Chocolate Macarons Recipe
Chocolate Macarons are made with all the same ingredients as a regular macaron (egg whites, sugar and almond flour), but with the addition of cocoa powder. This recipe though is no ordinary recipe as even a novice baker that I was the first time I tried them (and every single time since) they have come out perfect.
For a full guide with macaron troubleshooting tips check this Italian Method Macaron recipe. The technique for making the macarons is different, but the guide addresses potential problems that might arise in both the French (this one) and Italian method macarons.
These were my first ever macarons that I made in 2007. At that time most of the had no idea what macarons were but there was so much mystique surrounding their preparation in the baker’s community that I just had to give them a try. I didn’t know much about macarons, but I did know that they were the most impossible cookies to get right. I had no idea what they were supposed to taste like, or what made a perfect macaron but even with everything I know now, I realize that my first ever batch came out perfect on the first try. Well, except for their size. They came out gigantic since I didn’t know that they were supposed to be bite-sized, and not palm-sized :D. I misread 2.5 cm for 2.5 inches, so that is why.
Nevertheless! This is an amazing recipe! The instructions for the Chocolate Macaron recipe were so precise that it left no room for error which resulted in success even for a novice baker like I was.
Chocolate Macaroons by Pierre Herme
- 1 1/3 cups 5 ounces; 140 grams finely ground almond powder
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder plus more for dusting
- 1/2 100 grams cup egg whites
How to make Chocolate Macarons
If you've got almond powder, just sift it with the confectioner's sugar and cocoa.
If you're starting with almonds, place the whole almonds, sugar, and cocoa in the work bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture is as fine as flour, or at least 3 minutes. Although the almonds may look as though they're pulverized after a minute or so, they won't be: The nuts really need 3 to 5 minutes to be ground to a powder or flour. When the almonds are ground, using a wooden spoon, sift the mixture through a medium strainer.
How to measure egg whites:
For this recipe to succeed, you need 1/2 cup of egg whites, which means using 3 large egg whites plus part of a fourth white. Once the eggs are measured, they need to be brought to room temperature so they can be beaten to their fullest volume. To do this, microwave the egg whites in 5-10 second intervals for about 1 minute, stirring after each stop.
Beat the egg whites at low to medium speed until they are white and foamy. Turn the speed up to high and whip them just until they are firm but still glossy and supple - when you lift the whisk, the whites should form a peak that drops just a little.
Leave the whites in the mixer bowl or transfer them to a large bowl and, working with a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients gently into the whites in three or four additions. Don't worry if the whites deflate and the batter looks a little runny - that's just what's supposed to happen. When all the dry ingredients are incorporated, the mixture will look like a cake batter; if you lift a little with your finger, it should form a gentle, quickly falling peak. It is better to undermix, then overmix. Overmixed batter will produce hollow macarons or macarons with a very thin and brittle shell.
Spoon the batter into the pastry bag and pipe it out onto the prepared baking sheets. Pipe the batter into rounds about 1 inch in diameter, leaving about an inch between each round. When you've piped out all the macaroons, lift each baking sheet with both hands and then bang it down on the counter. Don't be afraid - you need to get the air out of the batter. Set the baking sheets aside at room temperature for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425F.
You should bake the Chocolate Macarons one pan at a time, so dust the tops of the macaroons on one pan with cocoa powder and slide one of the sheets into the oven. As soon as the baking sheet is in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350F and insert the handle of a wooden spoon into the oven to keep the door slightly ajar. Bake the macaroons for 10-12 minutes, or until they are smooth and just firm to the touch. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and turn the oven heat back up to 425F (to preheat the oven for the next baking pan)
To remove the macaroons from the parchment - they should be removed as soon as they come from the oven - you will need to create moisture under the cookies. Carefully loosen the parchment at the four corners and lifting the paper at one corner, pour a little hot water under the paper onto the baking sheet. The water may bubble and steam, so make sure your face and hands are out of the way. Move the parchment around or tilt the baking sheet so that the parchment is evenly dampened. Allow the macaroons remain on the parchment, soaking up the moisture, for about 15 seconds, then peel the macaroons off the paper and place them on a cooling rack.
When the oven is at the right temperature, repeat with the second sheet of macaroons. Remove from the parchment as directed above and let cool.
Cream Cheese Buttercream
Follow the recipe in the Cream Cheese Buttercream recipe.
How to assemble the Chocolate Macarons
Pair the macarons by size.
Fill half of the macaron shells with a dollop (about a 1 tablespoon) of the Cream Cheese Buttercream. Sandwich with the matching half and press together to adhere.
Refrigerate macarons for at least 24 hours to allow them to mature a.k.a become soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.