Before the 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 silicone mat.
Measure out all of the ingredients.
Sift the powdered sugar, almond flour, and cocoa powder together. Set aside.
Place the 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 the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer.
With the whisk attachment, whisk the mixture on low, and gradually increase the speed over the next 2 minutes, until you achieve high speed. Then continue to whip 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 peaks should be shooting straight up. The peak should be stiff, forming a slightly curved shape at the top, but not bending down to the side.
Pour the powdered sugar, almond flour, and cocoa powder into stiff whites.
Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
Add food coloring at this point, if using any.
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 form a figure 8 a few times. If you can draw a figure 8 with the batter falling off the spatula a few times, without the batter breaking up, that’s one indication that it might be ready.
Then, you can perform what I call the Teaspoon Test. Grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto the parchment paper or silicon mat, then tap the tray gently against the counter and wait one minute.
If the batter stays stiff and doesn’t spread out a bit, fold the batter a bit more, then test again.
Once the teaspoonful of batter smooths out on top and starts to look glossy on the parchment paper/silicone, without forming a peak at the top it means it's ready.
You don’t want the 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.
Transfer the batter to the piping bag.
Once you’ve piped as many 1 1/2” circles as you could, bang the trays against the counter a few times each. Use a toothpick to poke any air bubbles on the surface of the macarons.
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.
Bake for 5 minutes, rotate tray.
I bake for a total of 15 to 20 minutes. Until you try to move a macaron and it doesn't feel jiggly.
When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet. And they will peel off the tray easily.
Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream at medium high speed for 1 minute. With the mixer off, add powdered sugar. Mix on low until combined. Raise speed. Cream on medium for 1 minute. Add vanilla and cherry jam. Stir to combine.
Mix the cornstarch with the water until dissolved. Then add it to the pan.
Let the mixture cook for a few minutes, while stirring non-stop in order to make it thicker.
Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and let it cool down completely.
Pipe a small amount of buttercream on a bottom shell. Top with another shell. I also sprinkled some chocolate sprinkles over the filling.
Keep these macarons in the fridge for up to 7 days, and in the freezer for up to 1-2 months, very well packaged.
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.