CHOCOLATE MACARONS WITH FIGGY CREAM CHEESE
3 tablespoons all-natural cocoa powder
½ cup almond powder
1 cup powdered sugar
3 large egg whites (about 90-100 grams) at room temperature
5 tablespoons/65 grams granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Figgy Cream Cheese Filling
2 tablespoons of fig jam
• In a food processor, grind cocoa powder, almond powder and powdered sugar, then sift into a bowl and set aside.
• In a stainless steel mixing bowl, beat egg whites on high until they are foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar to the egg whites.
• Add vanilla and stir lightly.
• When the meringue is stiff, firm and has a glossy texture it is done.
• Add half of the sifted flour mixture and fold it in. Add remaining flour and mix it lightly in a circular motion just until the ingredients are all incorporated. Do not overmix.
• Attach a .4 (1.01 centimeter) tip to a pastry bag. Twist the bag to hold the tip tightly. This prevents the batter from leaking out.
• Place the pastry bag, tip down, in a measuring cup and pour the batter made into it. Clip the bag top, to prevent batter from coming out. You can use a string or rubber band as well.
• Line a cookie sheet with the parchment with circles and squeeze batter straight onto the center of the circles. As you are squeezing count to three, lift the tip and release. The batter will spread just a little and fill the circles. This takes a little practice; if they don't turn out perfect, don't worry, they will still be delicious.
• Rap the baking sheet firmly against counter. This helps the macarons retain their rounded shape and helps the pied, or little “foot,” to form. If there are any points that have not settled, you can press them down lightly with your fingertip.
• Allow the batter to dry at room temperature. This can take 15 to 45 minutes. A slight crust should form on top of the macarons, and they should be dry to the touch and not tacky.
• Place racks in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
• Slide the baking sheet with the prepared circles into the oven.
• Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, the macaron tops will lift and form the ruffled edge referred to as feet. If the macarons are still soft, lower oven temperature to 300, cover the tray with foil and bake for 2 to 3 minutes.
• Remove the baking sheets from the oven and cool macarons on a wire rack.
• While the macarons are cooling, place the cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat with a hand mixer or standing mixer until smooth. Add the fig jam and mix until incorporated.
• To assemble, spread or pipe a small amount of filling onto the bottom of a macaron and top with another macaron, flat surface against the filling.
• Gently press together until the filling spreads just to the edges. Set aside and repeat with remaining macarons.
• Source: Vivian Boroff.