Confession: My macaron making game has been off recently.
So off that other than some of the lemon macarons I made to give the crew at my physical therapy clinic, I haven’t made them since last July.
I had tried developing a new recipe using some seasonal Oregon berries and it did not go well. At all. Like one big, giant mess. So I hopelessly gave up. I don’t want to call myself a quitter, so I’m going to say I went on a self-imposed macaron hiatus. That sounds much better.
Okay, maybe it doesn’t sound better but it makes me feel better so that’s what we’re gonna go with.
The good news is, this hiatus is officially over!
We’re doing “heart-shaped” foods for our weekly dinner party this week. One of my friends might have a gluten allergy so she’s going gluten-free for a month to determine whether or not she is. Most things I bake are full of gluten, but fortunately for us, macarons are gluten-free and 100% delicious!
I wasn’t quite ready to tackle trying my own macaron recipe again, so I did some googling and found Ladurée’s world-famous macaron recipe. I haven’t been to Paris and had these cute little guys, but I’ve heard nothing but good things so I decided to try making them myself.
I may have squealed when I pulled the first sheet out of the oven. They were perfect pink little shells with the cutest feet you could possibly think of.
I didn’t actually pipe them in a heart shape because I just wanted to make sure they actually came out how they were supposed to but after piping I did put some little heart sprinkles on them.
I paired them with a chocolate-strawberry ganache which is pretty much to die for. You’re going to have extra ganache. Freeze it for later, put it on a cake, eat it off a spoon. No judgment here.
These little guys will be perfect for sharing with your Valentine, a group of friends or just eating by yourself. It does make a lot though, so be sure to not overindulge. Macarons are too good to eat so many you never want to see them again.
Hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day weekend, I know I will 🙂
Chocolate Strawberry Macarons:
Shells (Recipe from Ladurée):
- 275g (2 3/4 cups + 1 tbsp) almond flour
- 250g (2 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp) confectioners’ sugar
- 210g (6) egg whites
- 210g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) sugar
- Few drops red food colouring gel
Chocolate Strawberry Ganache:
- 200g dark chocolate (chips or chopped)
- 1 box fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Combine almond flour and confectioners’ sugar in a food processor and blend thoroughly. Sift to remove any lumps.
- In a large, clean, dry mixing bowl, beat your egg whites until foamy and then slowly add sugar, beating on medium speed. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase speed to medium high and beat until a thick glossy meringue forms. Add food colouring and beat briefly to combine (your mixture should form stiff peaks).
- With a large, flat rubber spatula, fold 1/3 of almond flour/confectioners’ sugar mixture into egg whites until combined. Repeat until all of the almond mixture has been added. Fold to combine until you see no streaks of almond flour in the batter.
- Pipe cookies onto parchment or silicone lined baking sheets (if adding sprinkles/decorations, do it now), and allow to sit 10-15 minutes before baking.
- While sitting, preheat oven to 300°F with a rack placed in the lower third of your oven. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 15-17 minutes (I had to do 17 minutes). Allow cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.
- Once cool, pair up shells and fill with ganache. Sandwich together.
- Hull and puree the strawberries. Pour puree through a strainer to get rid of any seeds.
- Place puree and cream into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth.
- Let cool to room temperature, or cover & refrigerate until ganache is at a piping consistency. Fill piping bag with ganache and pipe onto one half of each macaron pair.