Macaron Chronicles VII: And the saga continues

Macaron Chocolate Amer

It’s funny how my macaron obsession has taken a life of its own. Little did I know that when I started my Macaron Chronicles, I would still be adding to this saga three years later.

Let me refresh your memory. Remember my flat-assed macarons – my first attempt making these little confections?

Then after a trip to San Francisco where I loved the taste of Miette’s macarons, I baked my first successful batch.

My real obsession took hold when I did different tests with Macaron Chronicles II. (This post, by the way, remains to be the most popular on this blog.)

Even when I had my bad days when the macaron Gods mocked me – like when I tried the Italian Meringue the first time and ended up with wrinkled marshmallows – I did not waver in my quest.

After I had met pastry God, Pierre Hermé, I continued to strive to understand his way of making macarons – Italian Meringue – with Macaron Chronicle V.

It wasn’t until I attended his class in Paris that I began to see the complex structure of the Italian meringue, almond and confectioner’s sugar – pretty much the same way Neo saw the Matrix and so this rematch ,which turned out really good.

Chocolate macaron with Bitter Chocolate Ganache

I immediately hailed the success of this macaron recipe by tweeting that the shell tasted like a “crunchy chocolate souffle”. YUM!

I couldn’t count how many shells I had eaten even before filling the macarons. They were that good and infinitely addictive.

Without much further ado, I now present you, Pierre Hermé’s Macaron au chocolat Amer from his book: Macaron.

Chocolate Macarons

300 grams ground almond
300 grams confectioner’s sugar
110 grams egg whites
120 grams unsweetened chocolate (cacao pate, cocoa mass)
4.5 grams carmine red food coloring ( I left this out)
Sugar syrup

300 grams caster sugar
75 grams water
110 grams egg whites

Chop the pure cocoa mass, and melt in microwave. Combine all ingredients listed in 1). Cook the water and caster sugar to 118C-245F. When the syrup reaches 108C-226F, start whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks. Pour slowly the cooked syrup in a trickle over the meringue. Leave to cool down to 50C-122F and pour the melted pure cocoa mass in; Fold the meringue into the first mixture.

Pipe the macarons onto trays lined with parchment paper, around 1.5 inch, 3.25 cm circles. Bake in a convection oven, vent opened at 160C- 320F for about 14/15 minutes. (I baked mine at 290F for 15 minutes)

Bitter Chocolate Ganache
400 grams heavy cream
360 grams 70% chocolate
40 grams unsweetened chocolate (cacao pate, cocoa mass)
40 grams unsalted butter at room temperature

Chop the chocolate and cut the butter in cubes and leave at room temperature. Bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate gradually, stirring at the center and going wider to incorporate liquid little by little. When the ganache reaches 40C-104F, incorporate the butter.

Assembly of macarons
With a piping bag, fill half of the macaron with a nice dollop of bitter chocolate ganache. Top with another macaron, making sure to assemble 2 shells of the same size.

Cooking Notes:

I have to say this was one of the best tasting macarons I have ever made. Do not be fooled by the mocha- colored shells, PH adds red food coloring to make it darker but I skipped this step. I may be bias because I love chocolate, but the strong but balanced chocolate flavor was undeniable. When I first tasted Pierre Hermé’s chocolate macaron from his Paris shop (which I got for free because I told the guy at the counter I was attending his class) it blew me away with how good it was. This was the same feeling I had as I tasted this one – and that it was made by my own hands – I was so elated. I will not deny that to make Italian Meringue macarons properly you need a strong arm, see my tips and pictures here. The base of my thumb was hurting from holding the bowl scraper by the time I was done.

How would you know if your Italian Meringue macaron was done properly? The shell should be thin and it should not be too sweet.Your tant-pour-tant should be spread evenly into your meringue, when you do not do this you will have a lot of meringue concentrated by itself and when it bakes you get thick shells, your almond mixture gets heavy and sinks to the bottom. It also helps that you add the meringue when it is warm so it dissolves your confectioner’s sugar. When you do proper macaronage, your tant-pour-tant and meringue blends to form a strong matrix, so when it bakes, the meringue is strong enough to hold bits of your tant-pour-tant and you get this cross-section.

Macaron "innards"

The macaron above was cold and straight out of the refrigerator  which made it look chalky, but see how full the shell is.

I made two ganaches. The bitter chocolate ganache above was made with Valrhona Chocolate, 70% Guanaja.

Valhorna Chocolate

I also have vivid memories of Pierre Hermé’s Chuao macaron which had black currant in it. I tracked down the chocolate he used – Amedei. This is a work in progress. I think I’ve almost nailed the recipe for the ganache, I just need to find some black currants to add to it.

Amedei- an Italian chocolate

I was amazed at how shiny the ganache made with this chocolate was but was not sure if this was because of the black currant syrup.

Chocolate on left made w/ Amedei chocolate

I’m also wondering if melted chocolate will work with French Meringue? You know what this means: back to the lab …er my kitchen. 🙂

40 thoughts on “Macaron Chronicles VII: And the saga continues

  1. …ahhhhh….this is ranking the highest with me as well… it’s a beautiful & polite chocolate explosion in your mouth.

  2. You are the goddess of macarons!
    I am amazed with your obsession with this refined petite dessert, lovely and so inspiring!

    You are just fantastic! I love our macarons!

