Hello friends, today we are making these gorgeous Cauldron Macarons for Halloween!
I’ve already made this design before when I posted the Pot of Gold Macarons, so many detailed instructions can be found on that post as well.
Make sure to watch the video to see how to pipe the cauldron macarons on YouTube or on this page.
To make the black macaron batter I use black powder food coloring from The Sugar Art, and also gel black food coloring from Americolor. A combination of both is what I found best to achieve the bold color.
I was never able to obtain a very dark color just using the black powder food coloring, and while you can obtain a very bold black just using the gel by Americolor, you will need far less of it, if you combine it with the powder.
You will still need quite a bit of the gel food coloring, but still less than you would if not combining with the powder.
You can add the powder food coloring to the meringue stage, that will help the color develop, because the powders by The Sugar Art do take some time to fully develop.
Full instructions in detail on how to make the black macarons can be found here on this Black Macarons post, plus many tips as well that will help you.
Here are a few tips that can help:
- Even if you are used to doing a no rest method, it’s worth it resting the black macarons before baking. I rest mine for at least 2 hours, otherwise they won’t develop feet, or will crack.
- The cauldrons with the holes in the middle will bake and dry faster than if you make the full cauldrons.
- It can take a bit longer to bake the darker shells.
- Be careful as you add too much food coloring, because sometimes people will continue to add color to the batter in order to obtain the desired color, and in that process will end up over mixing the batter.
- Using a combination of black powder food coloring, and black gel food coloring is what works best for me to achieve the deep black tone.
Find here the free template for the cauldrons. Download it, print it, and place under the shells to pipe your beautiful cauldron macarons for halloween.
You can find all of my macaron templates here.
If you like this post also check my Spider Web Macarons. And if you make these Cauldron Macarons for Halloween, please tag me on Instagram, I love seeing your creations!
Black Macaron Shells
- 4 grams egg white powder optional read notes
- 100 grams granulated sugar
- 100 grams egg whites
- 105 grams almond flour
- 105 grams powdered sugar
- Food coloring I used black gel food coloring and some black powder food coloring*
Hard Candy Window
- 400 grams sugar
- 120 ml water
- 60 ml light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate 56 grams
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter 70 grams
- 1/3 cup black or regular cocoa powder 40 grams
- 2 cups powdered sugar 343 grams
- 2-4 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Black food coloring if not using black cocoa powder
- Pre-heat the oven to 310ºF (read notes).
- Before you start, get all of the ingredients ready. Prepare one large piping bag, fitted with a round tip, I use a Wilton 7.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat. Place the cauldron template underneath the baking mat.
- Measure out all of the ingredients. Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour. Set it aside.
- Place a bowl over a pan with barely simmering water. Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl and whisk the mixture until 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 the syrup on low for about 30 seconds, then gradually start increasing speed to medium or to medium-high and whisk for a few minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
- I added a bit of powder black food coloring to the meringue at the beginning of whipping.
- 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.
- Whip until stiff peaks have formed. When you pull your whisk 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 food coloring if using any. I added more black gel food coloring because my meringue didn’t have a deep enough color.
- Fold the batter until the perfect consistency is achieved. The batter should be flowing slowly and effortlessly off the spatula, you should be able to pick up some batter with the spatula and draw several figure 8s with the batter that’s flowing, without having the batter break up. And even after the batter breaks up, it should still continue to flow off the spatula slowly. 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.
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- You don’t want your batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to over-mix. It’s always best to under-mix 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 a piping bag fitted with the Wilton 7 piping tip.
- Pipe the batter inside the template outlines. On the thicker parts apply a bit more pressure in order to dispense more batter, and on the thinner parts, apply less pressure.
- After piping each macaron, use a toothpick to spread the batter to the outlines, and to pop any air bubbles from the surface of the macarons.
- Tap the tray against the counter or against the palm of your hand to release any air bubbles and help the batter smooth out.
- A few tips: always pipe one cauldron at a time and use a toothpick immediately after piping. You don’t wanna give the batter a chance to dry, and then when you do try to use a toothpick to drag the batter to the edges, it will be too dry, and form streaks in the shell.
- And also frequently tap the trays against the counter to help release air bubbles and to help the batter smooth out.
- Let the macarons dry for 20 to 40 minutes, when they feel dry to the touch you can bake. These macarons actually took me over an hour to dry, even though the weather was pretty dry. But since I had to use so much food coloring the batter was pretty wet.
- I bake mine at 325 Fahrenheit, baking time and temperature vary depending on your own oven.
- After 6 minutes baking I rotate my tray to help the macarons bake evenly.
- Not everyone has to do that, again it depends on your own oven.
- Bake for another 10 minutes or so for a total of 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the tray from the oven and let it cool down.
- To do the splatter effect with food coloring, simply mix a few drops of the food coloring of choice with some white food coloring, and use a drop of water to thin it out.
- Then dip the brush in the food coloring, and flick it against a fork to create the splatter effect on the surface of the shells. Clean the bottom of the fork every so often because food coloring will accumulate there and drop all at once on top of the shells.
- The colors I used were neon pink, green, and purple by Americolor, mixed also with the white gel food coloring by Americolor.
- Options on the candy window
- I’ve made this before by placing transparent hard candy (Jolly Ranchers) in the middle of the macaron halfway through baking. See my Heart Shaker Macarons. The candy will melt in the oven and harden once the macarons cool down.
- You could also use isomalt for the window. And you’d pour it in after the macarons are baked.
- But this time I made a candy syrup, as recommended by Sally, one of my readers.
Hard candy window
- Place the sugar, water and light corn syrup in a small saucepan with a heavy bottom.
- Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Let the syrup cook until it reaches 290ºF to 300ºF.
- Remove from the heat and immediately begin to spoon some of the candy in the middle of the cauldrons.
- Dont make such a thick layer, or it will be very hard to bite later.
- Let the candy set for about 20 minutes.
Black Chocolate Frosting
- Melt the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate by microwaving for 15 second intervals, and stirring in between until completely melted. Set aside to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium high for a couple of minutes.
- With the mixer off, add the melted and cooled down chocolate and mix to combine. Then add the cocoa powder, I am using a mixture of regular and black cocoa powder.
- You can use regular cocoa powder or black cocoa powder. If using black cocoa powder you can skip the food coloring, here I am adding a bit of black powder food coloring to make the frosting black. Also in this video I am making a double recipe than what is indicated on the ingredients list because I was filling a double batch of macarons.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix on low until dry ingredients are incorporated with the butter.
- Add milk as needed if the frosting is too dry or stiff.
- Raise the speed to medium-high, and beat from 30 -60 seconds, until smooth.
- Add the vanilla and mix.
- The frosting should be smooth, thick, not too stiff. Add more milk if the frosting is too stiff, and add more powdered sugar if the 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 the frosting.
- Pipe the buttercream around the edges of the cauldrons.
- Place some sprinkles in the middle.
- Top with another cauldron.
- These macarons will last for up to 7 days in the fridge, and 1 month in the freezer.