How to Make Chocolate Macarons

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Delight one and all by creating gorgeous, delicious and sophisticated-looking chocolate macarons. Two crisp, sweet and chewy chocolate and almond meringue shells are filled with an easy and rich dark chocolate ganache. Neither challenging nor time-consuming, this is a foolproof classic French macaron recipe that will easily yield perfect and professional chocolate macaron results every time!

These delightful macarons make a perfect treat.
These delightful macarons make a perfect treat. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Things You'll Need

  • 8.1 ounces / 230 grams powdered sugar
  • 4.1 ounces / 115 grams ground almond meal
  • 0.7 ounces / 20 grams Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 5.1 ounces / 145 grams egg whites
  • 2.5 ounces / 70 grams superfine sugar
  • 4 ounces / 115 grams bittersweet dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces / 115 milliliters heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Step 1: Measure and Weigh Ingredients

Macarons are notoriously precise. Measure and weigh out all of your ingredients beforehand for the best results.

Measure and weigh all the ingredients.
Measure and weigh all the ingredients. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 2: Prepare the Baking Trays

Begin by lining three baking trays with either baking parchment or silicone macaron slip-mats, if accessible.

Prepare a baking tray with either baking parchment or a silicone macaron slip-mat,
Prepare a baking tray with either baking parchment or a silicone macaron slip-mat, (Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 3: Process the Dry Ingredients

Place the powdered sugar, almond meal and cocoa powder in the bowl of a food processor, and mix to form a finely textured crumb, roughly 1 minute. Set this mixture aside.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a food processor.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. (Image: Thalia Ho)
Process the mixture to form a fine textured crumb.
Process the mixture to form a fine textured crumb. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 4: Whisk the Egg Whites

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or with a handheld electric whisk, whisk the egg whites on low speed until they become frothy.

Whisk the egg whites until frothy.
Whisk the egg whites until frothy. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Once the egg whites have become frothy, increase the mixer speed to medium, and continue to combine until they start to form soft peaks, roughly 2 to 3 minutes.

Work the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
Work the egg whites until they form soft peaks. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 5: Add the Sugar

Add in the superfine sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and continue to mix on high speed until stiff, glossy, meringue-like peaks form, roughly 4 to 5 minutes. Set this meringue mixture aside.

The egg whites will be thick, stiff and glossy.
The egg whites will be thick, stiff and glossy. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 6: Sift the Dry Ingredients

To ensure that no lumps remain, sift the dry ingredients from Step 3 into a large sized bowl.

Sift the dry ingredients.
Sift the dry ingredients. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 7: Fold the Mixtures Together

With a spatula, fold about 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the sifted dry ingredients to moisten and loosen it. Then, in two stages, gently fold in about half of the remaining whites at a time. When properly combined, the batter will be thick and leave a "ribbon trail" when gently stirred.

Fold the two mixtures together.
Fold the two mixtures together. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Tip

  • A useful way to test if the mixture is properly combined is if it flows like lava off the back of the spatula if you raise the spatula above the bowl.

Step 8: Pipe Macaron-Shaped Circles

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag, twist the top and then cut a 1/2-inch / 1.3-centimeter incision in its tip. Alternatively, you could use a plastic zip-top bag with a corner cut out to pipe out the mixture.

Add the batter to a piping bag.
Add the batter to a piping bag. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Holding the piping bag vertically above one of the parchment-lined baking trays, or directly onto the silicone macaron slip-mat, pipe out 1 1/2-inch / 3.5-centimeter macaron-shaped rounds. Repeat with the remaining trays.

Pipe the macarons onto the baking parchment or silicone macaron slip-mat.
Pipe the macarons onto the baking parchment or silicone macaron slip-mat. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 9: Let the Macarons Sit

Let the macarons sit and rest on the trays to form a skin. This is a crucial process that will take 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the humidity in your kitchen.

Let the macarons sit on the tray to form a skin.
Let the macarons sit on the tray to form a skin. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Tip

  • The skin will be formed when you can gingerly touch the tops of the macarons without having batter stick to your finger.

Step 10: Make the Chocolate Ganache Filling

While the macarons are forming a skin, make the chocolate ganache filling. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring the cream to a light rolling boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and let it sit to acclimatize for 1 minute. Add in the butter and gently stir until smooth. Place the ganache in the refrigerator, and chill until it is thick and spreadable, about 30 minutes.

Combine chocolate, cream and butter until smooth.
Combine chocolate, cream and butter until smooth. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 11: Bake the Macarons

When you're ready to bake, heat the oven to 280 F / 140 C. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through to ensure even baking. The macaron shells will be done when their tops feel firm but the bottoms remain slightly soft. Let the macarons rest on their trays for 30 minutes before sliding the shells off the baking parchment or slip-mat to cool completely.

Cool the macaron shells completely.
Cool the macaron shells completely. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 12: Fill the Macarons

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place each macaron shell with its same-sized partner on the tray flipped over.

Place each macaron with its same-sized partner.
Place each macaron with its same-sized partner. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Spoon or pipe the desired amount of chocolate ganache filling onto the flat side of one macaron shell and sandwich it with its partner, gently twisting the top of the macaron until the filling spreads to the edges. Repeat with the remaining macarons.

Pipe the chocolate ganache onto the flat side of a macaron shell.
Pipe the chocolate ganache onto the flat side of a macaron shell. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 13: Let the Macarons Chill

Cover the sandwiched macarons with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. For optimal texture and taste, store the macarons in a refrigerator for up to 1 day before serving.

Chill the macarons.
Chill the macarons. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 14: Serve

You can store the macarons for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Remove them 30 minutes before serving.

Remove the macarons from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.
Remove the macarons from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving. (Image: Thalia Ho)

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