Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting Mindy of Creative Juice at a creative blogging conference in Utah. Mindy is an entertaining, food and party stylist who shares how to creatively entertain guests and children with recipes, DIY tutorials and more!
Not only is Mindy amazingly sweet and creative, but now with the recent release of her new book, Gourmet French Macarons, we can all make and eat macarons!
So what are macarons? These delicate almond-meringue based cookies have a soft crunchy outside and chewy inside filled with melt-in-your mouth ganache, buttercream or jam.
Her book is filled with tips, tricks and 75 recipes perfect for every holiday and occasion. It also comes with a CD of templates so you can make your own. With Mindy’s help, even a newbie like me can make French macarons delicious and adorable.
Want a sneak peek of some of the great recipes you’ll find in Mindy’s book? Here’s her chocolate macaron & chocolate ganache recipes:
Chocolate French Macarons
Makes about 4 dozen 1.5 in shells (two dozen sandwiched macaron cookies)
- 100g of egg whites aged at room temperature
- Pinch of Cream of tartar
- 35g of superfine sugar
- 110g of Almond flour
- 200g of Powdered Sugar
- 10g cocoa powder
- Measure out all ingredients using a gram scale.
- Prepare the baking sheets by lining them with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Slide a printed 1 ½ inch template sheet underneath and set aside. Prepare piping bag to be filled and set aside.
- Sift powdered sugar, almond mixture, and cocoa powder together two or three times through a sieve and set aside.
- Place the egg whites in a large bowl or in stand mixer with wire whisk attachment. Whisk on low until egg whites become foamy. Add the pinch of cream of tartar. Continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Slowly add in the superfine sugar. Once all of the sugar is incorporated, scrape down the sides with a spatula.
- Turn your mixer on medium-high and continue to whisk until you reach a stiff meringue. If adding liquid or gel food dye, do so toward the end of whisking.
- Sift 1/3 of the almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder mixture through the sieve and into the meringue. Fold the dry mixture into the meringue. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Once all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, the batter will be thick and have a dull shine. Continue to fold. As you do so, the batter will loosen. Stop folding when the batter has a glossy sheen, a “lava-like” consistency, and falls in a ribbon like manner off the spatula.
- Transfer the batter into a large pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe 1½ inch rounds on the parchment paper following the template*.
- When all of the rounds are piped on the parchment, rap the sheet pans evenly on work surface a few times. Remove templates from below your parchment paper carefully. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 20-40 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees and bake one sheet at a time for 12 minutes rotating the pan half way through.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Match up similar size shells into pairs and sandwich with filling.
*Get a free 1.5″ macaron circle template download for this recipe here.
Chocolate Ganache Filling
- 100 g (3.5 oz) chocolate*
- 1½ Tbsp. heavy cream
- Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
- Boil cream and pour over chocolate.
- Stir until all the chocolate has melted and texture is smooth**
- When warm, pipe onto macaron shells.
*I prefer to use the mini chocolate chips when possible to speed up the process.
** If the cream is not able to melt all the chocolate, place bowl in microwave. Heat for 20 seconds on low power. Remove and stir. Repeat until chocolate is fully melted.
Watch Mindy make them in the video below!
You can win your very own copy of Gourmet French Macarons by entering the giveaway below.
Enter to win one hard copy of Mindy’s new book via the Rafflecopter widget below! Contest is open to everyone, ages 18+. Winner will be posted here upon contest end and will be emailed within 24 hours of contest end via the email attached to your Facebook account. You will have 48 hours to claim your prize. Contest runs September 17 (12 a.m. EST) to September 24th (12 a.m. EST). Good luck!
Gourmet French Macarons was written and photographed by Mindy Cone of Creative Juice. Mindy is an entertaining, food, and party stylist on the blog Creative Juice. She writes about how to entertain your guests and kids with style and creativity! She shares DIY tutorials, recipes, tips, tricks, and ideas to make your next event detailed, personalized, and of course creative!