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Dark_chocolate_macarons
Desserts

Dark Chocolate Macarons

This recipe is extracted from Chocolate: Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts (Flammarion, 2019).

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Serving: 12
Time: 10H

Ingredients

Macaron shells (makes 24 shells)

  • Scant 1 cup (3 oz./85 g) almond flour
  • 2 tbsp (0.5 oz./15 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup (3.5 oz./100 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tbsp (1.5 oz./40 g) egg white (about 1½ whites), at room temperature

Italian meringue

  • ½ cup (3.5 oz./100 g) superfine sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) water
  • 3 tbsp (1.5 oz./40 g) egg white (about 1½ whites), at room temperature

Dark chocolate ganache

  • ½ cup minus 2 tsp (115 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1¾ tsp (0.5 oz./12 g) honey
  • 4 oz. (115 g) dark couverture chocolate, 65% cacao, finely chopped

Chocolate disks

  • 9 oz. (250 g) dark couverture chocolate, 65% cacao, finely chopped

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • Candy thermometer
  • Stand mixer
  • 2 silicone baking mats
  • 2 pastry bags fitted with a plain ½-in. (10-mm) tip
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Chablon stencil mat with 1½-in. (4-cm) diameter circles, for the chocolate disks

Directions

Making the macaron shells 

Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C/Gas mark 2). Stir the almond flour, cocoa powder, and confectioners’ sugar together in a bowl. Transfer to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until a flour-like consistency is obtained, being careful not to overwork and heat the ingredients. To prepare the Italian meringue, dissolve the sugar in the water and boil to 240°F–250°F (116°C–121°C). When the temperature of the syrup reaches 230°F (110°C), begin whisking the egg whites in the stand mixer at high speed. When the required temperature of the syrup is reached, very carefully pour it over the partially whisked egg whites in a thin, steady stream, taking care not to let it touch the beaters and whisking continuously. Reduce to medium speed after 2 minutes. Whisk until the mixture has cooled completely. When the meringue has cooled to about 122°F (50°C), fold in the almond flour, cocoa powder, and sugar mixture with a spatula. Pour in the egg whites. Begin to fold the mixtures together with a spatula. Continue folding until the meringue has deflated slightly and you have a smooth mixture that falls off the spatula in thick ribbons. Line a baking sheet (at room temperature) with a silicone mat. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe macaron shells approximately 1 in. (2.5 cm) in diameter onto the mat. Carefully lift up the baking sheet slightly and gently drop it back onto the work surface to make the tops of the macarons smooth. Bake for 15 minutes.

Making the dark chocolate ganache

Heat the cream and honey in a saucepan until the temperature reaches 95°F (35°C). Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (bain-marie) to 95°F (35°C). Pour the cream over the melted chocolate and stir gently with a spatula to make a smooth ganache. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap, spread the ganache over it, and press another piece of plastic wrap over the surface. Chill for 30–40 minutes.

Making the chocolate disks 

Temper the dark chocolate (see techniques pp. 28–33). Lay the stencil on a silicone baking mat. Once the tempered chocolate cools to 86°F (30°C), pour it over the stencil so it fills the circles. Remove excess chocolate with a spatula and allow the disks to set for 5 minutes.

Assembling the macarons 

Spoon the ganache into a pastry bag, pipe it over the flat side of half the shells, and lightly press the remaining shells on top so the filling reaches the edges. Decorate each macaron with a chocolate disk, fixing it in place with a little melted chocolate. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.