Macarons with Edelbrand Vinars

(and you don’t even have to be a French pastry chef!)

Meringue Ingredients:

4.5 ounces (a little over ½ cup) almond flour (most larger grocery stores carry; almond meal can be used but it makes for a courser texture and look)

1 cup powdered sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

4.5 ounces egg whites (from 4-5 eggs)

 

Ganache Ingredients:

7 ounces 70% dark chocolate or milk chocolate

7 ounces heavy cream

3-4 tablespoons Edelbrand vinars

  • Vinars tschereschas (artisanal cherry brandy) pairs well with dark chocolate

  • Vinars da plogas (artisanal plum brandy) pairs well with dark chocolate

  • Vinars d’apricosas (artisanal apricot brandy) pairs well with dark and milk chocolates

  • Vinars da perá (artisanal pear brandy) pairs well with milk chocolate

Meringue Instructions (Prep time - 40 minutes)

A note about macarons:  The one step that requires your undivided attention is the macaronning step.  (Yes, that is a real word.)  That’s when the meringue mixture is carefully blended with the almond flour mixture.  Pay close attention to see that the final mixture is smooth, shiny and soft (versus dried out).

  • Place your metal cookie sheet in the freezer while making the meringue.

  • Sift almond flour and powdered sugar together in a medium bowl.

  • In separate large bowl, add egg whites plus ¼ of the granulated sugar (0.5 ounces). Beat at high speed with electric whisk until meringue begins to stiffen and form soft peaks. Add remaining sugar and beat until sugar is incorporated. Don’t over beat because mixture will dry out.

  • Add sifted mixture into meringue mixture. Use a silicone spatula to fold the two together, starting in the center of the bowl and moving toward the edge gently scraping the bottom of the bowl and lifting with each quarter turn of the bowl. This is also the time to add food coloring (if desired) to color the shells, or any ingredients to flavor the shells (a drop or two of extracts like vanilla or lemon or orange).

  • Repeat folding method until mixture is smooth, shiny and a bit runny. Note:  You have mixed too much if the mixture turns to liquid so avoid doing that, please.

  • Remove the cookie sheet from the freezer and lay out parchment paper (or a silicone macaron sheet if preferred). If it helps, draw 1” circles on the parchment.

  • Put finished mixture into a pastry bag with a plain round tip. If you don’t have a pastry bag, use a quart or gallon sized Ziploc bag with the zipper part removed.Use a silicone spatula to fill the bag. Once filled, cut off 1/8” of one corner of the bag and twist top of bag to create pressure on corner when you are ready to make your shells.

  • Pipe ¾” rounds one inch apart, starting at the center and working your way out. Mixture will spread outward a bit. Tap bottom of cookie sheet gently on counter to release any air bubbles. Let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not use convection oven feature. Cook for 12-15 minutes, leaving the door cracked the last 3 minutes to release steam. Test shells - if they give to the touch, they are not ready.

  • If you are doing more than one pan, allow the oven to preheat fully again before inserting a second batch.

  • Allow to cool completely (15 minutes or so) before removing from pan with thin metal knife or spatula.

  • Line up half of the shells on a separate cookie sheet.

 

Ganache Instructions (Prep time – 25 minutes)

  • Finely chop chocolate and place in stainless steel or glass bowl with rounded bottom.

  • Heat cream in small saucepan and gently bring to a boil. Stir and pour over chocolate.

  • Let chocolate soften and then gently mix with spatula or whisk until mixture is thoroughly blended.

  • Blend in your vinars of choice.

  • Pour into pastry bag or quart-sized Ziploc bag with zipper top removed. Cut 1/8” off one corner. Twist top of bag when ready to start filling shells.

  • Start in center or edge of each shell and fill liberally. You want the filling to show as a pretty layer between the two shells but not so much that it overflows the outside edge of the shell.

  • Best served on same day. Store gently in sealed container. Extra ganache can be stored in sealed container up to three days if you want to make more meringue.

  • Yield 24-30 macarons.

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