Talk Of The Town


Sur La Table's 2 Decadent Chocolate & Peppermint Holiday Desserts

Posted at 11:51 AM, Dec 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-04 12:51:38-05

Chef Genevieve Ingham from Sur La Table Chocolate Peppermint Bark with Pistachios and Peppermint Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache. To register for holiday cooking classes at Sur La Table, located in the Hill Center in Brentwood, visits


Chocolate Peppermint Bark with Pistachios 

Yield: 24 (2-inch) pieces 


To achieve a good snap and a professional-looking sheen, it is important to temper the chocolate. Tempering chocolate requires patience and a digital thermometer!  


12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped 

1/3 cup roughly chopped unsalted pistachios, toasted 

1/3 cup peppermint crunch sprinkles 

1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes 


Line a 9-inch by 12-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  


To temper chocolate: To a double boiler or in a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, add 6 ounces chocolate, stirring until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the water. 


Using an instant-read thermometer, check the temperature of the chocolate. It should be between 100°F and 110°F. Add the remaining 6 ounces of chocolate and stir slowly but constantly until the temperature of the chocolate is between 84°F and 89°F.  If the temperature drops below 84°F, reheat slowly and carefully, to reach the desired temperature. The chocolate is now tempered and ready to spread. 


Working quickly and using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate in an even layer about 1/4-inch thick on prepare baking sheet. Shake the pan gently to level the chocolate, and knock out any air-bubbles. Evenly scatter pistachios, peppermint crunch, and salt over the chocolate. Using your fingertips, gently press ingredients into the chocolate so they adhere to the chocolate. Set the pan aside in a cool, dry place until the chocolate has hardened, about 30 minutes.  


To serve: Break into irregular pieces, approximately 2-inch across and serve. Store in an airtight tin, layered between sheets of clean parchment paper. 


Peppermint Macaron with White Chocolate Ganache  

Yield: 35 sandwich cookies 


7 ounces confectioners’ sugar, divided 

4 ounces almond flour or meal 

4 ounces egg whites, room temperature 

3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar 

Pinch of cream of tartar 

Wilton red gel food coloring 

1 recipe white chocolate ganache (recipe follows)  

1 cup crushed peppermint candies, for garnish* 


*To crush peppermint candies or canes, remove the wrappers and place in a sealable plastic bag and freeze. Crush candy with a mallet and transfer to a small bowl, set aside.    


Preheat oven to 300°F, with rack placed in the lower section of the oven. Fit baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Make sure the pans are flat (not dented or warped) and the parchment is trimmed to fit pan. Using paper templates trace circles onto the parchment or place them under the silicone mats.   


In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process confectioners’ sugar and almond flour into a fine powder, about 30 seconds. Using a drum sieve, sift mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper three times and discard any coarse meal (no more than 1/2 teaspoon), set aside. 


To make the meringue: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add egg whites and cream of tartar; whip whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once all the sugar is incorporated, continue to whip meringue into stiff glossy peaks. The meringue should have the consistency of shaving cream. Whisk in red food coloring by hand, the meringue should remain thick and stable.   


To complete the macaronnage step: Add the sifted flour mixture to the meringue and fold using a large spatula until batter is smooth, be careful not to overmix. Check for the correct consistency. The batter should flow from your spatula like thick lava and hold a ribbon for a couple of seconds, then fall back into itself making a smooth glossy surface. 


Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain round tip. Pipe a small dollop of batter into the corners of each baking sheet and lay parchment over (ink side down) and press down corners to secure. Using both hands to hold the pastry bag, pipe batter by placing the tip 1/2 inch above the parchment, directly in the center of the first stenciled circle, and fill. Once the circle is filled, stop squeezing and make a quick upward and sideways motion to detach the batter and move to the next circle. (The batter should settle into a smooth and glossy round circle.) Let macarons stand at room temperature until a firm skin forms on the macarons, about 30 to 45 minutes. To check to see if the macarons are ready, lightly touch the side, and if your finger does not make a dent, they are ready for the oven.  


Bake macarons one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 14 to 16 minutes. Carefully slide macaron topped parchment sheets onto a wire rack and allow macarons to cool completely before removing from paper and filling.  


To assemble macarons: Pipe a cherry size portion of very thick, but still pliable, ganache onto a macaron half. Top with a second macaron half, gently press just enough to push the filling out slightly past the edges. Roll the exposed ganache in the crushed peppermint candy, set aside to allow chocolate to harden completely.  


Once filled, macarons can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.  



White Chocolate Ganache 

Yield: About 1 1/2 cups 


12 ounces white chocolate, chopped  

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream 

1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract 


Place a medium saucepan filled with two inches of water over medium heat.  


Place chocolate, cream and extract in a medium heatproof bowl and place over the simmering water. While slowly stirring the mixture with a silicone spatula, heat just until the chocolate melts and has a smooth consistency.  


Let ganache cool, stirring every 10 minutes. When ganache has thickened to a frosting-like consistency, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a medium plain round pastry tip.