Macarons are the ultimate in decadence and here I've paired chocolate macarons with a smooth and creamy salted dark chocolate ganache.
Macarons. The mere mention can instill fear in many a baker, myself included.
I attempted to make macarons once before, and it was an unmitigated disaster. Every single one cracked.
And while I vowed not to let the disappointment get me down, and to make them again, it was another year before I did.
But recently I decided it was time to overcome my macaron fears and confront them head on by making a batch of chocolate macarons.
My chocolate macarons aren't perfect - I know they shouldn't have a visible nipple on top from piping - but hey, they aren't bad for my second attempt! I'm sure, with practice, they will only improve from here!
(P.S. I have not tried to veganize this recipe yet, although I will soon. But if you want to give it a go, be sure to grab this free printable with all my favorite vegan baking substitutions for inspiration!)
This time around I followed the brilliant tutorial from Mardi of Eat, Live, Travel, Write, who used a foolproof recipe from Stella of Brave Tart, who makes batch after batch of macarons for a living.
Who better to teach a macaron novice than an expert who makes them daily?
Thanks to both of these lovely ladies I learned macarons really aren't that scary.
There's no voodoo involved.
There's no need to pray to the macaron gods.
And that practice will make perfect.
Of course, as a chocolate addict, for my first batch of macarons, it had to be chocolate macarons.
Chocolate macarons filled with dark chocolate ganache.
After all chocolate, and especially dark chocolate is my absolute favourite treat in the whole world.
So if you've been put off making macarons in the past because they haven't been successful, it's time to try again. You'll be rewarded with a beautiful batch of this delicious French treat.
And if they crack, or don't develop feet, just think of it this way - it's another step towards success.
Besides, they're still delicious, and would be great in an Eton mess!
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Chocolate Macarons recipe
- 115 g almond meal (also called ground almonds or almond flour) (4 oz)
- 230 g icing sugar (also called powdered sugar) (1 ¾ cups)
- 15 g cocoa powder (2 tbsp)
- 144 g egg whites (5 oz)
- 72 g caster sugar (also called superfine sugar) (⅓ cup)
DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
- 130 g dark chocolate (4 ½ oz)
- 130 mls cream (½ cup)
- pinch of sea salt
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Keep a third tray aside as you are going to pop each lined baking tray into the third tray when you bake the macarons.
- Prepare a piping bag with a round tip and place inside a tall drinking glass and roll the edges over the drinking glass so it's ready to fill with your macaron mixture.
- Place the almonds, icing sugar and cocoa in a food processor, and pulse to combine. Do this around 10 times, or until all the ingredients are mixed well together. Sift in a fine mesh sieve, twice.
- Place the egg whites and caster sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk for 2 minutes at a low speed (KitchenAid speed four). Increase to a medium speed for 2 minutes (KitchenAid six) followed by a high speed (KitchenAid eight) for 2 minutes. The whisked egg whites should form a clump in the middle of the whisk. Remove the egg whites from the whisk and detach the bowl from the mixer before adding the almonds, icing sugar and cocoa.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the whisked egg whites, pressing against the side of the bowl. The goal here is to incorporate the dry ingredients, but also to deflate the egg whites. This should take about 40 strokes. The mixture is ready to pipe when it flows in ribbons off the spatula, like lava.
- Fill the prepared piping bag with half the mixture, sealing the open end with a twist.
- Pipe four dots of the mixture in the corners of the tray, under the baking paper, to secure the baking paper to the tray to prevent sliding.
- To pipe the macarons, hold the piping tip at an angle to the baking tray and pipe circles about 3cm in diameter.
- Grab the sides of the baking tray and tap it on a hard surface (such as your kitchen bench) 3 to 4 times to remove air bubbles. Refill the piping bag and pipe and tap the second tray of macarons.
- Rest the macarons for 30 minutes before baking, or until the macarons are not sticky or tacky to touch. While the macarons are resting preheat the oven to 150 celsius (300 Fahrenheit).
- Place a piped tray inside the empty baking tray and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 16 minutes, rotating the tray at the 8 minute mark. Remove from oven and cool on the tray for a few minutes before removing the baking paper from the tray and allowing the macarons to cool for 30 minutes on a cool surface before placing onto a cooling rack.
- While the macarons are cooling make the ganache. Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and leave to sit for a minute. Add the sea salt and whisk to combine. Leave to cool at room temperature until the ganache is a spreadable consistency and not too runny.
