Hello friends! Good news! My new oven is on and I am baking macarons again! Which is why these Brownie Macarons showed up today!
See, I had to take some time off baking macarons. The reason is that my old oven had a broken thermostat. It couldn’t regulate the temperature in the oven, and the temperature would fluctuate and keep going up and down while the macarons were baking.
It was actually quite frustrating. If you have been baking macarons for a while, you know how delicate they are. And you know that the slightest alterations in humidity, oven temperature, flour quality, time mixing, can generate… ahm… not so satisfactory results, to put it mildly.
Now, can you imagine my reaction when, in the middle of writing a macaron eBook, and making macaron video tutorials for my blog, I couldn’t consistently bake macarons anymore!
Well, I was a bit distressed for a while there, but I knew everything was going to work out.
I even went out of my way to buy an oven on Amazon, I bought a small convection oven I had seen someone recommend on a Macaron facebook group, and that was a mistake, or lesson learned, as I prefer to call it.
So my solution was to wait to get a new oven! And it arrived!! Yay! So these Brownie Macarons belong to the first batch I baked on my brand new oven!
Seriously, how important is the oven when baking macarons?
It’s EVERYTHING, guys! But when it comes to macarons, each detail is everything! One little thing that goes wrong in your macaronage, you lose the whole batch. A small mistake when whipping the meringue, and that’s it. Humidity goes up, that’s it! And yes, with the oven it couldn’t be any different.
A lot of the issues you can encounter when baking macarons, could be due to hot spots in the oven, wrong temperature, etc.
Tips on how to bake macarons
Let’s discuss how to master your oven when baking macarons!
- Make sure to bake one tray at a time!
- Have one or more thermometers in place, at different spots of your oven, to find out if the temperature is constant and accurate.
- Find out, by experimenting, where is the best spot to bake the macarons, it’s usually the middle of the oven, however, my old oven used to be better to bake macarons on one of the lowest levels. This is something you will find out only through trying for yourself. Make sure you try with the same batch, so you don’t have other issues that may have occurred during other stages.
- Find out which temperature works best for your oven, and for the method you bake. For me it’s 325F, using the Swiss method. And I usually bake my macarons for 18-20 minutes.
- If you are using the French method, you may be able to use a higher temperature up to 350F, and less baking time. I advise following the recipes that approach this method, and adjusting according to your personal experience.
- In case you are using the Italian method, temperatures will usually be required to be lower, as low as 250F, and baking time increased.
- If you have a convection oven, consider turning the temperature down a bit, and baking the macarons for less time.
Troubleshooting oven issues when baking macarons
Notice that I am only discussing the problems due to oven issues here in this macaron troubleshooting list. Sometimes other conditions may cause for these issues to happen. For example, if you have macarons with no feet, could be the oven temperature being too low or inconsistent, but it could also be a problem with the meringue not being beaten long enough. So, if you believe your oven is fine, and you are encountering the following issues, the answer might lie somewhere else.
Macarons sticking to the mat/parchment
- Temperature might be too low
- Macarons need to bake for longer
- Convection fan too strong, if using
- Hot spots in oven
- Didn’t rotate trays in time
- Baking temperature might be too low, or inconsistent (like in my case where the temperature kept fluctuating too much)
- Underbaked shells
- Baking temperature might be too low
Feet that come out to the sides, or that are too tall
- Baking temperature might be too high
- Baking temperature might be too low
- Oven temperature might be too high
- Hot spots in the oven
Try to experiment with your oven, again, using the same batch of macarons, but different trays, and play around with the temperature and tray placement, so you can try to pinpoint how to achieve the best results.
These Brownie Macarons were a joy to make, and an even bigger joy to eat! Because 1- it was my first batch in a while, 2- I love brownies, 3- Do I need a number 3?
The recipe for brownies I used here is a bit different than I would use for actual brownies, and that’s because I wanted something a bit more sturdy. I promise you the filling will be super gooey, I mean, just look at the picture above. But also, feel free to use your favorite brownie recipe too, just make sure you bake them very thin, so they will be appropriate to serve as filling between two shells.
Make sure the brownies have cooled down all the way before you cut the circles, specially if they are more on the gooey side. You might want to refrigerate them before cutting the circles.
Also, make sure the cookie cutter is smaller than the diameter of the macaron shell, leaving a 1/4″ border around the brownie circle, so you can pipe the frosting on the edges.
First, make sure to place the brownie in the center of each macaron, before piping the rich chocolate frosting on the edges.
This will help your Brownie macarons have a neat look.
My shells measures a bit over 1 1/2″, I used a 1 1/4″ cookie cutter from this set to cut the brownies.
And the tip I used to pipe the frosting around was a 348, from this set right here.
Dip the top shells in melted chocolate, or coating chocolate, and place a little brownie decoration on top, if you want to. I love the way the hearts made these Brownie Macarons look.
Make sure the chocolate is still wet when you do so, this way the decoration will stick on top of the macarons.
Make it a heart, a star, or get creative with different shapes!
And of course, the results are clearly very delicious, as you can see in this irresistible bite shot of these scrumptious Brownie Macarons.
If you want to see some more Macaron ideas and recipes, you came to the right place.
Here are some ideas you might like:
- Caramel Popcorn Macarons
- M&M’s Macarons
- Cherry Macarons
- Cookie Dough Macarons
- Chocolate Macarons
- Toffee Macarons
- Samoa Cookie Macarons
Make sure to check out my other posts, because I have a ton of tips on how to bake macarons, macaron tutorials, and other resources that will help you on your macaron journey.
