If you’re a chocolate addict (as am I…), then you are definitely going to want to make these! They are NO joke…chocolate in the shell, chocolate in the filling and chocolate on top! Why not?? It’s not like you’re going to eat ALL of them or bake them every week…!! Just trust me, they’re too good not to try! They’re great for all occasions too as they’ll be a hit with anyone & everyone!!
PREPARATION TIME: 1 HOUR – RESTING TIME: 3-24 HOURS – BAKING TIME: 25 MINUTES – MAKES 40 MACARONS
- FOR THE MACARONS SHELLS:
- 200g Powdered Sugar
- 110g Almond Flour/Ground Almonds
- 95g / 3 Egg Whites
- 30g Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Cocoa Powder
- FOR THE GANACHE FILLING:
- 90ml Fresh Cream
- 120g Milk Chocolate
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE MACARONS
Prepare your baking trays by lining them with baking paper or a silicone mat and prepare your piping bag, fitted with a small round tip.
Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together and sift it one more time to get rid of any big pieces of almonds or almond skins that are left behind. Add the cocoa powder and mix together with a whisk. Set aside and get started on the french meringue.
In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the egg whites and start whisking them on medium speed. Once they reach ‘soft peak’ stage, gradually add the sugar a little at a time while continuing to whisk. The meringue will start to become glossy and thicker. Your meringue is ready once it reaches stiff peaks.
Add half of the meringue mixture into the dry ingredients and mix them until all combined. Add the remaining meringue and fold together, while also pressing the batter against the sides of the bowl. If you want to see how I achieve this mixing method, then watch my French Macaron tutorial here.
Pour the macaron batter into the piping bag and pipe your macaron shells evenly onto your baking trays. Tap them onto a flat surface to release any air bubbles and pop them with a toothpick or skewer.
Set your macarons aside to dry. This takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on where you live and what the weather is on the day you are baking these.
You can preheat your oven to 160°C/320°F.
Once you can slide your finger over the shells and they are dry and no better sticks to your finger, they are ready to be baked. Bake your macarons for 12-15 minutes. The time will vary depending on your oven, but for me the sweet spot was 14 minutes. You will know if they are done, when they release easily from the paper or mat.
Immediately remove the shells from the baking tray to stop them from cooking further and allow them to cool completely before adding the filling. The shells will be hard at this stage and this is normal as there is no moisture in the shells at this point. That is why they need a filling and are best eaten after a day so that they can have time to absorb the moisture from the filling and soften the inside of the shell, while leaving a crispy outer shell. MMMMMM……… I promise you that it’s worth leaving them for at least a few hours before eating them.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
There are two ways to make a ganache and one is by heating up the cream in the microwave and pouring it over the chocolate after it has been finely chopped up and mix until all the chocolate pieces have melted. The other option is over a pot on the stove with a little water. You can add the chocolate and cream to a bowl that will fit on top/inside of your pot, but make sure not to let it touch the water, as it can burn the chocolate. Mix, mix, mix until the cream & chocolate have combined.
Place your ganache in the fridge to chill and stir every now and then to check on the consistency. Once it has cooled completely, but is not too thick, pour the ganache into a piping bag and you can pipe it onto your macaron shells.
The best time to make the ganache would be while your macaron shells are drying, before baking them. This way, they should all be ready at the same time!!