Hello friends! Today I will show you how to make these beautiful Black Macarons, filled with a tricolor Ermine Buttercream! I made the frosting in purple, orange, and green, to match the sprinkles on top, and also to celebrate Halloween, which is around the corner.
Make sure to watch the video on this page or on YouTube, showing you how to make these Black Macarons!
Black macaron shells can be tricky, because you need a lot of coloring to achieve the dark color.
When I set out to make the Black Macarons, first I got a package of black cocoa powder on Amazon. That’s when my friend told me the black cocoa powder might not be the best bet. And I saw many people having failed batches with black cocoa on the macaron Facebook group.
So instead of trying with black cocoa powder, I decided to give the black powder food coloring by SugarArt a chance.
If you watch this Black Macarons video, you will see I begin by using the black powder food coloring. And once I am doing the macaronage, I realize the color isn’t strong enough, not even close.
And the thing with the powder food coloring, is that it intensifies over 15 minutes of sitting with the batter. However, I didn’t want to stop stirring the batter and let it sit for 15 minutes to find out. And if I continued to stir until the macaronage stage had been completed, and then let the batter sit, I ran the risk of the batter not developing the full color, and then it would be too late to add more food coloring and stir, because I would for sure over-mix it then.
So I decided to add gel food coloring.
My friend Lina told me she uses Americolor gel food coloring for her black macarons, and that’s what I got.
Big disclaimer! If you are a beginner, don’t attempt to make Black Macarons before you have mastered the technique!
That’s because you will need a LOT of food coloring, and it will alter your batter. And if you are not an expert, you won’t know your way around the batter too well, and how to adapt for such a wet batter.
That being said, I am all for experimenting, and trying new things, specially things outside my comfort zone. But just know that it’s not very recommended that beginners attempt intense colors like this, so there’s a chance your macarons won’t turn out. Like I said, it’s a part of it, and it’s great to experiment!
How to make the swirl filling
For the filling I used Ermine Buttercream, which is a buttercream that doesn’t take powdered sugar. It’s made of a flour base. You cook flour, granulated sugar, and milk until thick. Then let this mixture cool down and whip with creamed butter.
It’s a very easy buttercream to make, and also pretty delicious! It’s great for people who don’t like American Buttercream, who find it too sweet.
Ermine frosting isn’t overly sweet.
I made the frosting into 3 different colors, and swirled them for the filling.
First divide the frosting between 3 different bowls, color each batch one color. I used purple (which looks like pink), green, and orange.
Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter.
And spread each color next to the other.
Then, roll the plastic wrap onto itself like a log. And place the log inside of a large piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice.
That’s when you can begin to pipe away!
I used a 6B piping tip.
Make sure to watch the video on this page or on YouTube to see exactly how this is done.
If you like making macarons, I offer a lot of resources to help you learn how to master them! On Macaron School I post various articles that will be super helpful to you.
Here are some more recipes you may enjoy:
- Mint Chocolate Macarons
- Oreo Macarons
- Blackberry Macarons
- Coffee Macaron Cake
- Nutella Macarons
- M&M’s Macarons
- Cranberry Macarons
- Brownie Macarons
- Chocolate Caramel Macarons
- Coffee Macarons
- Fig Macarons
Thank you so much for reading this post! Hope you enjoyed the Black Macarons! Tag me on instagram if you make them!
Black Macaron Shells
egg white powder (optional)
- Food coloring I used black gel food coloring
and some black powder food coloring*
at room temperature
Black Macaron Shells
- Before you start, get all of the ingredients ready. Prepare a large piping bag, fitted with a large round tip, I use a 1/2” diameter tip. Set aside.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Measure out all of the ingredients.
- Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together. Set it aside.
- Whisk the sugar and the egg white powder (if using) in a bowl, and place it over a pan with barely simmering water. Add the egg whites to the sugar and whisk the mixture until frothy and the sugar is completely melted. It will take a couple of minutes. You can test by touching the mixture between your fingers, and if you feel any sugar granules just keep whisking the mixture over the water bath.
- Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water because you don’t want the whites to cook.
- Also, don’t overheat the sugar syrup, this may cause issues down the line, such as wrinkly macarons.
- Transfer the syrup to the bowl of a stand mixer.
- With the whisk attachment, start whisking mixture on low for about 30 seconds, then gradually start increasing speed to medium. Whisk on medium for one to two minutes, until the mixture is white and starting to become fluffy. Raise the speed to high, or medium-high and whisk for a few minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Best way to check this is to keep your eye on the whites. Once they get glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, it might be time to stop.
- Whisk until stiff peaks have formed. When you pull your whip up, the peak should be stiff and shooting straight up, with possibly a slight bend at the top, but not bending down to the side.
- Pour the sifted powdered sugar and almond flour into the stiff meringue.
- Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
- Add the food coloring at this point, if using. I’ve added some black powder food coloring first, but the batter wasn’t achieving the deep color I wanted. So I decided to add black gel food coloring, and it worked great!
- How to know when to stop folding the batter: It’s time to stop folding when the batter is glossy and has a thick and flowing consistency. There are several ways to test this.
- First, pick up some batter with the spatula and try to draw a figure 8 with the batter that is dripping off the spatula. If you can form several 8 figures without the batter breaking up, that’s one indication that it might be ready.
- There’s another test you can do. I call it the Teaspoon test.
- Grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto the parchment paper or silicon mat. Wait a minute to see how it behaves.
- If the batter stays stiff, forming a point and doesn’t spread out, fold a little bit more, about 3 folds.
- Test again.
- Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy and smooth on top, on the parchment paper, it’s ready.
- You don’t want your batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to overmix. It’s always best to undermix and test several times until the proper consistency has been achieved.
- When you hold the spatula with batter on top of the bowl and the batter falls off the spatula slowly but effortlessly the batter is ready. The batter will keep flowing off the spatula non-stop, but not too quickly.
- Transfer the batter to the piping bag.
- Place the piping bag directly 90 degrees over the center of each macaron template. Apply gentle pressure and carefully pipe for about 3 seconds, and then quickly pull the bag up twisting slightly.
- Once you’ve piped as many circles as you could, bang the trays against the counter a few times each. This will release air bubbles that are in the batter and prevent your macaron shells from cracking.
- Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles in the surface of the shells.
- If using sprinkles on top of the shells, make sure to add them before the shells dry, or the sprinkles won’t stick.
- Let the trays sit for a while so the shells will dry out a little bit. I usually leave about 20-40 minutes, depending on how humid the day is. You’ll know they’re ready when you gently touch the surface of a macaron and it seems dry.
- Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF.
- Bake one tray at a time.
- Bake for 5 minutes, rotate tray.
- Bake for 5 more minutes. Rotate again.
- I bake each tray for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet. If you try to move a macaron, it shouldn’t feel jiggly. If the macaron is still jiggly, keep baking.
- Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
- Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.
- To make the Ermine Buttercream begin by placing the sugar and flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the sugar and the flour for a couple of minutes to cook the flour slightly.
- Slowly begin to add the milk, whisking in between to incorporate. It’s important to add slowly so the mixture doesn’t clump up.
- Continue to whisk and cook the mixture over medium heat, for a few more minutes. It should bubble up and simmer gently, while it thickens.
- Once the mixture is very thick, remove from the heat and pour into a bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture. Let it cool down completely.
- If using on the next day, place it in the fridge. Make sure to let it come to room temperature before using to make the buttercream.
- Place the butter in a mixer bowl. Cream for 2 minutes until fluffy and creamy.
- Add the flour mixture by the tablespoons, creaming well to incorporate.
- The frosting should be forming at this point, it should be fluffy and thick.
- Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Now you can color the frosting any color you want, or pipe as it is.
- I divided my frosting between 3 different bowls. One bowl I colored purple, the other green, and the last one orange.
- Then lay out a piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Spread each color frosting next to each other.
- Roll the plastic wrap into a log.
- Line a large piping bag with the tip of your choice. I used a 6B.
- Insert the frosting log inside the piping bag.
- Pipe the frosting on the bottom macaron shells.
- Top with another shell.
- Let the macarons sit in the fridge overnight before serving.
- Store the macarons in the fridge for up to 6 days.
- You can freeze these macarons for up to 1 month.
Egg white powder: Egg white powder is not the same as meringue powder. Egg White Powder is made of only egg whites. They help with getting fuller shells, and specially when adding a lot of food coloring to the batter, because they make the shells dry faster. I recommend experimenting with it if you can find it. I use 4 grams for each 100 grams of egg whites.
Food coloring: Make sure to use gel food coloring, not liquid. I used AmeriColor Super Black. If you are a beginner macaron baker, I recommend going easy on the food coloring, as it can alter your batter a lot, and it can take extra mixing time, specially if you continue to add the food coloring as you do the macaronage. I had started by adding black powder food coloring to the batter, but the color wasn’t deep enough, so I decided to add the gel instead.
Scale: Please use a scale when measuring the ingredients for accuracy.
Macaron amount: it will vary greatly depending on how big you pipe the shells, and on how runny or thick the batter is.
Baking time/temperature: Baking time and temperature will vary according to your own oven. I recommend experimenting with your oven to find out the best time, temperature, position of the baking tray.
Oven thermometer: Make sure to have an oven thermometer to bake macarons. It’s one of the most important things about making macarons. Home ovens aren’t accurate at all at telling the temperature, and even a slight 5 degree difference can make or break your whole batch.
Tray rotation: Lots of bakers don’t have to rotate the trays 180 degrees in the oven every 5 minutes, but I do have to with my oven, or I will get lopsided macarons. Please adjust this according to your oven.