13 August 2015

Chocolate Macaron

These take ages. Genuinely. They take up a good chunk of your time. And I'm just being honest here, there's gonna be no beating around the bush on this blog.

Start to finish we are talking about two and half hours! So if you have anything better to be doing, these are not the bake to start. If however, you want to stop and start, go out and do the shopping, get the kids fed. Make a jigsaw. Come back in and bake again. These little spherical sandwiches of sweet something something or other, are just the ticket.

Macaron; MAH-CAH-RON (not to be confused with MacarOOOOOn) are these little bites of heaven straight from the recipe books of the French Baking God's. They are a pain in the bum to make. But damnit, when you get them right, they are so worth it.

And by get them right I mean, fold and fold and fold that mixture until your arm is going to fall off but that ribbon is set. And then you wait. And you let them dry. For aaaaaggggeeeesss...

You. Let. Them. Dry.

That's the deal breaker. The better the skin on top pre-bake, the nicer the feet and the better the shell you have. Patience is definitely the key here. Hence the go out/do the shopping/feed the kids/walk the dog suggestions. 

Macaron Shells
This recipe doubles up nicely. 
I have never tripled it because holy moly that makes a lot of macarons!

4 aged egg whites (and by aged I mean crack the eggs, leave them covered over in a bowl on your counter over night- up to 24 hours.)
100g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
280g icing sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder

You need to start with a clean, grease free mixing bowl and a mixer. (I use the silver bowl and whisk off my stand mixer but, a hand mixer will do perfectly if that’s what you have!)

On a high speed, whip your egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue whipping the egg whites on a high speed and start pouring the caster sugar into the mixing bowl. I start off with a slow and steady stream and stop after 1/3 has gone in. I let it whip for a while and start again, adding another 1/3 and then stopping pouring sugar. Repeat for the third batch. 

Continue whipping for a further 3-4 minutes until your egg whites form a thick and glossy stiff peaked meringue. (Like the picture above.. hand shot!)

Sieve together the icing sugar and ground almonds into a large bowl and discard any large lumps or bumps you found were too big to go through the sieve. Sieve in the 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and then sieve the entire dry mix for a second time to make sure it is completely lump free and airy.

Taking a spatula, fold the egg whites into the almond, dry mixture. Your aim here is to squash out any air in the meringue. You can be rough with your folds, just make sure to keep folding through, making sure all the dry mix has been incorporated into the meringue.

You’re going for, what the internet describes as, a “thick ribbon” consistency. Essentially that means the mix almost falls back on itself in around 10 seconds. (Ribbons... Meh! just try get it to match the picture above!!)

I use a macaron silicone mat as a guide, under my parchment paper to pipe my macaron shells to size.

You can print off macaron templates which are very helpful in giving you a good reference for size when you are piping out macaron. Line a few baking trays with parchment, and using your template, or not, pipe the rounds onto the tray. Keep going until you use all the mix- this recipe yields about 28-30 macrons shells. Giving you 14/15 whole macarons.

Holding your tray about a foot off above the counter top or table you are working it... drop it! Drop it likes it hot. Drop that tray like you hate it. 

Repeat this procedure a few times to pop any air bubbles left in your shells and allow the circles to settle. 

Now the hard part. Leave the shells to rest so that they form a skin and have become dry enough on the outside that you can lightly touch them.  This process could take up to an hour. (TIP: Leave them in a warm part of your house, like the windowsill where the sun is shining in.. they’ll be dry in no time!)

Preheat your oven to 130’. Once the macarons are ready for the oven,  pop them in for 8 minutes. After the 8 minutes, insert a wooden spoon into the oven door to keep it a little bit open. Continue baking for another 4-6 minutes until the top of the shell is crisp and if you wiggled it, gently, from side to side it should be one piece!

Remove from the oven onto a cooling tray and cool completely before filling. Continue baking whatever other shells are left in the same way. 

Match up your macaron shells so that like sized and shaped are together. Fill the shells on one side, using your favourite buttercream or filling and sandwich together. 

I filled my with a rich Chocolate Buttercream. The perfect chocoholics treat. 

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

225g soft, super soft unsalted butter
500g sifted icing sugar
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder or chocolate ganache- whatever you have handy!

Beat the butter with the paddle attachment on high until it is very soft and pale. I find that if you give the butter a couple of seconds in the microwave, to when it's almost starting to melt, before you beat it, you end up with the lightest and fluffiest of frosting. 
Add in the icing sugar a few cups at a time. (TIP: alternating with a tablespoon of milk if you think the frosting is too dry.)
Mix the holy moly out of it until light and fluffy.
Decorate in one thick swirl when your macarons have cooled.

Lick the bowl clean. 

This is how I make them. They work out almost all the time.

I know everyone makes them differently but this is what works for me! Let me know if you try them, have any tips yourself or would like to see me make anything else.. any excuse to procrastibake!


  1. Your macarons look so good! I would certainly lick the bowl clean if I made them!
    Should you wish to join in with my Perfecting Patisserie linky these would be perfect. x

  2. I love macarons but I don't think I'd ever be game to bake them myself. I'm good with tea cakes, breads and savouries. But I love seeing yours! They make me wishing I was bake in Brisbane in that delightful little French patisserie where I tried macarons for the first time x

  3. OMG!!!! These look fabulous!!!! I have never made a macaron, but you make it sound so possible, but I still doubt I will do it! Well done you though!!!!! xx

  4. Your macarons look soooooo pretty!! The frilly filling matches the frilly macaron feet perfectly. I've only made macarons once, a few years ago, but I definitely want to revisit them. Will keep your recipe in mind as I like the sound of chocolate macarons :)


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