Macarons are delicious but they can be a baker’s nightmare. For years I could not get them right. My macaron shells were either delicious and ugly, or pretty and hollow. Macarons were my kryptonite. As a bakeware buyer, it was pretty pathetic. Every time I would meet a professional baker, I would grill them for advice. There had to be a trick. What is that secret that no one wants to share? Unfortunately, the more research I made on macarons, the more confused I got. But here is the good news. Forget everything you’ve heard, all those macaron urban legends. Here are some of my favorites: “you have to age the egg whites for 2 days at room temperature” (ew); “you have to make your own almond powder”; “you can only use powdered coloring”; “it is fine to overbeat the egg whites”; “whatever you do, do not overbeat the egg whites”. Aaaaahhhhh!!!! And then, over time, the following recipe came together. No secret technique. No mysterious ingredient. A simple and foolproof recipe for delicious French Macarons. Here is how to make them:

Heart Macarons
 

makes 40 small French macarons (80 shells)
Ingredients
  • 200g almond flour
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 4 egg whites (divided in 2)
  • 200g sugar
  • 50g water
  • Food coloring
  • 12oz chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Over a large bowl, sift together almond flour and powdered sugar. Add 2 egg whites and mix to form a paste. Set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip 2 egg whites on medium speed to soft peaks.
  4. In the meantime, in a small saucepan, cook 200g of sugar and 50g of water on medium heat until the syrup reaches 245 degrees F.
  5. Once the egg whites are forming soft peaks, slowly pour in the syrup with the motor running on medium speed. Then crank up to high speed and mix until the meringue turns super white and glossy, about 4 minutes. Add any color you want at this stage and mix to combine.
  6. Spoon a quarter of the meringue over the almond paste mixture and stir to combine. Don’t worry about deflating any egg whites here. You are only loosening up the paste so it’s easier to mix with the rest of the meringue. Once the mixture is uniform, add the rest of your meringue and fold until combined.
  7. Spoon macaron batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain round tip, about ¾” wide. Pipe your macarons on parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. The macarons should come off the parchment paper easily. Let them cool on the baking sheet.
  9. To make your chocolate ganache, place 12oz of chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and set aside. In a small pan, heat up 1 cup of heavy cream until it comes to a boil. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate and mix until combined. Pour ganache in a disposable piping bag or ziploc bag and place in the fridge for 15 minutes. As the ganache cools, it will thicken up. Don’t wait too long though or your ganache will get too solid to pipe. Once your ganache has cooled and thickened up, cut the tip of the bag. Pipe some ganache on one of the macaron shells and top with another one.
  10. Place your macarons on a baking sheet and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
Over a large bowl, sift together almond flour and powdered sugar. Add 2 egg whites:

Mix to form a paste. Set aside:


Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip 2 egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form:

In the meantime, in a small saucepan, cook 200g of sugar and 50g of water on medium heat:

Cook until the syrup reaches 245 degrees F:


Once the egg whites are forming soft peaks, slowly drizzle in the syrup with the motor running on medium speed:

Crank up to high speed and mix until the meringue turns super white and glossy, about 4 minutes:

Add any color you want at this stage and mix to combine. Pink is the obvious choice for Valentine’s Day:

Spoon a quarter of the meringue over the almond paste mixture and stir to combine:

Don’t worry about deflating any egg whites here. You are only loosening up the paste so it’s easier to mix with the rest of the meringue:

Once the mixture is uniform, add the rest of your meringue:

Fold until combined. You are looking for hot lava texture:

Spoon macaron batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain round tip, about 3/4″ wide. Pipe your macarons on parchment-lined baking sheet:

If your macaron shells have a little peak like the ones above. push them down with a wet finger.

To give them a little something special, let’s add a heart-shaped sugar deco on half of the shells:

Bake for 15 minutes. The macarons should come off the parchment paper easily. Let them cool on the baking sheet:

To make your chocolate ganache, place 12oz of chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and set aside:

In a small pan, heat up 1 cup of heavy cream until it comes to a boil. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate and mix until combined:

Pour ganache in a disposable piping bag or ziploc bag and place in the fridge for 15 minutes. As the ganache cools, it will thicken up. Don’t wait too long though or your ganache will get too solid to pipe:

Once your ganache has cooled and thickened up, cut the tip of the bag. Pipe some ganache on one of the macaron shells and top with another one:

Place your macarons on a baking sheet and refrigerate overnight before serving. It sounds like an odd step but it is essential. The shells will absorb moisture from the ganache and turn this cookie into pure magic.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!