These Coffee Macarons are filled with a swirl of espresso and mocha frosting. Topped with a chocolate covered espresso bean.
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 just whisk over the double boiler until the sugar has melted.
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 any.
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.
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.
At this point, you want to add the espresso powder. Make sure to add right at the end. Stir just enough to combine, about 2 to 3 folds.
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.
Cream the softened cream cheese and butter together in the bowl of an electric mixer, for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
With the mixer off, add the powdered sugar to the bowl.
Then cream the mixture on medium high for one minute.
Add Kahlua, or vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
Add the espresso powder and mix.
If the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar. And if the frosting is too stiff, add a teaspoon of water or milk to thin it out.
Divide the frosting between two different bowls.
Cover one bowl so that the frosting doesn't dry out, that will be the Espresso Frosting.
To make the Mocha Frosting, add cocoa powder to the other half of the frosting you divided between the bowls. Cream until combined. If the frosting is stiff, add a teaspoon of milk or water to thin it out.
If the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar.
Make sure to always leave your frosting covered if you are not using it. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, because otherwise, the surface will dry out and get hard.
Lay out a piece of plastic wrap. Spread a stripe of the Mocha Frosting in the middle of the plastic wrap, across the narrow side. On top of the Mocha (brown) Frosting, spread some Espresso (white) Frosting. Roll the plastic wrap over itself to form a log.
Line a piping bag with the piping tip of your preference. Insert the frosting log in the piping bag (refer to pictures on the post to check how this is done, or watch the video on this page). Press evenly on all sides so both color frostings come out with the same intensity.
Pipe about some of the frosting filling on top of each bottom shell. Top with the top shell.
If desired, pipe a little frosting decoration on top of each macaron, and then put a chocolate covered espresso bean on top.
Let the macarons mature overnight before serving.
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 if using any. I use Wilton Color Right Performance Food Coloring Set. 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.
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.
Espresso powder: While espresso powder and instant coffee are not the same, you could use instant coffee in this recipe if you don't have espresso powder.
Kahlua: If you can't find Kahlua, or don't want to use it, just go for any coffee liqueur, or coffee extract. You can also simply use vanilla extract instead.