French Macaroons

Macaroons are the classic meringue cookies that have lately taken Paris by storm. Thay can be made large or small and filled with every conceivable flavouring, from green tea and fruit to herb pastes.

Mostly everyone likes to fill their macaroons with white and dark chocolate ganache, a rich chocolate filling used in cakes, pastries and truffles. (Roll any leftover ganache into balls for homemade truffles.)

For chocolate macaroons, fold 1/2 cup cocoa into the meringue mixture (You can divide the meringue mixture and make half chocolate and half white macaroons).
Ingredients :

· 4 egg whites
· 1 cup granulated sugar
· 2 tsp. white vinegar
· 1 cup ground almonds
· 1 cup white chocolate ganache
· 1 cup dark chocolate ganache

(Cooking Measurements)

Cooking Procedures :

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Prepare parchment-lined baking sheets.

2. Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar. Continue to beat on high speed for about 4 minutes, or until very thick and glossy and mixture holds stiff peaks. Add vinegar and beat for 1 minute.

3. In a small bowl, combine remaining sugar and ground almonds. Gently fold into egg whites until just combined.

4. Use a piping bag with a plain tip to pipe macaroons onto prepared sheets. Ideally macaroons are about the diameter of a tonnie, nicely mounded without peaks or points (this takes some practice). Push any peaks down with a wet knife. You can also dollop them onto baking sheet with a tablespoon—not as pretty, but they will taste the same.

5. Bake macaroons for 20 minutes. Turn off oven and leave them for 30 minutes longer. They should be pale gold. Remove macaroons from oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

6. Place a spoonful of ganache on flat side of one meringue and sandwich together with a second meringue. Repeat until all ingredients are used.

7. Makes about 60 macaroons or 30 sandwich cookies.

GANACHE
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Bring 3/4 cup whipping cream to a boil in a small pot. Remove from heat. Add 4 oz. coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in 2 tbsp. butter. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally, until ganache is firm enough to spread. Makes about 1 cup.

Dark Chocolate Ganache
Bring 1/2 cup whipping cream to a boil in a small pot. Remove from heat. Add 6 oz. coarsely chopped white chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in 2 tbsp. butter. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally, until ganache is firm enough to spread. Makes about 1 cup.

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