Do you know what I woke up to this morning?
Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE snow. Usually I am the one oohing and ahhing over every snowflake while everyone else is crying about digging out their car for the eighteenth time.
But last week? It was 60 degrees. And I suddenly remembered what it felt like to be warm. And just like that, I was over snow. As in o-v-e-r–i-t. And though I realize it is still February, and snow is still inevitable, I am not a happy camper. I think I even made the Snooki noise (wah.) when I walked outside. However, there is one thing that makes snow okay…
hot cocoa. Something about holding the warm mug and eating melted, chocolate-drenched marshmallows with a spoon…what a dream.
It’s been awhile since I last attempted making macarons, and so I knew it was high time I baked these cute little babies again. I stumbled across this recipe for hot cocoa macarons with marshmallow filling, and, VOILA! Hot cocoa baked good invented.
I think (knock on wood) I have finally perfected the art of macarons. Nothing is more exciting than peeking in your oven to see that your macarons went from this..
While I waited for my little macaronis (not to be confused with the cheese variety) to cool, I whipped up some marshmallow frosting.
Then sandwich, sandwich, sandwich!
Hot Chocolate Macarons (recipe adapted from Tartelette)
- 90 gr egg whites (roughly 3 egg whites)
- 25 gr to 50gr (2 Tb to 1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 200 gr ( 1.5 cups + 2Tb) powdered sugar
- 110 gr almonds ( 3/4 cup) (slivered, blanched, sliced, whatever you like)
- 25 gr cocoa powder (6 tsp)
Prep the eggs: 48 hrs in advance, separate the whites from the yolks and place the whites in a super clean bowl. Leave at room temp, uncovered or loosely covered with a towel at least 24 hrs. Refrigerate after that if desired. You can use eggs that have been “aging” for up to 5 days.
Place the powdered sugar, almonds, and cocoa powder in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Sift a couple of time to remove bits and pieces. Regrind if necessary. You can also use a coffee grinder for the nuts. Once your nuts and powdered sugar are mixed together, rub them in between your fingertips to break the bigger pieces.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue (think shaving cream). Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry.
Add the powdered sugar mixture to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit.
If using convection: preheat the oven to 280F. If using regular electric or gas, preheat the oven to 300F. When ready, bake for 18 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool.
Marshmallow Frosting (recipe from Smitten Kitchen)
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Combine frosting ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Use frosting the day it is made.