We had family in town last week, and I felt it my duty to bring to the table all the cream, chocolate and foie gras France has to offer. This week (by way of necessity) I decided to cut down on the sugar and focus more on the vegetables, (and to a lesser degree) meats, fish and cheese.
So I was a little at a loss for this week’s food post. “I want cake!” my not-yet-regulated-blood-sugar screamed. “Why not make macarons?” my wiser self said. Macarons are naturally low carb. You know . . . except for all the sugar.
So I did it. I transformed my Ladurée Macaron recipe into a low-carb version, except that the macaron part is espresso-flavored. You can skip the espresso powder if you want something a little less head-banging.
Alrighty then. I put 2 cups of xylitol in the blender to get powdered sugar since we can’t get that here. (In the States, I’ve heard Swerve makes powdered sugar equivalent). Don’t be afraid if it smokes. Can you see the smoke?
Then I put 3 1/3 cups of almond powder, the 2 cups of powdered xylitol, and 2 tablespoons espresso powder in the cuisinart and mixed it all together. You should sift the mixture afterwards, but I don’t have a sifter.
Okay, once that is mixed together, separate 7 eggs, keeping six of the whites in one bowl and the remaining white in a different bowl. You won’t need the yolks for this recipe. Put a pinch of salt to help the egg whites stiffen when you beat them.
And once they’re stiff, add a cup of xylitol (regular granulated, not powdered) in three increments, beating the whites in between. Beat the lone egg white as well, because you will need that at the end.
Now, fold the almond powder mixture, a quarter at a time and mix with the egg whites gently, but thoroughly.
When it’s all mixed in, add the remaining egg white to ensure the mixture is liquid enough. This is what it looks like when it’s all mixed together.
Now it’s time to preheat the oven to 160°C or 325°F. Line 3-4 baking sheets with wax paper and prepare a pastry bag with a plain tip (there’s a picture of it on my Ladurée post).
Squeeze out small circles of almond batter to fill the pan.
See how there’s a little mound in the middle? Pick up the baking sheet a few inches off the table and drop it on the table ten times in a row. Now the batter will have flattened, like so.
Set the timer for 10 minutes, and when that’s up, put the first pan into the oven.
I only cooked mine for 11 minutes, but you should adjust according to how hot your oven is. I ended up turning the heat down a tiny bit as well.
When the pan comes out of the oven, pour a tiny bit of water under the parchment paper to steam the macarons and make them easier to remove. Don’t wait too long before taking them off the wax paper. Wait, maybe, 5 minutes or so.
Continue with the other pans, one after the other. It won’t hurt them to sit out a little longer while waiting to go in the oven.
When the last baking sheet is in the oven, you can make the ganache. You’ll need 90% Lindt chocolate – 200 grams.
Cut it into slivers.
Heat 1/2 cup of cream and dissolve 1/3 cup of granulated xylitol (mine was a bit overflowing). And once the cream is hot, pour that on the chocolate and stir slowly.
Now you’ll use the mixer to stir in 50 grams of softened butter. That’s 3 1/2 T.
Looks good, huh? Chocolate ganache.
You could put this in the refrigerator and let it firm up a bit, but I didn’t. I just glopped it on (and snuck a few licks) and made my macaron sandwiches. It worked just fine.
I put them in the fridge afterwards so they could firm up, and (I hear) they are even better after one day. Ours don’t always last that long.
See? Maybe a little less puffy . . . a teensy bit less chewy . . . but really and truly good for something that’s low carb.
Like – you could bring it to a party – type of good.
And you won’t feel an ounce of guilt in stashing a few in your belly.
- 3⅓ cup ground almond powder
- 2 cups (or 1¾c) powdered Swerve or xylitol
- 2 T espresso powder
- 7 egg whites (one is mixed in later)
- 1 cup granulated xylitol
- 200 g Lindt 90%
- ½ c heavy cream
- ⅓ c xylitol
- 50 grams (3.5 T) butter
- Put the almond powder, powdered sugar substitute, and espresso powder in the Cuisinart.
- Beat 6 egg whites in one bowl with a pinch of salt, and beat the lone egg white in a separate bowl.
- When the whites are stiff, add in a cup of granulated xylitol ⅓ at a time.
- When that's all mixed, fold in the almond powder mixture, a quarter at a time.
- When everything is mixed together, add the one egg white that has been beaten. It will liquify the batter just enough.
- Line 3-4 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 160°C or 325°F.
- Pipe small circles onto each sheet.
- Bang the sheets on the table so the macarons flatten.
- Bake each sheet 11-15 minutes.
- Pour a tiny bit of water under the wax paper to steam the macarons so they lift off easily. (Use a metal spatula rather than a plastic one).
- Chop up the chocolate.
- Heat the ½ c cream and ⅓ c xylitol.
- Mix the two together, then beat in the butter.
- Put a large teaspoon of ganache on the bottom of a macaron, and close the "sandwich" with another macaron bottom.