Raspberry French Macarons with raspberry jam filling and dark chocolate ganache.
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.
Add the food coloring at this point, if using. I added some fuschia gel food coloring and rosy pink.
Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
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 or silicone mat, 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.
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.
Mix the raspberries, sugar (or sweetener or choice) and lemon juice in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Use the spoon to break up the raspberries as you stir.
Mix the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl.
Once the raspberries have boiled and reduced a bit, add the cornstarch and water mixture to the pan.
Pour through a strainer, and keep on stirring the mixture to strain the jam. Make sure to press it through really well so you can get the most out of it, and just leave the seeds behind. If you like the seeds, just skip the straining. I never skip it but sometimes at the end I do add a tablespoon or so of seeds back to the jam for a bit of texture.
Let the jam cool. Cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge.
Chop the dark chocolate very finely, or skip if using chocolate chips. Place it in a bowl.
Heat the heavy cream in a small pan over medium heat, or in the microwave. No matter what method you choose, be very careful not to boil the heavy cream.
Pour the hot cream over chopped chocolate. Let it stand for a minute.
Let it come to room temperature. Refrigerate for a bit before using, until it has piping consistency if you want to get there faster.
To achieve the piping consistency, the ganache has to be at the perfect room temperature.
Macarons are best after they’ve matured in the fridge for a day or more.
These Raspberry Macarons will keep nicely in the fridge for up to 4 days. And I don’t recommend freezing them. You might get away with freezing it, if the jam is very very thick.
If you do freeze them, I would recommend doing so for up to 1 month.
Vinegar: Before starting make sure to wipe down the bowls, whisks, silicone mats and everything you are going to use with vinegar, to avoid any grease particles of coming into contact with the meringue and batter.
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. If you are a beginner macaron baker, I recommend going easy on the food coloring, as it can alter the batter a lot, and it can take extra mixing time, specially if you continue to add the food coloring as you do the macaronage.
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. Read more about how to figure out your oven here.
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.
Troubleshooting: Please visit this article for troubleshooting tips.
Raspberry Jam: If you don't want to make your own jam, that's ok. You can use store-bought. You will need about 1/4 cup of jam.
Ganache: If you have leftover ganache, keep it in the fridge for up to 1 week and use in another recipe or to drizzle over ice cream and what not. You can also freeze it for a month or two.