Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chocolate Raspberry Macarons

Blessed 2014, folks! Happy to bake again. Sitting at the kitchen table on Sunday night, listening to songs playing on the radio, now and then looking at the small sweet dollops on the counter in front of me.

Macarons once again. By now, I have baked macarons twice this month, each time improving the recipe a little bit, until everyone of my critical test eaters was satisfied. 

I've been tinkering with quite number of macaron recipes. While generally satisfied with the results certain trusted recipes produce, I wasn't quite happy with the consistency. In particular, recipes based on whipping egg whites (even when the whites were aged for exactly 48 hours) to a stiff foam, seemed too sensitive to variables such as humidity and temperature. Using exactly the same recipe (and hence weight of aged whites) resulted in batters that were sometimes thicker or runnier than usual, and macarons that sometimes had pronounced domes and sometimes had flat, even tops. Seeing as constructing a climate-controlled workroom was not an option, I sought recourse elsewhere. 

And the results? 

  • Shells are perfectly round and show 'feet' or a crown at their base. The feet is smaller than the top of the shell.
  • Top of the shells are perfectly smooth while the bottom are perfectly flat. 
  • The shells are shiny.
  • Almost 97% of the shells are of the same size.

With patience and meticulousness, I believe homemade macarons can achieve results that of macaron masters like Pierre Hermé or Ladurée.

Chocolate Raspberry Macarons

Macaron shells
(adapted from THE PLEASURE MONGER)

Makes 34 1-inch shells
66g egg white, aged
2g egg white powder
60g caster sugar
90g almond flour (sifted)
110g icing sugar
1/8 tsp pink powdered food colouring

1. Blitz sifted almond flour and icing sugar to combine and make the meal as fine as possible. Sift blitz ingredients together in a bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites and egg white powder till soft peaks are formed. Whisk in caster sugar until stiff peaks form. Add powdered food colouring. 

3. To the egg white mixture, fold in dry ingredients from Step 2 in 3 portions to combine. Test the consistency from time to time by lifting a generous dollop of macaron paste and dropping it into the mixing bowl. If the macaron paste does not settle smoothly after 30 seconds, continue folding the paste. The batter should be able to hold soft rounded shapes but not be able hold stiff peaks. If the macaron paste smooths out too quickly, you've gone too far. 

4. Pipe out the shells onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Rap the tray on the counter to allow peaks to settle.

5. Leave them to rest in aircon (21 deg) for 25 minutes before baking. Their surfaces should become matt and not shiny. A matt surface will result in better "feet" development. 

6. Preheat oven at 170 degrees Celsius. 

7. When a crust is formed, turn temperature on oven down to 140 degree Celsius and bake on centre rack for 14 minutes, depending on size.  Turn the tray halfway through baking.

8. Cool parchment of baked shells on cooling rack. Unmould when the shells are completely cool. 

Chocolate ganache filling
(adapted from use real butter)

114g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
90ml heavy whipping cream
14g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (the original recipe calls for almond extract)
raspberries, halved (or quartered if large) and smooshed flat

Place the chocolate in a medium size bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir with a whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature. Fill a piping bag with the ganache. 

 Pipe a dollop of ganache onto one macaron shell. Gently press a raspberry half into the centre. Place the second macaron shell on top, making sure the ganache sticks to it. Repeat for the rest of the macarons. 


  1. Very Nice ! Pink colour look romantic. :) :) good job.

    1. Hi Joceline, thank you for your kind words. I browsed through your tempting foodagraphy in your posts. As the saying goes "You eat with your eyes first." Beautiful.

  2. Hi Dalyn,

    You have baked your macarons very well! Perfect!!!


    1. Hi Zoe, after countless trials and errors, this batch is the most satisfying.