Chocolate French Macarons Italian Meringue Method
 
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If at all possible, measure out the ingredients by weight rather than by volume to make these delicious chocolate French macarons made with Italian meringue. These dainty confections have a crisp outer shell with a chewy interior within. Fill these macarons with your choice of ganache, raspberry or cocoa filling. You can also use jam or your favorite frosting.
Author:
Recipe type: Macarons
Serves: 104 macaron shells / 52 assembled French macarons
Ingredients
Pre-sift separately, measure out, whisk to combine, then sift altogether:
  • 246 g finely ground blanched almond meal/flour (2 ¾ cups + 2 tablespoons)
  • 246 g powdered sugar (2 cups + 2 tablespoons + 2 ½ teaspoons)
  • 40 g unsweetened cocoa powder (½ cup + 1 teaspoon)
Mix with sifted ingredients:
  • 100 g egg whites at room temperature (3 egg whites)
For the Italian Meringue:
  • 246 g granulated sugar (1 cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar)
  • 66 g water (1/3 cup)
  • 100 g egg whites at room temperature (3 egg whites)
For the ganache filling:
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (170 g)
  • ½ cup heavy cream (112 g)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (28 g)
For the cocoa filling:
  • 4 tablespoons butter (56 g)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (220 g)
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 7 – 8 teaspoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
For the raspberry filling:
  • 4 tablespoons butter (56 g)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (220 g)
  • 4 teaspoons raspberry juice (mash raspberries to a pulp and strain through a sieve)
  • 3 -4 teaspoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
Directions
  1. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Draw 1 ½ - inch circles on a sheet of cardboard to make a template that can be used repeatedly.
  2. Sift the almond meal/flour by itself, then measure out the required proportion. Do the same for the powdered sugar and unsweetened cocoa. Then whisk all three measured dry ingredients in a bowl to combine, and sift them again all together.
  3. Add first set of egg whites to the dry ingredients and mix until it forms a paste. Set aside.
For the Italian Meringue:
  1. Place the second half of egg whites in a grease-free bowl of a stand mixer with a wire whip attachment.
  2. Place granulated sugar in a small sauce pan. Add the water and gently swirl it around just enough to dampen the sugar evenly. Turn heat on to medium.
  3. Start whipping the egg whites on low. When the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches 220°F, increase the speed until the meringue is thick and starts to take shape, then reduce the speed to low and wait for the temperature of the sugar syrup to reach 235°F.
  4. Once the sugar syrup reaches 235°F, pour it in a thin, slow and steady stream into the egg whites aiming for the egg whites directly between the side of the bowl and the wire whip, with the mixer speed on medium high. Beat meringue until it has turned glossy and reached medium peak stage. Do not over whip.
Folding:
  1. Using a silicon spatula, take about a third of the meringue and fold it into the almond, powdered sugar and cocoa paste. Fold by cutting down the center and folding the mixture over, at the same time scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  2. Repeat with the rest of the meringue and stop mixing as soon as the batter is blended. The batter is ready when you draw a line with your spatula right down the center of the mixed meringue and it slowly comes back together in about 3 seconds. It should neither be very thick nor very loose. Do not over mix.
Piping the meringue batter:
  1. Pre heat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Fill about 3 pastry bags, fitted with a medium round tip.
  3. Place your cardboard template underneath the parchment paper on the cookie sheet. Hold the piping bag, perpendicular, straight towards the center of the circle. Pipe the meringue batter just until you reach the inner part of the circle. If you leave a bump in the center of the piped meringue, this will slowly dissipate and smoothen out by itself in a few minutes. Pull out your template from underneath the parchment paper and transfer it onto the next cookie sheet.
  4. Gently tap the cookie sheet holding the piped meringue on your work surface to release any air pockets.
  5. Let sit at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes, or however long it takes for the surface of the piped meringue batter to dry and form a skin.
  6. Repeat piping the rest of the meringue batter each time using the template underneath the parchment paper. Remember to pull the template out of the last cookie sheet.
  7. The piped batter is ready for the oven when you lightly touch it and it doesn’t wet your finger.
Baking:
  1. Bake each cookie sheet for 15 - 17 minutes in an oven preheated to 300°F. Rotate the sheet halfway into baking after the feet have formed.
  2. Remove from the oven and let the macarons cool completely on the cookie sheet.
For the ganache:
  1. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the heavy cream and butter just until simmering then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for about 3 minutes.
  2. Whisk until smooth. The ganache will be loose at first but will thicken in about 10 minutes even at room temperature.
For the cocoa filling:
  1. Microwave the butter until melted. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and mix by hand with a silicon spatula. Add the milk a teaspoon at a time just until you reach desired consistency. Mix until the filling is smooth. Add vanilla extract and salt then mix until well blended.
For the raspberry filling:
  1. Microwave the butter until melted. Add the powdered sugar and raspberry juice and mix by hand with a silicon spatula. Add the milk a teaspoon at a time just until you reach desired consistency. Mix until filling is smooth. Add vanilla extract and salt then mix until well blended.
Assembly:
  1. Fill piping bags with filling and attach a medium round tip.
  2. Pipe filling onto a macaron shell. Leave a small space around the edge.
  3. Top with another macaron shell and press gently until the filling reaches the edge.
Storage:
  1. Keep macarons chilled in an airtight container and bring it up to room temperature before serving.
Notes
Separate egg whites about 1 – 2 days ahead of time and keep chilled. Bring them up to room temperature before baking.
Recipe by SugaryWinzy at http://sugarywinzy.com/chocolate-french-macarons-italian-meringue-method/