- Once completely cooled fill with chocolate ganache and refrigerate, covered, for 24 hours to allow the flavours to fully develop.
Have you tried using a toothpick to smooth out the piping? I Took a macaroon class and that's what he did to make it smooth.
I will try that next time!!
Great recipe! I tried it and it turned out great, with feet and all!
It was a big hit amongst my friends
I may want to experiment with adding more coco powder next time to make it even richer
I'm so glad you enjoyed it - thanks for sharing!
Used this ganache recipe as I had overbaked my coffee macaron shells. Very simple to make, and it pipes and sets nicely inside the macaron. The only difficult part is checking on it while it's cooling in the fridge so as to not let it harden too much before piping 🙂 A nice bitter dark chocolate flavour to pair perfectly with the sweetness of the shells.
Thanks - I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Pam Schuetze says
Made macrons for the very first time in my life, and although not every one of them turned out perfect, the majority of them came out GREAT!! and that is saying something, since I really am not much of a baker. I usually find baking far too finicky and specific for my liking. But I really wanted to give these a try and am glad I did. I was so happy that most of them had "feet". And they were crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside, and tasted delicious. Thanks for the great, easy to follow, instructions. The only thing I guess that was different, was how few I got. Recipe says about 40,but in actuality I only got about 25 of them. Perhaps when it says 40, it is referring to the halves of the macron. And if that is the case, then I got more than the recipes states. 🙂 Happy baking everyone.
I am so glad you tried it and were successful! Macarons are a little tricky. But even if they don't come out pretty - they always taste great!
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
Totally decadent. I've tried baking macarons 3 times and it has all failed on me. Hope to try again soon 🙂
Martine @ Chompchomp says
Pretty good macarons for second attempt! Very impressive. I quite like the little nipple...its cute!
I love macarons and yours look so inviting. I must admit I did feel somewhat nervous when I first made macarons and had a few not so good looking ones along the way. 🙂
Congratulations on the most delicious looking chocolate macarons!! The look so dark and lush!!
This is the same as my macaron recipe. I have never been convinced that you need to make a hot sugar syrup and fuss. I like to keep it simple. I love the tip for piping dots to hold the baking paper in place!! I hate chasing the paper around as I pipe.
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says
I can never resist a macaron, they are my weakness!
Tiffany | baking at tiffanys says
These look fabulous! Congrats on your 2nd try! And I love chocolate macarons too.
I had so many disaster with macarons that I am worried to try one more time. But then, I so want to still try. Love yours and love the dark tone too.
Joan - My Cookie Clinic says
They look perfect to me....I'm sure they tasted great!
What perfect looking macarons!
Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) says
I STILL stand nervously by the oven door looking for feet - case in point, I taught two classes over the weekend and was nervously hovering around the oven at around the 4 minute mark when the feet start to develop! Thank you for your too-kind words and the link back - I am glad you found the recipe useful and that you had success with it.
"And that practice will make perfect." The most important line of this post. I cannot stress the importance of practice practice practice enough. Take one recipe, stick with it until you get it right (as long as you are sure that it's a proven successful one). So many people try once, they might not be perfect and they either declare the recipe "doesn't work" or they never try again. It's all about the practice. Well done!!!
Thanks Mardi. 🙂
Stella is the macaron queen! I always use an Ottolenghi recipe which seems pretty foolproof but Stella's recipes are always winners too.
Yours look picture perfect and I think chocolate might well be my favourite macaron flavour.
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says
My first macarons ever were chocolate too. I bet you stood at the oven window waiting for feet to grow too?
My husband wasn't one bit excited and I was thrilled. 🙂
Haha yes, I did stand peering into the oven to see if feet would appear. I was so excited when they did I did a little dance 🙂
Very well done! They look splendid and perfect.
These look perfect to me, Jennifer. I didn't even notice the nipple until you mentioned it. I'll bet they tasted divine too.
I have yet to make macarons! They are on my to-do list very soon! Thanks for the inspiration to get off my butt and make them! 🙂
I have my fingers crossed they will turn out well for you Liz 🙂 Let me know how you go!
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says
These are so beautiful! I just want to grab these from the screen and devour them!
Thank you so much Jocelyn 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Gorgeous macarons, glad you had success as well! I love the double chocolate :).
Thanks Laura 🙂 Mine aren't as perfect as yours, but I'm sure with practice I'll get there.
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
Wow, these macarons look like absolute perfection!
You're too kind 🙂