Saturday, March 15, 2014

faux chocolate macarons - easy and can't be

Whence back in the olden times of autumn and such, I wrote a column on how to make your own Macaroons. Like I explained there's a difference between a Macaroon and Macaron, one is the coconut meringue drop and the other is the French cookie respectively. I also said that one of these days I would show you how to make a French macaron...but today isn't that day. Today I'll be showing you how to make my PATENTED macaron making method that doesn't require any skill or talent whatsoever, traits I know very few of my followers possess.
Also on a totally unrelated note, every second you spend on this page is costing you a million dollars in patent and usage fees so, read quick. If you search through youtube on "how to make a macaron", everyone says how difficult and time consuming these little cookies are. I know from experience that after watching thousands (a little exaggeration) of those macaron how to videos that you get discouraged and end up reverting to the easier, more mundane desserts in the book. But, be not discouraged anymore because Chef Chow is here to save the day. My macaron method is simple, easy, and at the end of the day, taste equally if not better than the macarons you see all the professionals make. My secret? Well you're going to have to scroll down to find out.

When you go to your local fancy French patisserie and make the decision to indulge on one of those one-bite French wonders, the only thing you're wondering after you eat it is why you spent 3 dollars on that <than stale cookie. The truth is if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. And now you can add macarons to that list. This Valentine's Day make this cookie for that someone someone you like and I'll guarantee you'll get married have kids and be a billionaire. But enough with all this by-filler, I'm getting hungry so read faster so we can get started!

Any good macaron, if you didn't know, starts with a meringue base. So that's where will begin. Start by preheating the oven to 200 degrees and setting your rack to the lower third slot of your oven. Yesterday someone showed me this video on how to quickly separate an egg so I decided to test this and it and you know what, it worked. I know, that trick mind boggled me too. I also know it's sad that these are the things that boggle my mind. 

Separate three egg whites from their yolks and set it in a large bowl. Put that aside while we prepare our sugar. 

Left is Superfine, Right is Regular
Now this is the only fancy step, and you could surely do without it, I just think if you're going to put the name macaron on it, it has to show a little elegance. Take 3/4 cup of sugar and blend it in either a blender, or a spice grinder. What we're doing is creating superfine sugar which will give these cookies a glossier shine and a better texture. Now that you have that readied up you can put a whisk to your eggs. 

It's a heart, well trying to be
Using an electric mixer begin beating the whites. Wait for it to froth and toss in your cream of tartar. I thought it was funny that my dad thought cream of tartar was for making tartar sauce, which would probably explain why his tartar sauce always turned out a little differently than everyone elses. Just for the record it is a stabilizer. And just for that record the stabilizer is what helps the eggs to keep their shape. Keep mixing on medium until you reach soft peaks. At this point you should see a lot of large air bubbles and you'll think it doesn't look very right. That's because we haven't add the sugar yet. Once you add the sugar the meringue will almost instantly begin to form and it'll get glossy and thick. 

Add the sugar in small increments. When all of your sugar has gone in continue to whisk until stiff peaks. If you haven't caught on yet, stiff peaks look this and keep their shape when you flip your whisk over. 

Whisk in your cocoa powder and vanilla. Resist the urge to pour in a lot of vanilla. Vanilla extract is strong stuff and if you pour in too much your cookies will taste like candles. You know you're done when you can't see any more cocoa and the meringue looks delicious. What! That's it? I want my money back. Where's all of the fancy ingredients and the difficult steps. Were you not listening, this is a faux macaron. 

Pipe 2 inch rounds on parchment or a silpat. You want to avoid greasing the pan because I've read instances where it weighs down the macaron, or stuff like that I don't know, just don't take the risk. Bake for 1-2 hours, you're the judge. If you want a chewier macaron try one at the 1 hour mark. If you want a crunchier macaron bake it for the full 2 hours. I'd suggest taking them out around 1 hour if you want a more authentic macaron texture. However, after you are satisfied with the texture of your cookies leave the door ajar and let them cool for two hours longer. Then you're ready to fill. 

The filling is simple, nutella. How easy is that. I'm filling mine with two different types of nutella, one of them the original, but the other a fancier type of nutella with more hazelnuts than chocolate. One of my favorite aunts in the world gave me this spread while I was at their house back on the east coast so again, thanks alot. You want to spread a good amount of nutella, not so much that it is overflowing, but enough that people know it's there. And there you have it. Bon Appetit. 

When you bite into one of these you first crack into that crisp shell but then your teeth sink into that chewy center, and that nutella, it's almost too perfect to describe...actually it is too perfect, I'm just gonna stop right here. 

So I hope you learned something valuable from this page of nonsense that is my writing. As always I'm so grateful for all of you that made it this far. Comment below what you thought about this recipe, improvements, support, or future chow-fections. And as always, 


3 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated, superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Nutella for filling.

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