Chocolate Macarons

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My chocolate macarons are a cocoa lover’s dream!

Chocolate-almond shells and rich ganache meld together for a really satisfying, fudge-like treat.  Most of my macarons begin with my original Perfect Macaron recipe and the shells are colored but aren’t flavored.  This adapted version is packed with flavor-the shells have a beautiful chocolate taste and color from cocoa powder.

Chocolate macarons tower

So what makes a perfect macaron?  A delicious filling sandwiched between two almond meringue cookies.  A perfect macaron should have a smooth top, frilly even “feet”, be slightly crisp on the outside, and chewy on the inside-yum!

Chocolate macarons perfect macaron

If you’ve made my macarons before, you’ll recognize the process.  It’s almost the same as my original Perfect Macaron recipe-there are just a few slight adjustments to account for the cocoa powder.

What you need:

For the Macaron Shells

Almond Flour – Almond flour is the base for macaron shells.  There are a bunch of different brands available and I have tired many of them-they all work!  Some are ground finer than others.  I prefer the ones that are on the finer side, but it’ll be sifted to remove any bits that are too large to use.  Remember to store it in an air tight container so it stays fresh.

Powdered Sugar – This also gets sifted and whisked into the almond flour to make it even lighter.

Egg whites – Egg whites are whipped up to stiff peaks to form a glossy meringue.  For best results, age the egg whites a day at room temperature.

Cream of Tartar- This stabilizes the meringue-so important with macarons!  I make them throughout the year, on dry days and humid days-this is one of the key ingredients to consistent macarons.

Salt- These sweet cookies need a little salt for balance.  I use Mortons Kosher Salt.

Granulated Sugar – This is slowly added in to the egg whites before they are whipped to stiff peaks to form a glossy meringue.

Cocoa Powder – To flavor and color the shells, use Dutch process cocoa powder.  The cocoa powder absorbs a lot of moisture, so the batter is thicker than my original macaron recipe.  The macaronage stage will take a little longer to reach the perfect consistency-pay attention to the texture so that it isn’t over or under mixed!

For the Chocolate Ganache Filling

Chocolate macarons chocolate ganache 1

Cream – Heavy cream is warmed up on the stove and gets poured over the chocolate-this allows it to gently melt.

Dark Chocolate Chips – I prefer to use dark chocolate chips for this recipe.  It balances out the sweetness of the cookie and makes for an extra rich cookie.  If you prefer semi-sweet or milk chocolate, feel free to substitute.

Hazelnut Spread – This is stirred in at the end and makes the ganache a little more creamy and adds it just a hint of hazelnut flavor.  Nutella is my favorite!

 

How to make the Chocolate Macarons:

Make the Chocolate Ganache

Heat the cream on the stove in a heavy bottom pot until it is just below a simmer. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit undisturbed for five minutes. Stir the chocolate until all of the chips are melted. Add in the hazelnut spread and stir to combine.
Chocolate macarons ganache
Pour the ganache into a piping bag and let it cool at room temperature. It will be the perfect piping consistency by the time the macarons are finished baking and cool.
Chocolate macarons chocolate ganache 2

Prepare the egg whites

Separate the egg whites and allow them to come to room temperature.

Pro tip:

Separate the egg whites at least a day before you plan to make the macarons.  Keep them in a sealed container on the counter overnight so it’s at room temperature when you are ready to begin.  This step allows some of the moisture to evaporate, helping to ensure that your macaron shells don’t crack in the oven.  Save the egg yolks for another recipe, like my lemon or raspberry curd (these also make perfect fillings!).

Prepare the dry ingredients

Measure out the dry ingredients.  It is important to have everything ready to go before you start whisking the egg whites.  Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into a large bowl.

perfect macarons sifting

Discard the large pieces left in the sieve-they will make the tops of your macarons look lumpy!  Sift the cocoa powder into the same bowl and stir everything together.

Chocolate macarons dry ingredients

Make the meringue

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on low until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar, salt, then gradually pour in the granulated sugar.  Increase the speed to high and whip until it reaches the stiff peak stage.

Chocolate macarons meringue

Pro Tip:

If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, start on speed 4.  After you have added the sugar, increase to speed 9.  After exactly 4 minutes the egg whites will have reached the stiff peak stage.

Macaronage

Macaronage is the process of folding the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture into the meringue.  This is the most important step!  Over-mixing or under-mixing will result in cracked macarons shells or shells without “feet”.  Because there is cocoa powder added to this recipe-this step will take a little longer than traditional macarons.

Pour half of the almond flour and powdered sugar on top of the meringue.  Gently fold it into the meringue with a spatula.  Once it is incorporated, add the remaining almond flour/sugar.  Continue to mix until the mixture flows off of the spatula like magma.

Pro Tip:

What does “flow like magma” look like?  You will know it is at the perfect stage when you can scoop up some batter and it runs off of the spatula in a ribbon, folding onto itself at least four times.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch round tip (size 10).  I love these pastry bags-they come on a big roll and hold a bunch.  I use a cylindrical vase to hold the pastry bag upright, so I have two hands free to pour the batter in.  Once filled, firmly grasp the opening of the party bag and shake the batter down to force any large bubbles to the surface.

Pro Tip:

To close the bag, I use a zip tie.  Because it closes so securely, you can apply a good amount of pressure when piping and it prevents any of the batter form leaking out of the top.

