Since making cinnamon spiced macarons (my recipe is here), I decided to try a few different flavours. This one was my favourite - chocolate macarons filled with a whipped chocolate ganache and raspberry jam. Deep and chocolatey with a zing of fruit. So good! The macarons turned out really well (I think), so this recipe is definitely a keeper.
Makes 20 macarons
For the macarons:
- 150g (1 & 1/4 cups) ground almonds
- 10g (1 & 1/2 tbsp) cocoa powder (the best quality you can afford)
- 175g (1 & 1/2 cups) icing sugar
- 4 (125ml/1/2 cup) medium egg whites
- 165g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 50ml (3 tbsp and 1 tsp) water
For the filling:
- 150g (1 cup) dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids)
- 150g (2/3 cup) double cream
- 75g (5 tbsp) seedless raspberry jam
1. Place the ground almonds, cocoa and icing sugar in a food processor (or high power blender) and blitz for 2-3 second bursts, until the mixture is very fine and the cocoa is evenly distributed. Be careful not to blitz for too long as the almonds can turn to butter!
2. Sieve the almonds/cocoa/icing sugar into a large bowl. Add 2 of the egg whites, and beat until a smooth paste is formed.
3. Heat the granulated sugar and water in a saucepan, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Then stop stirring and place a sugar thermometer in the pan. In a grease-free bowl, add the remaining two egg whites. Once the sugar/water has reached 112C, start whisking the egg whites (I tend to use a hand-held electric whisk, but a stand mixer would be even easier!).
4. Once the sugar/water syrup has reached 118C, the egg whites should be white and frothy (like shaving foam). Carefully pour the syrup onto the egg whites, whisking constantly. Be very careful not to touch the syrup as it is super hot! Keep whisking until the mixture is shiny and forms peaks when the whisk is lifted from the mixture (this should take between 5 and 7 minutes).
5. Use a metal spoon to fold a third of the egg white mixture into the almond/cocoa/sugar paste. Once incorporated, gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
6. Fill a piping bag with the macaron mixture, and cut off 1cm from the end (or use a large round nozzle). Grease and line two baking trays with parchment paper and hold the piping bag vertically above where you want to pipe. Pipe directly down onto the tray until you have a circle 3cm wide. Repeat across the two trays, leaving about 1&1/2cm gap between each macaron shell.
7. Tap the tray on the surface a few times, then leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, until a "skin" has formed on the macarons - this means that when you gently touch the macaron, no mixture goes on your finger.
8. Preheat the oven to 170c (150c fan)/ 340F/ gas mark 3. Before you place the baking trays into the oven, tap the trays against the surface again. This gives the perfect "foot" of a macarons. Bake the macarons for 10-12 minutes - keep an eye on them after 8 minutes in case they are browning too much. Remove the macarons from the oven and transfer the macarons (with the baking paper still attached) to a wire rack to cool.
9. To make the ganache, finely chop the dark chocolate. Meanwhile heat the double cream in a saucepan until bubbles are forming on the surface of the cream.
10. Pour the cream over the chopped dark chocolate, and stir until all of the chocolate has melted. If there are some chocolate chunks remaining, place the ganache in the microwave on full power for 10 second bursts, stirring well after each burst, until all of the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool, then place in the fridge for 45 minutes until it is spreadable.
11. Take the ganache out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature (10-15 minutes). Use an electric whisk (on the lowest speed) to whip the ganache, which gives a lovely light texture to eat.
12. Once the macarons have fully cooled, gently peel the baking paper away from the macarons shells.
13. To assemble flip half of the macaron shells over so that their base is pointing upwards. Fill a piping bag with the ganache and pipe on each of the flipped shells - I overfilled some of mine but they still tasted great!
14. Top the ganache with half a teaspoon of raspberry jam. Gently press a non-covered macaron shell on top.
These will last a few days in an airtight container, but taste so good, they probably won't last that long :)