Macarons are the aristocrats of pastry; these vividly colored, mini meringues, sandwiched together with gooey fillings add a touch of magic on any festive table. If their mere mention can still instill fear in many home bakers minds, these chocolate macarons filled with dark chocolate ganache will show you that these dainty and delicious treats really aren’t that scary. With no more equipment than a mixer, a pastry bag and a oven, you can master these chocolate macarons perfectly for any occasion.
Ingredient list for the chocolate macarons recipe
For the shells:
- 3 1/2 cups (450g) icing sugar
- 3 cups (250g) ground almonds
- 5 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated or caster sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon (10g) cocoa powder
For the filling:
- 3 1/2 oz (100g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup (100g) of heavy cream
- 1 oz (30g) butter
The macaron shells
For better results, you must keep your egg whites separated from yolks for several days into the refrigerator (covered). Bring them to room temperature at least one hour before starting to make your macarons. Prepare a pastry bag with a round tip, and 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. You can draw little circles on the paper to help while piping.
1. Place the ground almonds, cocoa and icing sugar in a food processor, and pulse to combine. Sift over a large sheet of parchment paper then set aside in a large bowl.
2. Beat the egg whites until stiff, increasing speed gradually. Once the whisk leave marks, add the caster sugar little by little, spoon after spoon. The whisked egg whites should form a clump in the middle of the whisk.
3. Fold the dry ingredients into the whisked egg whites, pressing against the side of the bowl with a spatula. The mixture should be smooth and form a ribbon that falls back.
4. Fill a pastry bag with half the mixture, sealing the open end with a twist. Pipe the macarons on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Tap the baking sheet on the counter to evacuate air bubbles. Then refill the pastry bag and follow the same process with a second baking sheet.
5. Rest the macarons for 45 minutes before baking. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 290-310°F(145-155°C). Bake the macarons for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Leave shells to cool completely on the baking sheet. The shells should easily peel away from parchment.
1. Melt half the chopped chocolate in a double-boiler or in the microwave. Bring the cream to a boil in saucepan over medium heat. Combine cream and chocolate. Add butter and leave to cool at room temperature until the ganache is a spreadable consistency and not too runny. Fill a pastry bag with the ganache.
2. Pipe a dollop of ganache on a macaron shell, then cover with another one. Repeat with all the macarons. Store in the refrigerator at least 24 hours to let the flavors fully develop. Remove from the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.