Chocolate Macarons with Strawberry Buttercream
This was my very first attempt at making macarons, and it turned out great! The chocolate macaron shell is rich, while the creamy strawberry buttercream filling is light and sweet. Give these illustrious French pastries a try!
- 160 grams powder sugar (about 1⅓ cup)
- 170 grams super fine almond flour (about 1⅓ cup)
- 45 grams cocoa powder (about ⅓ cup)
- 1 splash vinegar (to wipe out a metal bowl, stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment to remove any traces of grease)
- 144 grams egg whites at room temperature (from about 5 eggs)
- 70 mL water (about ⅓ cup)
- 210 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)
Strawberry Buttercream Filling
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
- 4 cups powder sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp milk (or non-dairy milk)
- 4 to 5 Tbsp strawberry jam
Make the Chocolate Macarons
Sift the powder sugar and super fine ground almonds into a large mixing bowl. If your ground almonds aren't' super fine, blintz them in a food processor a few times. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Set aside. Wipe a metal bowl with a paper towel and a tiny bit of vinegar to remove any grease from the bowl. Pour in 72 grams whites (from about 2½ eggs). Add the dry ingredients into the egg whites and mix with a spatula until it forms a thick paste. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, add the water and granulated sugar. Heat on medium heat, until the syrup reaches 245°F (118°C).
While the syrup is boiling, wipe out the metal bowl and whisk of a stand mixer with a paper towel and a tiny bit of vinegar. This will help the egg whites whip up. Add the remaining 72 grams of egg whites (from about 2½ eggs) to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk until it forms soft peaks.
While whisking on a low speed, slowly and carefully add the syrup to the whipped egg whites by dripping it from the sauce pan down the inside of the bowl. Once all the syrup is poured in, turn the mixer up to high and whisk until it is glossy and shiny and it reaches stiff peaks - now you have meringue!
Add a large dollop of the meringue to the cocoa mixture and stir it in to loosen it. Fold the rest of the meringue into the cocoa mixture with a spatula, being careful not to stir it too vigorously and risk losing all the air whipped into the meringue. To test if the batter is mixed enough, scoop your spatula into the batter, then with the spatula elevated a few inches high, try to draw a figure-8. When the batter is able to slowly drip off the spatula and form an unbroken figure-8, it's ready to be piped onto the baking sheet. Fill a piping bag with the macaron batter. Pipe it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or onto a silpat. A template helps to pipe evenly-shaped circles. Space each macaron at least 1 inch apart, because they will spread. Drop the tray from about one foot off the counter 4 to 5 times to release any air bubbles. You can use a toothpick to pop any lingering air bubbles on the surface.
Set the macaron-filled tray on the counter for 20 minutes or longer, until they feel dry and not wet or tacky on the top.
Preheat the oven to 330°F (165°C). Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges don't squish in when you nudge it with a spatula.
Let the macarons cool completely, then lift them off the baking sheet.
Whip Up the Strawberry Buttercream Filling
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, beat the room temperature butter for a few minutes on medium speed, until it is creamy.
With the mixer on the lowest speed, gradually add 3 cups of powder sugar. Turn the speed up to medium and keep mixing until all the sugar is combined into the butter and it looks pale and fluffy.
Add in the vanilla extract and milk. Keep mixing until those are incorporated into the frosting.
With the mixer on low again, add another ½ cup of the powder sugar. Depending on how stiff you want the buttercream and how it's currently looking, either leave it as is, or mix in the remaining ½ cup powder sugar.
Finally, mix in the strawberry jam.