Incredible Chocolate French Macarons with ganache filling are easy to make when the measurements are weighed and the step-by-step instructions are followed.
Why this recipe works:
If you've heard stories that macarons are difficult to make, don't fear!
This recipe has been made countless times and as long as you follow the recipe, it should turn out.
The secret to perfect macarons is to weigh your ingredients with a food scale versus visually measuring them by volume. That ensures complete accuracy.
An ideal macaron should be slightly crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, with a slight chewy tooth feel.
There are also very specific instructions as far as mixing and folding the ingredients.
The chocolate ganache filling is very easy to make and makes this decadent cookie incredibly rich.
Here's how to make them:
The full recipe is quite detailed and can be seen below. Here's a brief summary to give you an idea of what's involved.
- Egg whites and sugar are whipped until they form a meringue with soft peaks.
- Almond meal, confectioner's sugar, and Dutch cocoa or pulsed in a food processor until they are ultra fine and fully mixed.
- The meringue is then carefully folded into the dry ingredients until the ribbon stage is achieved. This is when the batter pours off your spoon and folds into a ribbon shape in the bowl.
- The macarons are piped onto a parchment lined baking sheet and will sit out for about 30 minutes to air dry before they are baked. The baking process requires half of the time to be under convection and the pan is rotated as well.
- The ganache filling is made by scalding the heavy cream and then pouring it over the chocolate, corn syrup (or other invert sugar), and salt. Once the chocolate has mostly melted, you can stir it until smooth.
Recipe tips for perfect results:
Most of my recipes can be altered or substitutions can be made. Not with this recipe. Be sure to follow the instructions exactly and they will turn out perfectly.
A lot of people like to use a macaron silicon mat under the parchment paper so that each cookie is the exact same size. This isn't necessary but is helpful.
Also, high quality ingredients will make a difference with these cookies. I highly recommend Valrhona cocoa powder.
Favorite chocolate recipes:
Have a weak spot for homemade chocolate desserts? You should definitely make these favorites:
- German Chocolate Cake
- Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Hazelnut Nutella Stuffed Cookies
- Brown Butter Brownies
Did you make these macarons? Please leave me a comment to let me know what you think!
Chocolate French Macarons
The chocolate macaron shell recipe:
- 5 ounces egg white (pasteurized is highly preferred)
- 2.1 ounces granulated sugar
- 5 ounces almond meal (blanched, no almond skins, aka almond flour (I prefer Bob's Redmill))
- 10 ounces confectioners sugar
- 0.3 ounces cocoa powder (Dutch processed, sifted)
- 4 ounces heavy cream
- 4 ounces chocolate (high quality chips or bars chopped into small pieces)
- 1 ounce of an invert sugar (corn syrup, agave, pasteurized honey)
- pinch of salt
- Portion the egg white & sugar into the bowl fitted for your stand mixer. Give the mixture a quick stir with the whip attachment. Whip egg white mixture at a medium speed in your stand mixer. Pasteurized eggs take longer to whip than fresh eggs, this will take 5 minutes or so.
- While the mixer is whipping away, blend the almond meal, powdered sugar, and sifted cocoa in a clean DRY food processor until just fully combined, about 30 seconds.
- When the egg white meringue has reached medium peaks (the elf hat stage) dump all the meringue out into a big clean mixing bowl, preferably a shallower, wider bowl. In three stages, pour one third of the dry mixture into the meringue and fold until 90% incorporated. After the last third of the dry mix is incorporated, continue to fold until the 'dark ribbon stage' appears and the looseness of the batter increases slightly.
- Line a nice dry, flat sheet tray with your 'tracer sheet' and a fresh piece of brown parchment (the tracer sheet should be UNDER the fresh parchment). If you are using brown parchment on a roll, preflatten it under some books in advance. With a mediumsmall round piping tip (I use 805), pipe the macarons in line with the tracer sheet. Remember not to 'drown your tip' and to pull away from each macaron using the 'doggie tail wag' motion. Rest the macarons in a nondrafty place for 30 minutes.
- This is a good time to make the ganache filling for the macarons. Scald the cream, pour over the combined chocolate, syrup, and salt. Stir until completely combined. Place the mixture over a double boiler on low heat and continue stirring if stubborn chocolate chunks remain. The mixture should be smooth and glossy, and thicken slightly. Pour the ganache on a sheet tray or casserole dish so that it's spread thinly for quick cooling.
- Bake macarons in preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 4 minutes with the convection off. Turn the macaron pan and bake for another 7 minutes with the convection on. Wait until the macarons have cooled completely before attempting to peel them from the parchment.
- Once the macarons are cooled, and the ganache has set to a spreadable consistency, spread or pipe about a half teaspoon of ganache onto half of the macaron shells. Use the other half of the cookies to complete the macaronganache sandwiches. Drizzle the macarons with extra melted chocolate if desired (drizzling with extra ganache is not recommended) or dust lightly with cocoa powder.
- Macarons are always best the second day when 'matured' overnight in an airtight container in a refrigerator. They freeze really well in airtight containers as well. Always serve macarons at room temperature.
Recipe tips for perfect results:Most of my recipes can be altered or substitutions can be made. Not with this recipe. Be sure to follow the instructions exactly and they will turn out perfectly. A lot of people like to use a macaron silicon mat under the parchment paper so that each cookie is the exact same size. This isn't necessary but is helpful. Also, high quality ingredients will make a difference with these cookies. I highly recommend Valrhona cocoa powder.
This recipe was originally published in February 2015 and has been updated with helpful information and cooking tips. Don't worry - I didn't change anything about the recipe!