Chocolate French Macarons

7 January 2011

Chocolate French Macarons

After some traditional holiday baking, there were some leftover ingredients – like egg whites, chocolate glaze and sauce from the Profiteroles.   My eyes light up now when I’m using a recipe that will leave me with multiple egg whites. What better baking project than whipping up some French macarons! I was really cutting it close as to how long I had the egg whites in the refrigerator, but they didn’t disappoint.

I went on a macaron making hiatus for several months. The avoidance is over – I am determined to get them to a point of more consistent outcome. It all started with a baking challenge in 2009 from the The Daring Bakers group that I heard about the French macaron (not to be confused with the coconut confection). My first attempt was something short of a disaster. The failure drove me to determination as I switched tactics and used a recipe from Martha Stewart’s site. It worked out well sometimes, but last year while attempting more macaron miracles – the results were inconsistent.

Starting Over:  Some Ingredients for More Macaron Success

  • First and foremost, I weighed the ingredients on a scale {gasp!}. I know, I know – and I’m somewhat ashamed to admit it, but I’m so used to cups and teaspoons…I resisted “weighing” ingredients. For something as finicky and where precision is essential, you gotta weigh the ingredients. Baking is, after all, a science.
    Last year I finally added a kitchen scale to my repertoire of kitchen essentials.
  • I decided to start fresh with a recipe I hadn’t tried yet and used the Tartelette’s recipe, method and technique. She couldn’t write a more clearer recipe for macaron success – why did I take so long to adopt? Grant it, there are other factors like humidity, freshness of your ingredients, oven temperature variations, etc. If you’ve been beating your head against the counter about macarons or are interested in trying these delicate treats for the first time, save yourself the anguish and just start by reading her tutorial and studying it. After you read it, read it again – play it out in your mind. Make notes, then give it a try. It’s the basis to get you to more successful results, but other factors are involved as mentioned – and it will take practice. If you enjoy macarons, it’s worth it.

For the first time I feel more confident about the results and look forward to my next macaron batch.    If you’ve made macarons before, you can relate to the elation of feet!  Oh yes…we’re talking macaron feet fetish.

For these chocolate macarons, I added cocoa powder to the dry ingredients in place of the almond flour when measured.   Although the macaronage changed into a nice chocolaty brown, it didn’t bake into the same deep color.  Maybe I need to add more cocoa powder and this is where I fell short of having brown food coloring (which is on it’s way from King Arthur’s!).

I’m including a recipe for Dark Chocolate ganache. I didn’t use it in the pictured macarons (I used leftover bittersweet chocolate from the profiteroles).

Rather than repeat what the Tartelette has already shared and explained, I’m going to refer you to her tutorial (mentioned below) for the recipe, technique and method on the macaron.    As I continue working through making French macarons this year, I’ll include notes for my edification and anyone else who might find them useful.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
source Macarons by Cecile Cannone
Ingredients

7 ounces dark chocolate, cut into smaller pieces
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

In a small saucepan over low heat, add the chocolate, cream and honey until the chocolate is melted and well blended. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the butter.

Pour into a bowl and let it cool for about 30 minutes or until it’s thick enough to pipe.

Chocolate French Macarons

Invaluable Resources

  • Helene from Tartelette has an updated Macaron Tutorial – Demystifying Macarons
  • Not So Humble Pie has a great Macaron Troubleshooting Guide, among many other great reads.

Also, check out Seattle Pastry Girl – not only does she have a delicious blog, she has some fantastic entries like her very elegant Vanilla Macaron with Fromage Blanc.

Chocolate French Macarons

by Cristina A-Moore

Cookie Jar · Desserts · Gluten Free · Macaron Mania

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Comments :)

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Farida June 7, 2011

Great Pics, i love cake that chocolate french macarons looks so delicious.

farida
http://kitchensuperfood.com

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Mark Watson June 7, 2011

A real chocolate delight!

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Joy January 13, 2011

Those look perfect. Great job.

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Cristina January 11, 2011

Wow they turned out perfect! I love macarons but I never tried making them…maybe it’s time to start!

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Sandy January 10, 2011

These are just too gorgeous for words-macaron perfection! I’m very jealous and now you have inspired me !

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Cristina - Teenie Cakes January 10, 2011

Hi Sandy: Happy New Year to you!

Thank you for the comment…but you inspired me!! :) I loved your post on the Vanilla Macaron with Fromage Blanc. It was so elegant and thinking out of the box. Here’s to macaron challenges this year and more baking projects that inspire. :)

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Sprinkles of Parsley January 10, 2011

I’ve never had or made french macaroons before- shocking I know! They look absolutely delicious and so elegant. You make it look easy- I might have to give it a try now.

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Mindy January 10, 2011

These look delicious!

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Melanie Flinn January 9, 2011

Beautiful pics. Those look amazing!

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5 Star Foodie January 9, 2011

These macaroons look simply amazing! A definite success!

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Tiffany January 9, 2011

Magnifique!

