Friday, July 30, 2010

Chocolate Macarons and making a little macaron tower

These chocolate macarons were part of the dessert table for my daughters birthday party and have to say I am a bit hooked. I thought these ones were the best I had tried yet, and I have made quite a few.

Although I did have a bit of a macaron disaster and dropped a whole tray on the floor getting them out of the oven. There's no saving a dropped macaron so I did the only thing possible when faced with this kind of situation.

Please don't judge me. Yup I ate them still warm. Macarons are such a funny thing, the ones that fell rounded side up were kinda ok, but the ones that fell 'feet' first stuck to the floor. I was home by myself and that ended up being my dinner - come on I said not to judge me.

Anyway that disaster had nothing to do with the recipe which is wonderful. Once again it's based on a Pierre Herme recipe.

Also have included a couple of pics of how I made the macaron tower. I didn't invent this they've been doing it in Paris for years and Adriano Zumbo recently showcased this dessert on Australian Masterchef.

You will need a styrofoam cone (available from craft shops), some paper (optional), lots of toothpicks and lots of macarons.
This one is about 27cm high (10 1/2 inch).

I wrapped my styrofoam cone in paper first so that you can't see the styrofoam through the gaps.

Next step is to pop the toothpick into the styrofoam cone leaving approx half a macaron width poking out and then carefully holding the sides of the macaron push it on. Continue inserting toothpicks and macarons around the tower trying to leave as little space between macarons as possible. On the top couple of tiers I cut the toothpicks in half.

I love the way these look on a dessert table, or as a center piece they add a nice element of height.

Chocolate Macaron

300g (10  5/8 ounce) ground almonds
300g (10  5/8 ounce) Icing (confectioners) Sugar
220g Egg Whites, (7 3/4ounce) aged at least 3 days, separated into 2 lots of 110g (3 7/8 ounce)
120g ( 4 and 1/4 ounces) dark chocolate, I used an 86% dark for this one.
dash  Brown Food Colouring - (optional only)
300g (10  5/8 ounce) Granulated Sugar
75g (2 5/8 ounce) Water

1. Melt chocolate in microwave in short bursts on med low and set aside to cool slightly.

2. Mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together and pulse a few times in food processor to make almond meal finer. Do not over process as the meal can become oily. Sieve into a large bowl. If required add colour and 110g (3 7/8ounce) of the egg whites to the sugar/almond mixture but don’t mix in.

3. Place remaining 110g (3 7/8 ounce) of egg whites in bowl of mixer fitted with the whisk.

4. Pop granulated sugar and water into saucepan stir to combine and cook without stirring to 118C. Brush down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water as required to avoid the sugar crystallizing. Once the mixture reaches 115C start mixing the egg whites on high. Once the sugar syrup reaches 118C remove from heat and immediately pour in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl continuing to whisk on high.

5. Continue to whisk the meringue on high until the side of the bowl is only a little warm to touch, around 50C.

6. Pour in the cooled melted chocolate and then add the almond mixture and using a large spatula fold the mixture together until it starts to shine and forms a ribbon that stays visible for about 30 seconds.

7. Add the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe in lines onto parchment lined baking sheets. To make the macarons as even as possible I apply a constant slow pressure to the piping bag and count a few numbers like up to 2 for each one.

8. Set aside for about 30 minutes or until the macarons have formed a skin that doesn't stick to your finger.

9. Meanwhile preheat oven to 140C (285 F). Once ready bake the macaroons for around 13 to 15 minutes depending on size, they should not be browned. Remove the baking trays and immediately slide off the macarons and the parchment onto the work surface and let cool completely before removing the shells.

10. Once cooled match disks into like sizes and sandwich together using dark chocolate ganache.

Dark Chocolate ganache

350g (12 3/8 ounces) dark chocolate
175ml cream

Bring cream to boil, pour over finely chopped chocolate and stand 5 mins. Stir until all chocolate has melted and mixture is glossy. Chill approx 45 mins or until setting and use as required.  I pipe my ganache onto one macaron and then gently squash the top one on holding the sides.


  1. Your surviving macarons are the picture of perfection! :) Love the tower!

  2. These are beautiful. I'll confess to eating the "ugly" macarons in a batch straight out of the oven :)

  3. Can't wait to try these! I am pretty scared though, i've never attempted to make macarons before! haha I'll let you know how it goes.

  4. Oooh, can we make macarons next time I'm over your place? I've always wanted to learn how! I'll buy all the ingredients... :)
    P.S. I think it's super funny that you took the time to photograph the dropped macarons before scooping them off the floor and eating them!! You're a true blogger now...

  5. Next time I make macarons I'm totally trying chocolate! They look perfect.

  6. Hehe you are too funny Linda! I once dropped a cheesecake on the floor but that was quite of wet so we didn't eat it :P

  7. I would have eaten those macarons right off the floor as well - no judgement here! New follower, I saw you on Catch my Party!

  8. OMG! I love, love the macaroon tower. Can I feature this tutorial on my blog?

  9. Linda,
    i try this recipe...however, the look is not as good as yours

    i have question,
    1. why the feet is spread?
    2. what size is the tip?how come your shape is great =)
    3. when you pipe, do you have like the tail at the top?how come yours is so smooth?



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  11. Hi Lia,

    1. not sure exactly what you mean by spread sorry?
    2. I do not use a tip, I use disposable piping bags and just snip the edge off, I don't measure it but I would guess they are approx 7mm, I hold it pretty much upright and squeeze gently with a uniform pressure and count to 3, or sometimes 4 if I want them a little bigger.
    3. If you have a bump at the top from the piping you need to mix your batter a little more. I mix and then lift up the spatula and see how the mixture settles back it should be back pretty flat by the count of 30.

    Cheers Linda

  12. Hey I saw Your comment made on the PC forum about the almond meal that you use. You mentioned that they almond meal you use is from the wholesalers rather than the everyday shops (eg: woolies etc)

    Can I ask where you buy your almond meal from


  13. sorry forgot to ask...

    granulated sugar - do you just use Caster Sugar ????

  14. Coastal Cakes I get mine from Jimele which is on the southside of Brisbane.

    Anonymous - you can use caster sugar and I normally do as it's what I have around from my other cooking but as it's being melted using regular sugar is completely ok.

  15. Hi
    I love the stand you have the macarons on, where did you get that from, if you don't mind me asking?
    Thanks in advance.

  16. That lovely white stand was a gift from my mother for Christmas quite a few years ago. I think she may have got it from David Jones perhaps.

  17. does any know how long these can stay fresh after they are maid? i am going to attempt these for my daughters 5th birthday and im trying to get an idea of how long in advance i can make them. her party is on a saturday i considered making the shells on a monday and then storing them and then filling them the day before the party. any ideas?

  18. Looks great! I like your idea of wrapping the cone - I recently made a tower for Christmas, however used just the naked styrofoam cone, which looked a bit ugly underneath the colourful macarons.