Chocolate macarons batter

Pipe the macarons

Pipe 1/2 inch rounds onto a silicone baking sheet.  I like ones that have guides so you know where to stop.  Pick up the tray and firmly tap the on the counter five times, then five times on each side.  If any bubbles come to the surface or pop, use a toothpick to gently fill the areas in.  This will help ensure that the tops are smooth and prevent any hollow shells.

Let the trays rest for one hour before baking so the tops can dry slightly.  The pipped rounds will turn matte when ready to bake.

Chocolate macarons piped

Bake the macarons

Preheat the oven to 300ºF.  Bake on the center rack of the oven (one tray at a time) for 18 minutes.  Wait 5 minutes before placing the next tray in the oven-this allows the humidity in the oven to level out.  Let the macarons cool before removing from the silicone baking mats or trays.

Pro tip:

Chocolate macarons have a tendency to be more fudge-like than traditional macarons.  For this recipe, I increased the oven temperature 25ºF (my Perfect Macarons bake at 275ªF).  Let the macarons cool slightly before trying to lift one of the macarons from the silicone mat.  If it sticks, you may need to bake it for an additional two minutes.

Chocolate macarons shells 1

Filling the macarons

Once the shells are completely cool, pair matching shells and pipe on the chocolate ganache.

Chocolate macarons shells 3

Top with the matching macaron shell, cover, and refrigerate.  I love these lids that fit perfectly on my sheet trays!  Macarons are best after 24 hours-the filling and shells meld together for the perfect texture.  After the filling is set, I transfer the cookies to these containers for storage.  Now you get to share and enjoy!

The perfect Chocolate Macaron!

Chocolate macarons 1

 

Chocolate Macarons

Everything you need to know to make perfect chocolate macarons! Pair with creamy chocolate ganache for a decadent treat!
This recipe makes 50 macarons (100 macaron shells).
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 54 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: macarons, pastry
Makes: 50 macarons
Author: Corey Grimsley

Equipment

  • stand mixer
  • Piping bag and 1/4" piping tip
  • Silicone Baking Mats (3)
  • Baking Sheets (3)

Ingredients

Chocolate Macarons Shells

  • 200 grams egg whites room temperature (preferably day old) from about 6 large eggs
  • 275 grams almond flour
  • 250 grams powdered sugar
  • 210 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt Mortons Coarse Kosher
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 32 grams Dutch process cocoa powder

Chocolate Ganache

  • 260 grams dark chocolate chips
  • 117 grams heavy cream
  • 40 grams hazlenut spread Nutella

Instructions

MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  • Heat the cream on the stove in a heavy bottom pot until it is just below a simmer. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit undisturbed for five minutes. Stir the chocolate until all of the chips are melted. Add in the hazelnut spread and stir to combine. Pour the ganache into a piping bag and let it cool at room temperature. It will be the perfect piping consistency by the time the macarons are finished baking and cool.

PREPARE THE EGG WHITES

  • For best results, separate the egg whites at least a day before you plan to make the macarons.  Store in a sealed container on the counter overnight so it’s at room temperature when you are ready to begin.

PREPARE THE DRY INGREDIENTS

  • Measure out the dry ingredients.  It is important to have everything ready to go before you start whisking the egg whites.
  • Sift the almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder into a large bowl and stir to combine.  Discard the large pieces left in the sieve-they will make the tops of your macarons look lumpy!

MAKE THE MERINGUE

  • In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whitess on low until foamy (speed 4 on a KitchenAid stand mixer).
  • Add the cream of tartar, salt, then gradually pour in the granulated sugar.  Increase the speed to high (speed 9 on a KitchenAid stand mixer) and whip until it reaches the stiff peak stage.

MACARONAGE

  • Pour half of the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture on top of the meringue.  Gently fold it in with a spatula.  Once it is incorporated, add the remaining almond flour/sugar.  Continue to mix until it flows off of the spatula like magma.
  • Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch round tip (size 10).  Before snipping off the tip of the bag, firmly grasp the opening and shake the batter down to force any large bubbles to the surface.

PIPE THE MACARONS

  • Pipe 1/2 inch rounds onto silicone baking sheets. 
  • Firmly tap the tray on the counter five times and then five times on each side.  If any bubbles come to the surface or pop, use a toothpick to gently fill the areas in.
  • Let the trays rest for one hour before baking so the tops can dry out slightly.  The tops will turn matte when ready to bake.

BAKE THE MACARONS

  • Preheat the oven to 300ºF.  Bake in the center rack of the oven, one tray at a time, for 18 minutes.  Wait 5 minutes before placing the next tray in the oven-this allows the humidity in the oven to level out.  Let the macarons cool before removing from the silicone baking mats or trays.
    Chocolate macarons have a tendency to be more fudge-like than traditional macarons.  Let the macarons cool slightly before trying to lift one of the macarons from the silicone mat.  If it sticks, you may need to bake it for an additional two minutes.

FILLING THE MACARONS

  • Once the shells are completely cool, pair matching shells and pipe on the chocolate ganache.
  • Top with the matching macaron shell, cover, and refrigerate.  The macarons are best after 24 hours-the filling and shells meld together to form the perfect texture. Enjoy!
Did you try this recipe?Let me know how it was!

 

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About me

Corey Grimsley

I’m an artist and art restorer who spends an equal amount of time in the kitchen. Follow along as I put an artisanal touch on all of my bakes!

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