When making these chocolate macarons, it’s best to use a liquid measuring cup to measure the whites. You’ll want to chill the cookies overnight to get the perfect balance of crisp and chewy. Egg whites are the key element in this recipe. These chocolate macarons are not difficult to make, but they can be so finicky that they have a reputation for turning bakers’ hair gray. They often spread into odd shapes or form dark stains on top.
The recipe starts with my basic macaron recipe. To it, add good-quality cocoa powder. You can use either natural or Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder, just make sure it is of good quality. But don’t be scared to try these chocolate macarons because even if they don’t turn out as beautiful as the ones in the shop windows, they’ll still taste delicious. Some tips: Let the raw macaron rounds sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, don’t overmix the meringue or batter, and, when possible, use older egg whites.
Take care to beat them until they are only just firm and still shiny, then don’t be concerned when, as you add the dry ingredients, they deflate – they’re supposed to. Knocking some of the air out of the whites is what will give these chocolate macarons their characteristic smooth top.
- 1 cup (100gr) almond flour
- 3/4 cup (100gr) powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons (10gr) natural cocoa powder
- 2 large egg whites (75gr), at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ cup (50gr) sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, optional
For chocolate ganache filling:
- 1/3 cup (60gr) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Nutella
- 1 tablespoon Kahlua, optional
- In a medium bowl, sift together almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder twice. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
- Add cream of tartar and continue to beat. Slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until hard peaks form.
- Sift the almond flour mixture over the whipped egg whites. Gently fold the mixture running the spatula clockwise from the bottom, up around the sides and cut the batter in half.
- The batter will look very thick at first, but it will get thinner as you fold. Be careful not to over mix it though.
- Every so often tests the batter to see if it reached the right consistency. To test the batter, drop a small amount of the batter and count to ten.
- Transfer the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip.
- Pipe out 1.5-inch rounds about an inch apart on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. You should get about 42 shells.
- Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. If you don’t release the air bubbles, they will expand during baking and crack the beautiful macarons shells.
- Let the macarons rest and dry for 15-30 minutes. On a humid day, it might take an hour or so. To see if it’s ready to be baked, lightly touch it.
- If the batter doesn’t stick to your finger, then it’s ready. Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt on each macaron right before baking. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Bake the macarons for 18-20 minutes. To check the doneness, remove one macaron. If the bottom does not stick, they are done.
- Transfer to wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, and then remove from the baking sheets.
- While macarons are cooling, prepare the ganache filling. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave for a minute.
- In a medium bowl, put the chocolate chips and pour hot cream over the chocolate. Let it stand for a minute or two and then stir until smooth.
- Stir in Nutella and Kahlua for flavor. Cool the ganache in the fridge to thicken.
- Transfer the ganache filling into a pastry bag and fill the macarons.
- Store the filled macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the filled macarons in an airtight container for up to 5 months.