Rant alert. But let’s get the food out of the way first, okay? You are looking at some Mocha Crunch Macarons. I threw some instant coffee granules in the batter and then flavored the filling with coffee – so yeah, super strong in coffee flavor. I served these at a little soiree two weekends ago along with a few other desserts and this was by far the biggest hit. Although one person complained they tasted burnt – obviously, not a coffee drinker (so says the ego-fragile baker).
And now the rant: If you are going to tell a white lie, please don’t involve me—especially, if it’s to support a what is obviously untrue.
Apparently, some white lies require back up, a supporting agreement from another so the offender isn’t so obviously lying. Or maybe so the ass-ery can be shared and split among two? I don’t know, because I don’t get the idea of telling someone with a bad hair cut, “I love your new haircut”.
What?? No you don’t!
This seriously happened (and has happened on several occasions). I don’t get it. Am I horrible person because I won’t agree when called upon? Even the mere physicality of stretching my face into a smile and nodding in agreement escapes me. Okay, so I’m slightly awful. But I can’t do it.
At my worst extreme I will say, “It’s not my favorite cut on you.” But since I hardly knew this person that was monologue, in my head!. What was audible, “Hold-on, hair talk when I come back”, which as you can guess never happened.
Okay, what do you guys say or do in this situation? Suggestions?
Mocha Crunch Macarons
Yield: Makes approximately 24-30, 1-11/2 inch cookies
- 135g egg whites
- 45g granulated sugar
- 215g powdered sugar
- 115g almond meal
- 25g cocoa powder
- 10g instant coffee granules (I used Starbucks Via)
- 227g egg whites
- 175g granulated sugar
- 226g unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
- 15g instant coffee granules (I used Starbucks Via)
Heat oven to 330 degrees. Line bake sheet with parchment.
To make macaron cookie
- Trace out 1 inch circles on parchment and set this aside as a “master copy”. Reserve two extra sheets of parchment and set aside.
- Place egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and fit mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium low speed until egg whites start to form loose translucent bubbles. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until meringue turns foamy and white and starts to resemble well lathered shampoo, about 2 minutes. Increase mixer to high and beat until meringue holds glossy stiff peaks, about another 2-3 minutes. Turn off mixer.
- Process almond meal, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and coffee grounds in a food processor and then sift.
- Add dry ingredients to meringue. Using a sturdy spatula fold and smash dry mixture into meringue against the bowl for about 20-25 folds. Don’t worry about being gentle the idea is to knock the air out of it. The batter should hold its shape when spooned on itself and start to slowly flatten out after about 15-20 seconds. Start checking the batter after 20 folds for readiness. Transfer batter to pastry bag and let rest for 20 minutes before piping.
- Place master copy of drawn circles on a bake sheet and then place a sheet of parchment on top. Fill a pastry bag with batter and pipe until batter reaches edge of circle. Remove master copy from underneath piped layer and place on second bake sheet and pipe remaining batter (remove master copy and save for future use).Take hold of each pan and give it quick hard tap against the counter, turn the pan 90 degrees and give it another quick hard tap. This will deflate any bubbles and prevent cracked shells.
- Bake for about 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Leave shells to cool completely on pan. Shells will cleanly peel away from parchment when ready.
To make filling:
- Combine egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and place it over (not on) simmering water. Heat mixture to 160 degrees F while whisking constantly.
- Transfer mixer bowl to stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed (speed 8 on a KitchenAid stand mixer) until mixture cools, doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.
- Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking at first—this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again.
- Add salt and instant coffee granules, mix to combine.
- Pipe filling on one shell. Place a second shell on top.
- *Optional: Stripe top with melted chocolate and then sprinkle crushed toffee on top.
- Almond meal: I used Trader Joe's Almond Meal instead of making my own by processing raw and peeled silvered almonds.
- Cocoa powder: I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder.
- Eggs: I didn't age them. Which means I didn't separate my eggs and leave them on the counter for a few days. Mine went from refrigerator to bowl-cracked, separated and ready to go.
- Granulated Sugar: I used the most widely available sugar for where I am - C&H . I skipped using expensive bakers sugar which happens to be nothing more than ultra fine sugar that you can easily make by processing regular (by regular I mean widely available and not so expensive) granulated sugar in a food processor to make it finer. I skipped processing my sugar to a fine grain.
- Powdered Sugar: Again, I used the most widely available - C&H brand.
A few general notes:
- Most of my recipes are written with measured volume, but for macarons precision is key— so yes, you will need a scale for this one.
- I took Brave Tart's suggestion and traced out circles so I could quickly pipe my shells to avoid worrying about uniformity, but instead of doing so on each sheet I created a master copy, since I'm impatient and drawings out a bunch of circles for each sheet is a pain. I just placed that master copy under each parchment sheet and piped to the outline.
- My oven has been acting up with uneven heating, to mitigate that I used two bakes sheets (one on top of another to diffuse the heat).