This year has been extremely trying in many ways. I volunteered to participate in a campaign to collect donations for #bakersagainstracism, which was a worldwide virtual bake sale, for anyone who wants to see radical change against systemic and structural racism, which took place from June 15th to June 20th. More than 2400 participants across 42 states and 15 countries participated in the bake sale and raised over 1.8 million dollars which is absolutely incredible, especially with all the recent events, this was fantastic news to cheer on and continue the #blacklivesmatter movement!
I participated in my own small way, and came up with a list of 6 items that I was going to have available for the bake sale. I had to have macarons in it, so I did 2 flavors : 1) Strawberry and Rose Macarons 2) Chocolate Brownie Macarons. With the help of friends and unknown people too, and their generous donations, I was able to collect 710$ ! It was a small achievement in a small way and I donated half to NAACP and half to Color of Change non-profit organizations. It felt good to be able to participate, and put in effort to do your own small part towards this larger cause. This movement has affected socially in so many different countries, and brought up issues that we did not take seriously previously. This has brought about conversations and changes in so many different taboo aspects, and it is fantastic to see changes occurring all over the world.
My macarons were a big hit and all the orders for Macarons were fulfilled! I am sharing the recipe of these Chocolate Brownie Macarons because they were absolutely the best macarons that I have ever made in my opinion! The shell is a chocolate shell with cocoa powder in it. The filling is a chocolate buttercream, and a brownie center. I didn’t see a point in developing a new brownie recipe, when there is already an excellent brownie recipe from Michelle of the famous Hummingbird High Blog.
Michelle shares the recipe of the brownies on her blog and also her beautiful new cookbook called Weeknight Baking! I have made her brownie recipe atleast 6-8 times in the past 3 months believe it not! I love it, and cannot get enough of it! You can get the recipe of the brownies from her blog here. I decorated the macarons with a drizzle of dark chocolate, and chocolate sprinkles and a dusting of edible gold.
These brownies are chewy, completely chocolatey, and SO SO GOOD! My husband who is NOT a chocolate LOVER, he is team Vanilla, LOVED THESE MACARONS, which says a lot!
I hope you get a chance to make these macarons and if you do please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on this blog post.
Hope you all are doing well, and staying well in these times.
1) Make sure that you whip the meringue thoroughly. The best way to check after 5 minutes of whipping is to remove the whisk, stir the meringue vigorously and turn it upside down. The merigue should stay stiff like a peak.
2) Make sure that you fold the almond mixture and it is well incorporated with the meringue and the end mixture is smooth and falls off the spatula with ease.
3) When using the pastry bag to pipe the macarons, hold it absolutely vertical, and center to the holes on the template and slightly above it, and not touching the paper to pipe it. You need to squeeze just a tad bit to release the batter onto the parchment paper.
4) Do not overwhip the batter else it will be too runny, and your macaron shells will be flat. Do not underwhip as well, else your macarons will not form a proper shell.
5) Make sure that you tap the tray atleast 10-15 times to release any air bubbles in the macaron shell.
6) You HAVE to let the macarons rest for atleast 45 minutes to form a nice shell.
7) It is very important to rotate the tray halfway through baking to make sure that the macarons are baked evenly.
8) DO NOT remove the shells off the parchment paper as soon as the tray comes out of the oven, else you will break the shell. Wait for 15 minutes atleast for it to cool down.
9) You can keep the shells covered and do the frosting the next day as well. The shells will keep for a couple of days.
- Makes about 32-36 macarons:
- Chocolate Macarons Shells:
- 6.6 ounces confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
- 4 ounces almond flour
- 4 large(4 ounces) egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 3.5 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dark brown gel paste(I use americolor)
- Chocolate Buttercream filling:
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
- pinch of kosher salt
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Hummingbird High's Fudgey Brownie Recipe : You need 3-4 brownie pieces
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips(60%)
- chocolate sprinkles
- edible gold dust
- * For the chocolate macaron shells:*
- Preheat oven to 310 degrees. Line baking sheets with the paper templates, and top with the parchment paper, or you could use silpat.
- In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse 1/2 of the confectioner's sugar with the almond flour and cocoa powder until a fine powder is formed. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and mix in the remaining confectioner’s sugar. Using a drum sieve, sift mixture four times into a large bowl. Set aside. This process is important, do not cut short this step!
- To make the meringue: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar. Once all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is thick, scrap down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla extract, 2-3 drops of the dark brown gel paste and increase the speed to high, whipping until stiff, firm, glossy peaks form for atleast 5-7 minutes. If the color is still light, you can make it dark by adding 2 more drops of the gel paste.
- You can remove and turn the whisk and the meringue should hold.
- To complete the macaronnage step: Sift the almond flour mixture, one-third at a time, over the egg white mixture, and fold using a large spatula until just combined.
- Mix the batter, until the mixture is smooth and shiny. The process takes about 5 minutes of vigorously arm excercise to get the batter moving in one direction. The batter should be firm, have a glossy shine and drip smoothly from the spatula. Take in the batter with your spatula and press it against the bowl in the same motion to remove the air from the batter. You have to move the spatula and batter in the same motion continuously to get the batter to the right consistency. This step is very important. If you overwhip the batter will be too runny so do not overwhip. It should flow like lava, slowly but form ribbons. The ribbons should settle into the batter, at a slow count of 20. That is the consistency you are looking for.
- Transfer the batter to a pastry bag filled with a 1/4 inch plain round tip, and pipe 1 inch rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets using a template for macarons or use a MACARON SILPAT to help get the round shapes. Gentle tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air OR you could bang the tray against the kitchen counter. Do this step atleast 15 times. If there is a bubble, use a toothpick to fill it up.
- Let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes atleast. Check for a slight crust to form on the macaron. The macarons should not stick to your finger when lightly touched.
- Bake one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 15 minutes.
- Allow macarons to cool on the baking sheets for 30 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
- For the chooclate buttercream filling:
- In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, add the butter and salt and whip until light and creamy about a minute.
- Add the sugar, vanilla extract and cocoa powder to the whipped butter and mix until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth about 2 minutes, starting at low speed(so that the sugar does not fly everywhere!) and gradually increasing the speed to high. Use a pastry bag with a 1/4 inch round tip to fill the buttercream filling and pipe around the outside of the shell on the rim. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of a tiny brownie piece rolled into a ball, in the center. Make sure to press the brownie down to the level of the buttercream so you can close the shell and that the shell adheres to the chocolate buttercream. Use the same sized macaron shell to cover the icing.
- Melt the chocolate in a small bowl, in the microwave in increments of 30 seconds, two times. Use a small spatula to mix. Let it slightly cool. Use a small ziplock bag, and add the chocolate into the ziplock bag. Snip off the end very slightly to make a tiny hole.
- Line up all the macarons with a space of 1 inch between the macarons. Have the chocolate sprinkles on the side as well.
- You have to be quick for this step. Putting VERY slight pressure drizzle the chocolate from the ziplock on top of each macaron. Once you have drizzled chocolate over all the macarons, sprinkle some chocolate sprinkles on top of each macaron. Add edible gold dust if you want to elevate them.
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for upto 2 weeks, if they last that long!