Tuesday's Treat: Coconut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache {via KBR's Kitchen}
  • ⅔ cup ground almonds (aka almond flour, almond meal)
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • +
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TB water
  • 2 egg whites
  • +
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut flakes (often found in organic section of grocery stores)
  • ¾ cup chocolate
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F (please note that oven temperatures vary and that for your oven many different factors will affect the outcome of the macarons. You may need to experiment a bit with rack positioning and temperature before achieving a perfect macaron).
  2. Place Silpats or parchment paper on 3 half sheet sized baking pans and place a plain, round pastry tip with not too large of an opening (about ¼ inch) in a pastry bag.
  3. Sift together the ground almonds and powdered sugar in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the two egg whites a bit (just until combined, not frothy) and pour on top of the almond/sugar mixture. Set aside.
  5. Measure the additional two egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixture onto a medium/low speed (4 on a Kitchen Aid).
  6. Measure the granulated sugar and water into a small pot. Mix until combined and place over high heat (do not mix or stir while it is on the heat). Using a candy thermometer, bring the water/sugar mixture to soft ball stage, about 234 degrees F.
  7. When you see the thermometer reach about 215 degrees F, increase the speed of your mixture (to 6 on a Kitchen Aid) for about 1 minute and then increase the speed again (to 8 on a Kitchen Aid). It is important to note that the mixer needs to be on 8 (a high speed but not the highest) before the sugar reaches 234 degrees F.
  8. Once the sugar reaches 234 degrees F (soft ball stage), immediately pull it off of the heat and slowly stream it into the mixing egg whites to make an Italian meringue. Keep the mixer at the high speed until the meringue cools in temperature and reaches a very hard soft peak (not quite hard peaks, not quite soft, a bit in between).
  9. Add the meringue mixture to the almond, sugar, egg white mixture. Fold the meringue into the almond mixture until fully incorporated. Once fully incorporated, continue to fold while also scraping the mixture across the top to deflate it a bit. The goal is to reach a consistency in which the batter can be piped and spread a bit once piped but not too much. It should be neither too thick nor too runny (not as thick as a traditional cookie dough however not nearly as runny as pancake batter, think somewhere in between). A great way to test the consistency is to drop a dollop of batter into the bowl of batter with your spatula and see how long it takes to spread. It should take a few seconds, perhaps about 5-7. If you feel like you are waiting for it to spread for a while, the batter is not ready. If it runs immediately, the batter is too thin.
  10. When the batter reaches the desired consistency, place it in your pastry bag fitted with a plain, round tip and begin piping circles onto your sheet pan lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Try to keep the piped circles consistently one size. Make sure to space them about 1.5 inches apart. When the first pan is fully piped, tap it on your work surface to release any air bubbles and quickly sprinkle the unsweetened shredded coconut onto each macaron shell. It is imperative that you work quickly as the coconut will not stick after a few minutes time. Continue piping the rest of the batter, tapping the sheet pans, and adding the coconut.
  11. When you have finished piping you will need to let the macaron shells sit until they have “dried” (i.e. formed a bit of an outer skin). This usually takes about a half hour. A great way to test if they are dry and ready to bake is to gently touch one with your finger. If any batter sticks to your finger, they are not dry enough. You should be able to touch them and have no residue on your finger whatsoever.
  12. Bake the macarons, turning once halfway through, for about 8-8.5 minutes. Immediately remove the macaron shells from the oven and take them off of the hot sheet pan by lifting the Silpat or parchment. Allow them to cool on your work surface. They will be cool enough and ready to fill when they easily lift off of the parchment or Silpat.
  14. To make the ganache filling, melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Set aside. Heat the heavy cream in a pot over medium low heat. Do not allow the cream to boil. It is ready when it is warm/hot to the touch but not scalding (you should be able to dip your finger in without being burned). Pour the warm cream over the melted chocolate. Slowly whisk to incorporate. Allow to either cool in the refrigerator or on your work surface until the ganache reaches a point where it can be piped onto the macaron shells without running. The consistency should be like a thick pudding.
  15. Fill half the macaron shells with the chocolate ganache and cover with the other half of the macaron shells. Enjoy!
  16. Please note that macarons freeze and refrigerate well.
Recipe by Jackie Ourman at http://jackieourman.com/tuesdays-treat-coconut-macarons-with-chocolate-ganache-via-kbrs-kitchen/