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Macarons. They are the cutest, most special dessert that I have successfully made in my kitchen. But boy do they make you work for it. The rumors about these babies being hard to master are REAL Y’ALL. I’m going to totally keep it real and say that I probably attempted macarons 10 times before I got a batch that I was happy with. So yes, these triple chocolate macarons are difficult, and maybe not for the beginner baker, but once you get it, you’ll feel like a total bosssssss.
How to Make Triple Chocolate Macarons
Make the Chocolate Macaron Batter
I use the Italian Method of macaron making. I have found that I am able to achieve much more consistent results vs. the French Method. The Italian Method requires you to first make a sugar syrup, but the extra step is worth the consistent results if you ask me.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder and powdered sugar and whisk to combine. Make a well in the center of the mixture, and add 85 grams of egg whites and fold together. It will take some muscle, but it will come together. The mixture will be thick and paste-like. Set aside.
In a medium stock pot over medium heat, add the water and granulated sugar, stir to combine. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. Stir occasionally. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add 90 grams of egg whites and a pinch of granulated sugar. When the sugar syrup on the stove reaches 200 degrees, turn the mixer on medium to begin whipping the egg whites. Continue to whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.
When the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees, remove it from the heat. With the mixer on medium-low, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and whip until stiff peaks form.
Now you have two mixtures – the almond flour mixture, and the egg white mixture. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the almond flour mixture at a time. Folding together slowly until incorporating before adding more egg whites. Once all the egg whites are combined, continue to fold the mixture together until you reach a ribbon like texture. This process is called macoronage and is without a doubt the most important part. I’ve linked a video below that is super helpful in doing this properly.
Pipe the Macaron Shells and Let Them Rest
Prepare 4 baking sheets with parchment paper, or these silicon macaron mats. This triple chocolate macaron recipe makes 80 macaron shells (depending on the size you pipe them), and I pipe 20 per baking sheet. If you only have 2 baking sheets, just prepare 2 at a time and make them in two batches. The batter will be fine in the piping bag while the first batch bakes and cools!
Don’t worry about preheating the oven just yet, because the shells need to rest on the counter before baking. Fill a piping bag with the batter and cut off a small portion of the tip. Start with a small hole, you can always cut off more if the batter isn’t coming out fast enough.
Pipe small circles, leaving a little space between each one. Try to make them as uniform as possible, but don’t stress. They will flatten out a little as the rest, so pipe them smaller than you want the final size to be.
There will likely be air bubbles in the batter. After you’ve piped out all of the shells, rap the baking sheet on the counter to release some of the air bubbles. Pop them with a toothpick. Let the batter rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes, but an hour is even better. You want to be able to touch the tops without any batter sticking to your fingers. This will help to get that smooth top and the cute little feet on the sides of the cookies.
Bake the Macaron Shells
Preheat the oven to 320 degrees. Bake the macarons for 15-17 minutes. When they are done, you should be able to slightly move the tops, but the cookies will still hold their shape. If they feel too soft, let them bake for another minute or two. Let the shells completely cool before removing them from the baking sheets.
Make the Chocolate Buttercream Filling
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 7-10 minutes, until smooth and soft. While the butter is going, sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Set aside. When the butter is ready, add salt and vanilla. Mix to combine.
Add the powdered sugar mixture 1/2 at a time, mixing for 3 minutes after each addition. Add cream 1 TBSP at a time until you reach your desired consistency. I like a slightly stiff buttercream for macarons.
Fill Macarons and Dip in Melted Chocolate
To fill the triple chocolate macarons, first find a match for each cookie by pairing them up by size. Fit a piping bag with the tip of your choice (I used Wilton 4B) and add the chocolate buttercream. Pipe the buttercream onto one half, stopping just before the buttercream reaches the edge. Sandwich the other macaron shell on pressing slightly so that the buttercream spreads out just to the edge.
Once all of the macarons are filled, melt down some chocolate for dunking. I used these chocolate melting wafers, and microwaved them in 30 second intervals until they were smooth. Dunk the macarons in the chocolate halfway, add chocolate sprinkles if you’re feelin’ extra wild. Let the chocolate set, or dig right in!
Helpful Tips for Macaron Making
- Use a kitchen scale. Weighted measurements are a requirement here. Trying to convert it to cups just isn’t going to work. I use this one.
- Watch a youtube video demonstrating the proper technique for macaronage. Pay close attention to the ribbon texture, and keep mixing your batter until yours looks the same.
- Let your shells rest for a minimum of 30 minutes before baking.
- Resist the urge to remove the shells from the parchment or silicon mat until they are completely cool.
Chocolate macaron cookies, filled with fluffy chocolate buttercream, then dunked in more chocolate! These cookies are what actual dreams are made of.
For the Macaron Shells
- 212 g Almond Meal
- 212 g Powdered Sugar
- 30 g Dark Cocoa Powder
- 175 g Egg Whites (separated into 85 g & 90 g)
- 235 g granulated sugar (plus a pinch)
- 158 g water
For the Chocolate Buttercream
- 3/4 C (1/5 sticks) Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 C Powdered Sugar
- 2 TBSP Dark Cocoa Powder
- 4–6 TBSP Heavy Cream
1.5 C Melted Chocolate for Dunking
Chocolate Sprinkles, optional
For the Macaron Shells
- In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. Whisk to combine.
- Make a well in the center of the mixture, and add 85 g egg whites. Fold together until combined. Mixture will be thick and paste-like. Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine granulated sugar and water. Stir to combine. Monitor the temperature with a candy thermometer.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add 90 g of egg whites and a pinch of sugar.
- When the sugar syrup reaches 200 degrees, start whipping the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form.
- When sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees, remove from heat.
- With mixer on medium, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites.
- Once incorporated, turn the mixer up to high and whip until stiff peaks form.
- Add the egg whites to the almond flour mixture, 1/3 at a time. Fold to combine between each addition.
- When all the egg whites are incorporated into the almond flour, continue to fold until the batter reaches a ribbon like texture. It should fall off the spatula in a continuous ribbon, with little to no breaking.
- Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Pipe the batter into circles. Then rap the baking sheet on the counter to remove air bubbles.
- Let the batter rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 320 degrees.
- Bake the macarons for 15-17 minutes, or until the cookies are mostly firm, but with a little give when you press on the shell.
- Let cool completely, then fill with chocolate buttercream.
For the Chocolate Buttercream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat the butter on medium high for 7-10 minutes.
- While the butter is working, whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
- When the butter is smooth, add salt and vanilla. Mix to combine.
- Add the powdered sugar mixture 1/2 at a time, mixing for 3 minutes after each addition.
- Add the heavy cream 1 TBSP at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
- Pipe filling into the macaron shells and then sandwich together. Dunk in melted chocolate and top with sprinkles.
Keywords: macarons, chocolate macarons, italian method macarons, chocolate desserts