These rich chocolate macarons with a sweet buttercream filling. The best macaron recipe made from scratch.
Line two large insulated baking sheets with parchment paper, or line two regular baking sheets and put on on top of the other baking sheet. Fit a large pastry bag with a plain 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch tip. Set these aside for the moment.
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.
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.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F.
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 350°F 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 425°F (to preheat the oven for the next baking pan)
Follow the recipe in the Cream Cheese Buttercream recipe.
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.
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