Of all the weeks for me to decide I wanted macarons, this week probably wasn’t the best! But with six egg whites sitting in the fridge begging to be turned into macarons (left over from Josh’s dragon fruit ice cream, which needed egg yolks only), I had to squeeze them in somehow. I originally wanted to make birthday cake macarons (with lots of sprinkles!), but Josh had made a coffee extract a few months ago that I hadn’t used yet in anything. So mocha macarons it is!
Usually it takes me about three hours to make macarons from prep to the last pan coming out of the oven, so today, I decided to see if I could make macarons in less than three hours. It didn’t happen. I took about 30 minutes to prep around 11:15 and then came back into the kitchen around 2 PM to finish. I wasn’t finished baking until 4:30 PM. So I guess it just isn’t possible to get 81 macaron shells baked in less than 3 hours. The only thing I can think of that would have helped is baking more than one pan at a time, which I would be afraid to do in my oven and the recipe does say to bake only one pan at a time.
I will say that splitting prep time (which consisted of tracing out the circles on 3 sheets of parchment paper, weighing out the ingredients that needed to be weighed, and setting out the egg whites to come to room temperature) and the baking time made the whole process a lot less stressful for me. I may have to make that my usual method.
As usual, I used my favorite recipe for macarons, using the Italian meringue method, and then adjusted the flavoring as I wanted.
After splitting the egg whites, I added 1 Tablespoon of Josh’s coffee extract to the egg whites that are mixed into the sifted confectioners’ sugar and almond flour. Later, during the mixing of the Italian meringue into the almond flour mixture, I felt like the batter needed more “coffee” flavor, mostly because of the scent. I couldn’t really smell the coffee, so I thought it might be difficult to taste if I could not smell it in the batter. Into the batter went a packet of Starbucks instant coffee. I’m not sure yet if it helped any since the finished macarons are in the fridge and we shouldn’t eat any until tomorrow… shouldn’t. I’m not sure if I will be able to wait that long though!
Once I got the mixture to the “lava” stage, it was ready for piping. Piping is probably my favorite part. I am so glad for large baking sheets because otherwise, baking would have taken even longer than it did!
For the filling, I made a simple chocolate ganache. I was tempted to add coffee extract to it, but I wanted to share the macarons with my kids. I also don’t want my kids jumping off the walls.
Is there anything yummier than chocolate chips melted with very hot heavy cream and then stirred together until it’s chocolatey goo? For this ganache, I used 16 fluid ounces (according to the measuring cup) of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup of heavy cream that I heated until steamy on the stovetop. Was it too much? No, I don’t think we will have any problems eating leftover ganache!
I had a little helper while I was assembling the macarons. My youngest, my baby girl, handed me macaron shells to fill. As a reward, she got to try the 1 shell left that didn’t have a top. Of course, I smeared some ganache on it! Since she wanted more, I guess they were good. I did notice a gap in the shell between the outer and inner layer. I don’t think that is usually there. I will see tomorrow if they all are like that.
All my kids were pretty excited that I was making macarons. Fortunately, they are used to waiting a day to try them!
And as usual, I had fun making these even though they take quite a while! I know that we will have even more fun eating them!
P.S. I am sorry about the inconsistency of my pictures. I had to take my pictures at night and the lighting in our kitchen is not the greatest.
Update! These macarons are a big hit, even with my kids. They ask me if they can have one after lunch ever since I made them. Most of them do have the gap between the shell and the interior, but they still taste great. I actually thought the shell might be a little too crispy. Since there is no complaining from anyone else, I’ll just count this as a macaron win. 🙂