Making macarons can be tricky. I always get the questions: Are macarons that hard to make?
And the answer is: yes, and no! They can be extremely delicate, but as long as you are invested in a journey of learning the process, and dedicated to understanding why things work the way they do, you will be forgiving of yourself when you make mistakes. You will also understand there’s no such thing as a foolproof method or recipe, and that it’s up to you to figure out what works best for you, in your kitchen, with the level of experience and skill you have at the moment.
I hope you liked today’s recipe and my tips about macaron troubleshooting when it comes to your home oven! Keep practicing, keep trying! You can always dm me, or email me with questions, I try to reply to every question as soon as possible. Because my goal is to help you bake macarons and achieve your wildest baking dreams!
Have a lovely day! Thanks for reading my blog!
Ps. this is the container I use to store my macarons and specially if I want to freeze them.
This page contains affiliate links. Which means that every time you make a purchase of an item you clicked through my website, I receive a percentage from Amazon. It doesn’t cost anything extra to you, but helps my blog! Thanks!
Chocolate Macaron Shells
- 3 egg whites 100 grams, 3.5 oz
- 1/2 cup white sugar 100 grams, 3.5 oz
- 1 cup almond flour 96 grams, 3.4 oz
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 75 grams, 2.64 oz
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder 14 grams, 0.8 oz
Rich Chocolate Frosting
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-4 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3.5 oz chopped chocolate or chocolate candy melts, or chocolate chip(99 grams, 1/3 cup
Chocolate Macaron Shells
- Before you start, get all of your ingredients ready. Prepare a large piping bag, fitted with a large round tip.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mat.
- I prefer using a silicon mat.
- Measure out all of your ingredients.
- Sift powdered sugar, almond flour, and cocoa powder together. Set aside.
- Now you can finally start.
- Place egg whites and granulated sugar in a heat proof bowl or in a double boiler. Over a pan of simmering water, whisk the whites and sugar until frothy and sugar completely melted. It will take a couple minutes.
- Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water.
- Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. (I use my kitchenAid bowl when doing this, because it makes it easier)
- With the whisk attachment, whisk mixture on low speed for 30 seconds, raising speed to medium. Whisk on medium for 1-2 minutes, until the whisk starts to leave streaks in the meringue. Raise speed to high, and whip for a couple of 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 deep streaks formed by the whisk, it might be time to stop.
- You don’t want to overbeat the mixture at this point, because you don’t want to add too much air to it. Just whisk until stiff peaks have formed.
- The peaks should resemble a bird’s beak shape.
- Pour powdered sugar and almond flour into stiff whites.
- Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
- 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, and you might have to have a couple failed batches before you get this right.
- First, I pick up some batter with my spatula and try to form a figure If the 8 forms without the batter breaking up, that’s one indication that it might be ready.
- Then, I grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto my parchment paper or silicon mat.
- If the batter stays stiff and doesn’t spread out a bit, I start folding a little bit more, about 3 folds.
- Test again.
- Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy on the parchment paper, I transfer my mixture to the piping bag.
- 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.
- This is the most important part about making macarons in my opinion.
- Once you’ve piped as many 1 1/2” 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.
- Let your 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 325F.
- Bake one tray at a time.
- Bake for 4 minutes, rotate tray.
- Bake for 4 more minutes, check if it needs to be rotated again. You will know if it needs to be rotated again depending on how the macarons are baking. Take a look at them, if one side seems taller than the other, maybe you have to rotate the tray again.
- Bake for around 4 minutes or so. I would say I bake for a total of 18-20 minutes.
- When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet. And will peel off easily from the silicon mat.
- Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
- Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.
Rich Chocolate Frosting
- Start by sifting the powdered sugar, and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Add softened butter to the mixer bowl, and cream on medium-high speed for 1 minute.
- With the mixer off, add powdered sugar, and cocoa powder sifted mixture.
- Mix on low until dry ingredients are incorporated with the butter.
- Raise speed to medium-high, and cream from 30 -60 seconds, until smooth.
- Add vanilla and mix.
- Add milk if necessary for consistency.
- Frosting should be smooth, thick, not too stiff. Add more milk if the frosting is too stiff, and add more powdered sugar if your frosting is too runny and you went overboard with the milk.
- Always remember the a little bit of liquid here goes a long way, so you don’t want to be adding too much milk to your frosting.
- Place frosting in a piping bag fitted with a small tip.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
- Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Mix milk, oil, vanilla, and egg. Whisk to combine.
- Add both sugars to the bowl. Whisk until incorporated.
- In another bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder.
- Add dry ingredients to the batter.
- Fold with a spatula until you can no longer see dry ingredients.
- Spread batter on the bottom of prepared pan.
- Bake on pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Let it cool down.
- Once the brownies have cooled down, you can use a small circle cutter to cut brownie rounds. Make sure the cutter is smaller than the diameter of the macaron shell, in a way that you will have a ring around the macaron about 1/4” thick for you to pipe the frosting. You can also cut heart shapes to decorate the top of the macarons, or whatever shapes you prefer.
- Melt chocolate in the microwave, until melted evenly.
- Dip the top part of half of the macaron shells in the melted chocolate. Place a heart brownie on top immediately, if you wish to do so, because the chocolate will still be wet, and it will make the brownie stick to it.
- Place a brownie round in the middle of each bottom shell. Pipe a ring of frosting around each brownie circle.
- Top with the chocolate dipped shell.
- Let macarons mature in the fridge overnight before serving.
- Store macarons in the fridge for up to 1 week. If you want to freeze these, make sure to place them in an air-tight container for up to 2 months in the freezer.