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sarah-jane January 9, 2011

how absolutely and utterly perfect !

They look amazing :-)

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Magic of Spice January 9, 2011

These look absolutely perfect!

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zerrin January 9, 2011

These are adorable! You are so talented! I must try this when I have enough self confidence:)

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redkathy January 9, 2011

OMG, is all I can say!

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lisaiscooking January 9, 2011

Hooray for feet! Macarons are so delightful looking and so thrilling to bake when they turn out well. I have a black onyx cocoa powder that makes everything very dark in color. It may be a good option for chocolaty looking macarons.

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FOODESSA January 9, 2011

If EVER, macarons pass onto my adventurous side of baking and decide that MAYBE I can make them better than the ones I’ve once had in Paris…I’ll certainly have to come back to your post and referenced ressources.

Thanks for sharing Cristina and Happy New Year.
Flavourful wishes,
Claudia

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Monet January 8, 2011

Hi friend…these sure do look great. I still haven’t made my own macarons before. I just need to live close to you so I can try all of your experiments! I hope you like using your baking scale. I swear by mine now! Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a happy and relaxing Sunday!

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Jean January 8, 2011

Could those little feet be any more perfect? Everything about them is perfect, actually. Congrats on a job well done. When I finally do give macarons a try, I’ll make sure to use Tartellete’s recipe–it seems to be the standard these days. Your comment about using a scale made me smile. I was always a cups and spoons girl until I bought a scale a year or so ago. Boy, does it make a big difference. Nicely done!!!!

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torviewtoronto January 8, 2011

macaroons look delicious

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Luke @ WellJourn January 8, 2011

These look delicious!

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Angie's Recipes January 8, 2011

Perfection! These look wonderful!

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whatsfordinneracrossstatelines January 8, 2011

These are on my tackle soon list. Thanks for all the tips, I’m sure I will have a disaster the first time, yours look perfect. Have a great weekend.
-Gina-

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Emily Z January 8, 2011

I haven’t been over here in a while! Sorry about that! These macarons look amazing! Like most women, I love chocolate, so this looks like a winner to me! Hope you had a good holiday season and a Happy New Year!

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Island Vittles January 8, 2011

These are gorgeous — so perfect. Isn`t it great when you finally “get” something? Makes all those failed attempts worth the while! Theresa

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Lindsey at Burn Me Not January 8, 2011

These look fantastic! I want to plop one in my mouth right now. I’m slowly building up my courage to try my hand at Macarons, but for now I’ll admire yours. :)

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Medeja January 8, 2011

What a cute cookies :)
I have never dared to make macarons, maybe cause I was afraid to spoil them.. :)

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penny aka jeroxie January 8, 2011

Nice feet. I will be attempting my first batch in the next couple of weeks. So fingers CROSS

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Amy Bakes Everything January 8, 2011

Macarons are on my New Year’s resolution list…It’s not that I’m scared, it’s that I can’t find almond flour! Yours are gorgeous and inspiring, I love the chocolate!

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farida January 8, 2011

That look delicious and love Chocolate

farida
http://kitchensuperfood.com

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen January 8, 2011

I just love that first picture of the macarons, it’s an amazing shot that really highlights the delicate details. Your macarons have the perfect “foot” to them and the piping is beautifully done.

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Borislava January 8, 2011

Wow! I’m impressed – your macarons look really gorgeous! I never tried macarons, but with your tips I feel I can do it :) Thanks!

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irena January 7, 2011

Beautiful photos, dessert looks amazing….

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Sara January 7, 2011

Oh my God. These macarons make my big macaron effort look very lame haha. They are beautiful, just perfect!

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Dinners & Dreams January 7, 2011

The chocolate ganache filling sounds fantastic. I’d love some of these macarons right now. Nothing would make me happier!

Nisrine

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Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } January 7, 2011

Those are stunners!!! Absolutely perfect. I have yet to make macarons – a item on the list of “to do’s” for 2011! Thank you for sharing and Happy New Year!!

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Brian @ A Thought For Food January 7, 2011

It looks like all the measuring paid off! They look absolutely incredible! Still need to get my hands dirty and make my first batch of macarons. But your post is easing any of my fears. :-)

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Stephanie January 7, 2011

Isn’t it a thrill when they actually come out perfect – and yours have great little feet and nice tops. Great job and thanks for sharing.

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Kate @ Scarpetta Dolcetto January 7, 2011

I’d say you nailed them! Your macarons look lovely!

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Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking January 7, 2011

Thanks for the great tips, Cristina! Your macarons are just perfect, and I’m inspired to try again after a few colossal failures! They definitely come with a learning curve, but it looks like you have totally mastered them. Congratulations on your great success! :)

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Miriam/The Winter Guest January 7, 2011

Wow, they look terrific! I still haven’t dared to make macarons, can you imagine? ;)

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Daydreamer Desserts January 7, 2011

Great job, your macs look absolutely gorgeous.

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