten egg whites should stick to the whisk when you remove it. Tap the whisk against the side of the bowl to release them into the bowl.

Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the egg whites. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites, until the batter is thick and lava-like. This should take about 70 to 80 folds. Do not overmix. The batter should slowly fall off your spatula when you pick it up and any peaks in the batter should settle down within 20 seconds.

Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe 1½-inch rounds onto the parchment paper. It is helpful to use a guide here, so all your macarons are the same size. Once all the rounds are piped out, slam the baking sheet against a flat stable surface, then rotate, and slam again. This is done to force any large air bubbles to the surface. Let the piped macarons dry on the countertop for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 290°F. Bake on the middle rack for 12 to 14 minutes. Oven temperature varies, so keep an eye on them. To check if they are done, touch the top of the macaron. If it wobbles, it's not done yet. Let cool completely on baking sheet.

To prepare filling, using an electric hand mixer, beat together mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, Kahlua, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.  Fold in grated chocolate, if using.

Match macarons up into pairs of similar sizes as best as you can. Pipe whipped cream filling onto the flat side of half of the macarons. Top them with the other half. Refrigerate in an airtight container overnight to let the flavors develop. Dust with cocoa powder before serving.

Makes 3 dozen small macarons

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