  3. Gorgeous!! I love how full your macaron shells are! I have to try this recipe sometime soon too! Thanks for sharing the recipe! 🙂 thanks for confirming that IM way is tiring to the arm..i thought i was the only one complaining! 😀

  4. Undoubtedly the best looking chocolate macarons I’ve seen. I love the chronicles you’ve started – just goes to show that persistence pays off.

  5. Thanks Everyone!
    Cindy – I don’t sell these yet. But based on the response I got from the sampling, it’s going to be a favorite.
    Trissa – the book is in French. I had to translate. 🙂

  6. I’m so jealous of your cross section!!
    They look so delicious.
    What’s the difference (if any) between cocoa mass/cacao pate and chocolate?

  7. The photos, the bars of chocolate, the description, the everything was wonderful to read and to look at. The only bad thing is: I may need a new laptop from drooling over the chocolate-y-ness of this post! Yumm! 🙂

  8. Hallo, I love reading your blog. Specially your macacron-chronicals. Your chocolate macarons just look perfect. I am from Germany and it’s kind of hard to find macarons here. I’m thinking about making my first macarons ever. I let you know

  9. Thanks for sharing. They look marvelous. Can you tell me a little more about the cocoa pate and cocoa mass, and specifically what brand you use and where do you buy it.

  10. Wow, I can’t believe you’ve been doing this for 3 years! These look absolutely beautiful and your photos are amazing 🙂

  11. Thanks everyone.
    Okay, I wasn’t sure at first what cocoa mass/pate was when I saw the recipe. I realized when I did order it, it was simple unsweetened chocolate bars. I used Valrhona chocolate, the packaging itself says cacao pate.

  12. Your macarons look amazing! I’ve just started my macaron craze here at home, and have successfully made my first batch of macarons. I read from a few websites that mentioned not to use confectioner’s sugar that contains cornstarch, but it’s just impossible to find any around. So my question is, does it make a huge difference? and is this recipe made with confectioners with cornstarch?

  13. You have turned into a macaron genius. I love the look of the deep, dark chocolate. And thanks for the close up…I’m drooling!

  14. Wonderful Macs! I’ve heard that his macaron book would be coming out in english later this summer/fall. I cannot confirm this though…

  15. Do I dare to say it … really Veron they are Awesome! Please that first photo just is terrific: chocolate NOW.
    Somehow I think there is an unlimited number of chapters to this chronicle.

  16. These look amazing Veronica!! It’s so sad to admit, but I still haven’t tried your macaroons. I need to change that asap!

    Do you have a booth at the South of the James Farmer’s Market?

  17. great job!
    how much macarons does this recipe serve? Cant wait to try it out ^^ but need to know how much i could make.

  18. Hey Veronica,

    Thanks for all these tips. I finally figured how to get my skins on my macarons despite very humid weather.

    Microwaving the whites and leaving the piped batter to air did not form any skins. The humdity got into egg whites even as I beat them.

    So what I did was pre-bake the mix. Just 10 mins, 45 Degree Celcius, top heating only, and fully open oven lid. That was the magic temperature and timing I could get the skins to form.

    Then I would adjust back to 15mins of 150 deg celsius, bottom coil only. The feet formed and I was thrilled, more so because my shells did not have the air bubble pimples.

  19. Love, love, love you macarons Veronica!

    You showed us a picture of your macaron innards using the Italian Meringue method. I’ve only attempted the French meringue method and have achieved my frilly feet but my macs have this big air attic between the top shell and the body/feet anatomy. It still looks pretty (and tastes good)but I wonder how I could ever get rid of this air bubble. SOS please!

  20. thanks for your input Michael!
    Vangie – try reducing your oven temp and cook longer…sometimes that is undercooked shells. Also with Italian meringue that air pocket happens when you did not beat the meringue with the tant pour tant mix properly.

  21. I tried your recipe and the macarons turned out perfectly! I have made a few batchesnof other flavors previously and they turned out well.. Feet and all! But these turned out better, higher and so wonderful! Thanks!

  22. Hello Veronika!!
    Ive got a question. Ive been trying for so long to make the perfect macaron.Lately Ive been trying to cook this macarons. But I dont know why, when I take them out of the oven, some of the macarons didnt grow evenly. I mean most of the macarons has one of their sides stucked on the silpat but the other side grew OK. Im not sure if its because I let them dry for too long.. I wish u could help me..Thanks a lot!!
    I love ur blog..its so helpful!!

  23. Hi

    I have only made the French version, but I would like to try the Italian you make it sound not so complicated.

    So I have a question for you (please excuse my ignorance) but do you have to age the egg whites for the Italian version?

    I didn’t see a comment to that affect in the instructions, which means most people already know the answer to this question.

    Thank you! 🙂

  24. Hi Veron
    So I’m only a year late on this post 🙂 but I have just started on my macaron adventures and have only had success so far with my pistachio batch.. which were SO delish! I just attempted chocolate ones tonight.. wow – chocolate disaster. I’m wondering if you wouldn’t mind helping me out here. So I had some aged egg whites, but apparently added the granulated sugar too early and ruined those – they wouldn’t firm up. So I had to use more fresh eggs that I microwaved. The batter was quite thick – but I didn’t want to overbeat (been there done that). Anyway – after about 5 mins of baking they were looking really great actually and then a minute or so later the little tops just started to basically slide off of the feet. Not sure what went wrong. I live in a dry climate, ground my own almonds, just didn’t use aged eggs and didn’t overbeat. Any advice? Thank you! Ohhh.. and I used unsweetened dutch cocoa powder (i know cocoa powder isn’t your thing- but it’s what I had ya know.) I used 25 grams

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