Chocolate macarons: the French patisserie classic
Prep time
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Chocolate macarons are a French patisserie classic. This version filled with chocolate ganache for the ultimate luxurious chocolate treat.
Recipe type: Baking
Cuisine: French
Serves: 20
  • for the shells
  • 110g icing sugar
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 12g cocoa powder
  • 2 free range egg whites (60g worth), left to age for 2 days
  • 40g caster sugar

  • for the ganache
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100ml single cream
  1. Sift the icing sugar and almonds into the food processor and blitz to give yourself an even finer powder.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to a foam using an electric mixer then add the caster sugar gradually and continue beating until you have a meringue that stands in stiff peaks.
  3. Tip all the icing sugar and almonds on top. Using a silicon spatula, sweep around the bowl in a circle and then cut sideways strokes with the thin blade of the spatula through the centre backwards and forwards ten times. Repeat sweeping around the edge of the bowl and doing your ten strokes five times so that you've done fifty strokes. Your batter should be roughly ready by this point, you are looking for a flowing lava effect. If it is too stiff continue sweeping around the edge of the bowl and doing another ten strokes until you are happy with the flow.
  4. Fix parchment paper to your baking sheet with a blob of meringue batter in each corner. Fill piping bags with the batter, I use disposable ones with around 1.5cm width snipped of the end.
  5. Pipe discs in a circular movement around the size of a two pound coin. Allow a similar distance between the piped circles incase they spread. Pick the tray up with both hands and rap on the table firmly to make the circles settle.
  6. Leave the piped circles near a radiator for twenty minutes to dry out (winter only). In summer, leave for 30 minutes. The surface of the circles should dry out so that they are no longer sticky to the touch. The feet develop as the surface has toughened before the centre has cooked, the pressure that builds up under heating forces the top of the macaron to rise, then you should get feet.
  7. Bake for 12-18 minutes depending on size. The length of time really is trial and error. I put mine on the lowest oven shelf but again you will need to experiment.
  8. Hopefully, if you've cooked them enough but not too much, you'll have that happy medium of a surface that peels beautifully off the baking parchment but a meringue which remains soft and gooey like a truffle inside. If you are having trouble removing them from the paper, some drops of water sprinkled under the parchment whilst still warm will help steam the macarons off. But I find that they come off best when completely cool and don't need this. So don't be impatient!
  9. Meanwhile make the ganache by heating the cream and dark chocolate together - preferably in a double boiler or heatproof bowl above simmering pan of water. When combined allow to cool and firm up.
  10. When cool, spread your ganache or other filling on the flat side of a shell and sandwich with another, squeezing gently. Allow to set for a couple of hours. I find they keep in an airtight tin for a week. If you can resist them.
Recipe by Maison Cupcake at