Sunday, February 03, 2008
Chocolate Buttercream Macaroons
Ah, finally! Here's something I promised to make last year, but never got around to. It's a much loved Swedish cookie called Chokladbiskvi. A biskvi is made from almonds and sugar, and filled with buttercream, then glazed with chocolate. I've translated it into macaroons, because the cookie part and the filling part is indeed very similar, and I think that's the origin of this cookie. You can find it in pretty much every café in Sweden, but few people make their own.
You can play with flavors, but this is the most popular kind. I've got one favorite besides this though - banana buttercream, and really bitter chocolate glaze. Yum! I might try making that at home sometime.
I've only attempted this once before, using store-bought almond paste, but my neighbor had made homemade ones for her birthday party and once I had tasted those, there was no turning back. So, the kind neighbor not only gave me her recipe, but also let me borrow her almond grinder. Because that's something you do need here - grinding in a food processor won't give the same results.
This is fairly fast and easy to make, and I find that the most challenging part is dipping the cookies in chocolate. Or to be honest, the toughest part is tempering the chocolate. If you're going to eat these quickly - and there's no reason you shouldn't - don't bother to temper the chocolate, and save yourself the trouble. I tried tempering, but probably didn't do it exactly right. They kept well over night but had started to show a little bit of blooming the next day.
The store-bought biskvi typically has much more buttercream than mine does. If you want that, more of a pyramid shape, double the buttercream recipe.
And do, DO, try them with coffee. It really is a match made in heaven.
Chocolate Buttercream Macaroons
200 g almonds
200 g powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
2 egg whites
100 g unsalted butter, softened
90 g powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
100 g dark chocolate
Blanch and peel the almonds. Let it dry, and grind it finely in an almond mill. Mix with the powdered sugar to a grainy mass. Beat the eggwhites (just a little) and mix them with the almonds and sugar to form a smooth paste. Spoon rounded dollops of paste onto baking sheets lined with baking paper. (Use a piping bag if you want them to look neater.)
Bake the cookies at 200°C for about 10 minutes. They should just color slightly. Remove from the oven. Carefully slide the baking paper off the baking sheets, and run cool water over the sheets to cool them down. Place the paper, with the cookies, back on the sheets, and let them cool. They should peel off easily.
Beat all the ingredients for the buttercream until smooth, and then spread this liberally on the completely cool cookies. Spread it on the bottom of the cookie, which is now the new top. Place the cookies in the fridge or even in the freezer for a while, as this makes them much easier to dip in chocolate.
Melt the chocolate and temper it if you want to. Dip the buttercream quickly. This is easiest if you have the chocolate in a small, deep bowl. Set them on a plate to firm up.
Recipe in Swedish: