French macarons, made using the Italian Meringue Method, are filled with a chocolate buttercream and a maraschino cherry. These chocolate cherry French Macarons are the perfect way to jazz up a chocolate covered cherry!
- 185g powdered sugar
- 185g almond flour
- 65g egg whites
- 185g plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 75g egg whites
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1–2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon cherry extract
- maraschino cherries
To make the macarons:
- Line 3 baking sheets with baking mats or parchment paper.
- Make the cookie base: Using a fine mesh strainer, sift together the powdered sugar and almond flour. (This may take some time – I use a spatula to try to work out any large clumps or pieces. If there are bits of the almond flour that won’t go through the strainer, you can put the mixture in a food processor and pulse a few times. Make sure to just pulse so you don’t turn it into butter.)
- Add the 65g of egg whites and stir until the mixture is moistened.
- Make the Italian meringue: Place the 185g of sugar in a small saucepan. Add about 2 tablespoons of water and stir with your finger until the sugar is moistened. Wet your finger and wipe down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar on the sides of the pan.
- Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, place the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and the cream of tartar. Turn the mixer on to medium-low.
- Once the sugar has dissolved in the saucepan, take a pastry brush dipped in water and wash down the sides of the pan. Once the mixture is at a roiling boil, turn the mixer up to medium high.
- Cook the mixture until it reaches 244ºF on a thermometer.
- When the egg whites have volume but are still soft, turn the mixture to low and slowly drizzle the sugar mixture into the egg whites, between the side of the bowl and the outer reach of the whisk. Turn the speed up to medium and continue to whip until the outside of the bowl has cooled off and the whites are firm and glossy but not dry, about 5 minutes.
- Add a small amount of the meringue to the cookie base and stir it in with a spatula. This will lighten up the mixture. Add in a few drops of red food coloring. Add the remaining meringue in 3 batches, folding them gently into the mixture. When the meringue is completely incorporated, continue to fold the mixture over until the mixture forms a ribbon that settles slowly into the mixture. If the ribbon rests on top of the mixture, stir another 4 or 5 times and test again. You don’t want to stir it too much to liquify the mixture, or the cookies will not hold their shape.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (I used Ateco #804). Pipe the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets in quarter sized rounds.
- Let the cookies stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. The cookies should be dry to the touch and will form a “shell” on the surface.
- Bake the pans for 8-10 minutes each, until they are risen and set, but not browned. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the pan.
To make the buttercream:
- Beat the butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and the cocoa and continue to beat until smooth. Add in 1 tablespoon of milk and the cherry extract. Continue to beat until combined. Add an additional tablespoon of milk, if needed, to achieve a consistency that is easy for piping. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip.
- To assemble the macarons, turn half of the macaron shells upside down. Cut the maraschino cherries in half or into thirds, and place one piece in the middle of each of the cookies that are upside down. Pipe the buttercream around the cherry. Place another macaron shell on top, flat side down. Press down lightly.
- Store the cookies in a covered container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
*total time does not include resting time.
macaron recipe from Sugar Rush