Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pistachio Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache

Pistachio & White Chocolate Macarons
I had an itch to make some macarons again and went with pistachio and white chocolate, which is a flavor I've been wanting to make for a few months now.  The shell is supposed to be bright green, but they browned to an olive color in the oven.  That's why I made the ganache with a hint of green; to give some color to these guys.  I wanted to have a bright green shell and white filling; I thought that would look nice together.  Oh well- I am still experimenting with macarons; I've turned the oven lower, but they still seem to brown too much no matter what.  
Pistachio & White Chocolate Macarons
For the pistachios, I just used regular, shelled, salted pistachios that my husband keeps on hand for eating.  The shelled ones may be hard to find- I think Trader Joe's used to have them, but we order ours online from  They are expensive, but delicious and worth it!  They ground up just fine in my food processor.  
Pistachio & White Chocolate Macarons
I've never been able to get a ganache solid enough for macarons- no matter how long it is in the fridge, it's leaky and too liquidy.  So now, I always whip it.  Whipping ganache turns it into an airy, more solid, spreadable and pipe-able confection.  Macarons are supposed to sit up on their sides (pictured above) without the filling leaking.  

Note:  You'll need a kitchen scale to make macarons, and to measure everything very precisely.  Pistachio & White Chocolate Macarons

Pistachio Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache
adapted from Annie's Eats

For the macarons:
225 gm confectioners' sugar
60 gm almond flour/meal
65 gm pistachios
3 egg whites (about 100 gm), aged (left out of fridge, covered) 1 day at room temperature
25 gm granulated sugar
Green powdered food coloring (optional)
For the ganache:
8 oz. good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
1.  To make the cookies, combine the confectioners' sugar, almond meal, and pistachios in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until the nuts are very finely ground and the mixture is well blended.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy.  Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until the egg whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks.  Mix in the powdered green food coloring, if using.  (Start with only a little bit at a time.  Remember, you can always add more but you can't take it away.)  Add the ground nut/sugar mixture to the mixing bowl and gently fold in to the egg whites using a wide spatula.  The mixture should remain shiny and flow easily.
2.  Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip.  Pipe rounds (approximately 1 inch in diameter) onto baking sheets lined with silicone baking mats OR parchment paper.  Let rest for 60 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 315˚ F.  When they are finished resting, bake for 12-15 minutes.  Let cool completely before carefully removing from the baking sheets.

3.  To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan, just to boiling.  Immediately remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.  Allow to sit for 3 minutes.  Using a whisk in small circular motions, combine the cream and chocolate until a thick ganache forms.  Whisk in the butter until well incorporated and smooth.  Stir in the almond extract, if using.  Let sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until firm enough for piping.  (Speed the process up by chilling in the refrigerator or freezer, whisking every 10 minutes or so.)  If desired, thicken the ganache by whisking in a stand mixture or with a hand mixer.

4.  To assemble the cookies, match up the cookie shells by size.  Pipe a dollop of ganache onto the flat surface of one cookie of each pair.  Top with the other cookie and sandwich together, pressing gently to push the ganache to the edges of the cookies.
Pistachio & White Chocolate Macarons

Pistachio & White Chocolate Macarons

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