These raspberry macarons with chocolate ganache are my second attempt into the intricate world of macarons. The first being plain chocolate that had many failures. Failure seems to come hand in hand when starting to make macarons though, so I’m not too sad. I see them as a challenge, and one that I think I’ll always be learning about!
These raspberry macarons are by no means perfect, but for a second attempt I’m pretty damn proud of them! Now I have to be honest here, and say that I actually made these macarons last summer for my sisters birthday! I’m away this weekend and haven’t had any time to bake, so this is somewhat of a throwback post! Finding the photos again has inspired me to try my hand at these fiddly things again though, maybe with pistachio? espresso? or salted caramel? I’ll keep you posted!
So before I begun my macaron journey I did a hella lot of research on the various techniques and gleaned as many tips & tricks as I could from the internet. I would absolutely advise this! The macaron process is a tricky one to get your head around initially and learning from other bakers failures can only help. I found this blog in particular really helpful; Love and Macarons.
For me, I found that the two most important steps were having the correct shell resting time and getting the actual macaronage (technical term that!) right. You need to give the shells adequate resting time so that in the oven the little feet form, they don’t hollow out and they don’t spread too much. The macaronage is the act of adding the dry and wet ingredients, getting this right is crucial! The consistency you’re looking for is similar to lava; flowing in a ribbon like consistency, settling slightly on the mixture and then sinking back in.
On your first macaron attempt it will all seem a bit much, but I promise you the second time will be much easier! With anything practise makes perfect, and macarons really are an art to perfect!
15g freeze-dried raspberries, plus extra to decorate
144g egg whites, separated, covered in cling film and left at room temperature for a few hours
72g caster sugar
226g dark chocolate
170ml double cream
Firstly, line two flat baking trays with baking paper and set aside. Then prepare a piping bag with a medium tip - or just snip off the end of the piping bag. Finally, place the piping bag in a large glass to help with the filling process.
In a small food processor, grind the freeze-dried raspberries until they are a fine powder.
Combine the ground almonds, icing sugar and freeze-dried raspberry powder in a large food processor, pulsing until the ingredients are combined thoroughly.
Sift the dry ingredients twice using a fine sieve, pressing the mixture through with your hands and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and caster sugar on a low speed for two minutes, then on a medium speed for two minutes and finally on a high speed for two minutes. By this point, the egg whites will be very stiff.
Pour all the dry ingredients on top of the egg whites. Then, fold the mixture pressing it against the sides of the bowl to deflate the mixture. You want to be quite firm in your movements. Fold about 40 times (counting single strokes), stopping every couple of strokes after 25 to check the consistency. You want the mixture to be lava-like, flowing off the spoon in ribbons.
Transfer the mixture to the piping bag, sealing the open end with a twist. Pipe four tiny dots of mixture under all four corners of the baking paper to ensure it stays put in the oven. Then, pipe your macarons, about 3cm in diameter holding the piping bag at an angle and removing quickly to create a comma shape on the macaron shells.
Rap the trays 3-4 times on a hard surface to shake out any air bubbles. Then leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. At this point, pre-heat the oven to 300F/Gas Mark 2.
Place one tray of macarons into the oven, and bake on the middle shelf for 16 minutes, turning the tray from back to front halfway through.
Once baked leave to sit on the baking tray for a few minutes, then remove the baking paper from the baking tray and let them sit in a cool place for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place the second tray of macarons in the oven and repeat the process.
While the macarons are cooling, you can create the ganache filling. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a heat-safe bowl. Heat the cream in a pan over a medium heat until it comes to a low simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate, leave for 30 seconds and then whisk until combined. Set aside to cool until needed.
Once the macarons have completely cooled, pair up the matching shells and fill with the cooled ganache. Then decorate with additional freeze-dried raspberries.
Macarons are best kept at room temperature in an air-tight container, and consumed within 24 hours.