Make these Vanilla Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache to celebrate National Macaron Day – Or any occasion!
It’s funny how things happen sometimes. Last week, I posted on Facebook, asking my fellow blogging friends how they worked through slumps. It’s no secret I haven’t put much effort into the blog lately.
Part of it is that I just haven’t made the time to do so. Since InCoWriMo, I’ve been consumed by my other love: Pens, paper, and stamps.
The other part is that I’ve been overwhelmed by the political landscape ever since the election, and it’s to the point where I feel somewhat paralyzed. There is SO. MUCH. GOING. ON. right now, and while I want to stay informed, the daily antics that come out of Washington D. C. are too much, and I have a tendency to shut down.
And then there’s the reality that I finally confronted. Though I’ve been blogging for almost thirteen years now (and had this incarnation of the blog for about seven years), I once envisioned making a career out of it.
I thought once upon a time that I could finally realize my dream of being a writer, combined with my love of photography, as well as food.
But my biggest hurdle has been marketing, or lack of. I have no marketing background, I have no business background, and I’m not really sure how I expected to turn this into a business or make a career out of it without that knowledge.
I thought about letting it die a slow death, maybe still making the occasional post, but letting my website lapse, when my hosting services come up for renewal in a few more months. But as soon as I decided to give it up, I suddenly got re-inspired once the weekend rolled around.
I have accepted that blogging isn’t going to be a career for me, but it’s still a fun hobby.
I’m not sure where I read about National/World Macaron Day being 20th March, but I decided I should make some and celebrate. So I kept things simple, and just made basic Vanilla Macarons filled with a White Chocolate Ganache.
I actually made two batches. I tinted one blue, and the other (obviously) yellow, as tomorrow is also the first day of Spring.
However, the blue ones browned too much, and were no longer light blue, but a nice golden brown (they’re still blue on the inside, though!). So they got pushed aside, and only the yellow made it into the photographs. But that means plenty of macarons for Macaron Day!
For the Shells:
- 2/3 C almond flour
- 1 C powdered sugar
- 2 large egg whites (room temperature)
- 1/4 C granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3-4 drops food coloring of choice
For the Ganache:
- 6 oz. white chocolate, broken/chopped coarsely
- 1/4 C heavy cream
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour with the powdered sugar, making sure there are no clumps and the two are well-combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and granulated sugar. Whisk on medium speed for 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high, and whisk 2 more minutes. Increase the speed again to high, and whisk 2-3 more minutes or until the meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks.
Add the vanilla and the food coloring, and whisk 30-60 seconds on high.
Add the almond flour mixture all at once to the bowl, and fold the dry ingredients in with a rubber spatula. After 40 strokes, test the batter by dropping some back into the bowl. If it sinks back into itself within 30 seconds, it's done. If not, fold 5 more strokes, then test again.
Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking liners. Pipe circles approximately 1-inch apart. Pick up each baking sheet and let drop back on table or counter 2 or 3 times, to break up any air bubbles. Let dry for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
After 30 minutes, place one sheet in the oven, and bake for 12-13 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 7 minutes.
Carefully remove the shells from the baking sheet, and cool completely before filling.
To make the ganache, bring the heavy cream to a boil over medium heat. Place the chopped white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate, and let sit for two minutes. Once the chocolate has melted somewhat, whisk until completely smooth. Cover, and allow to cool to room temperature. Whip the ganache with an electric beater for 1-2 minutes before using.
Spread the ganache on the bottoms of half the macaron shells. Top with the other half of the shells. Place the macarons in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Ganache recipe slightly adapted from the Cake Boss