Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mocha macarons

One grad school habit that I haven't picked up on yet is drinking coffee. Never needed it in high school or college, and despite everyone insisting that it's a grad school necessity, I so far haven't needed it. I really never liked the taste of coffee - smells great, but the flavor doesn't seem to match up with the smell to me.

Tea is my choice of drink, and even then, I drink it for the taste and warmth rather than the caffeine. Ironically though, I'm now in charge of my department's coffee hour for the year. I contribute the only way I know how - by baking!

In line with the coffee theme, I decided to revisit macarons and make some coffee flavored ones. These have a chocolate shell with a coffee buttercream in the middle. I will admit that when mixed with chocolate, coffee doesn't taste half-bad, so I approve of these tasty little treats.

Here's to three four five (?) more years of coffee-free grad school!

Chocolate macaron shells - (makes 40 shells for 20 macarons)
Adapted from Joy of Baking

  • 100 g of almond meal
  • 170 g of powdered sugar
  • 15 g of cocoa powder
  • 100 g of egg whites (aged and brought to room temperature)
  • ¼ tsp of cream of tartar
  • 35 g of white sugar
  1. Sift the almond meal, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder together and set aside. 
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  3. Whip egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. 
  4. Add white sugar in. Continue mixing on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Remove bowl from mixer. 
  5. Add the almond mixture to the meringue - I added it in three parts. I sifted a third of the mixture into the meringue, and then folded/scrape the bowl for 10 strokes. Repeat with the remainder of the mixture, a third at a time. The batter should run off your spatula in thick, slow ribbons. 
  6. Transfer batter to a piping bag with a ½ open round tip.  
  7. Pipe macarons shells that are 1½ inch wide and 2 inches apart from each other. Keep the tip low and close to the paper so the shell can spread out instead of pile up. 
  8. Let shells sit at room temperature for 60 minutes or until the top no longer feels tacky when you touch it. 
  9. Bake in preheated oven at 325F for 14-16 minutes, or until the bottoms just barely separate form the parchment paper. 
  10. Let cool completely before removing from the parchment paper. 
  11. Sandwich coffee buttercream (recipe below) between two shells to form a macaron. 
  12. Enjoy!

Coffee buttercream
Adapted from Baking Bites

  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp of instant coffee powder
  • 1 Tbsp of milk or cream
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • ~1 cup of powdered sugar
  1. Cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Dissolve coffee powder in milk and vanilla extract. 
  3. Add coffee mixture and powdered sugar to butter and continue mixing until completely combined. 
  4. Adjust consistency if needed (more milk if it's too thick, more sugar if it's too thin). 
  5. Use in macaron recipe above!

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