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These espresso macarons have a chocolate caramel ganache, making them delicate and decadent all at the same time!
The shells are full of espresso flavor, while the filling is smooth and chocolatey with notes of caramel. If you have never made macarons before or need some extra guidance, read my 6 Essential Macaron Rules in this post!
- White Vinegar: To ensure that your meringue remains stable, clean and wipe down all appliances with white vinegar.
- Powdered Sugar: You’ll need powdered sugar for the macaron shells.
- Almond Flour: Be sure to use extra fine almond flour to get those super smooth shells!
- Espresso Powder: 15g of espresso powder gives the shells a very strong flavor. You can add less if you'd prefer a more subtle espresso flavor. The espresso powder is also what colors the shells, so don't worry about adding food gel.
- Egg Whites: You’ll need about 3 egg whites for the shells. Don’t worry about bringing them to room temperature because you’ll just heat them up over a double boiler to make a swiss meringue!
- Granulated Sugar: The sugar is going to be added to the egg whites when making the swiss meringue for the shells. It will only take a couple minutes for the sugar to dissolve into the egg whites, so whisk frequently and watch carefully! You'll also need ½ cup of sugar for the chocolate caramel ganache.
- Vanilla Paste: Even though the predominant flavor in the shells is espresso, a touch of vanilla paste can really amplify the flavor!
- Chocolate: You'll need about ⅔ cup chocolate. You can use semi-sweet, dark, or milk chocolate!
- Cream of Tartar: Just a pinch of cream of tartar will help to ensure that the sugar in the caramel does not crystallize.
- Heavy Cream: You'll need a little less than one cup of heavy cream.
- Unsalted Butter: Since there is so much heavy cream added to the caramel, less butter is added compared to a regular caramel sauce. You only need 1 ½ tablespoons of room temperature unsalted butter.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and individual quantities.
Step by Step Instructions
Here are step by step photos and instructions on how to make this espresso macaron recipe! For the full ingredient list and method, see the recipe card at the end of this post.
STEP 1: Make the macarons. Make the batter by sifting dry ingredients together, then making the separate egg white mixture over a double boiler and whipping into a meringue until stiff peaks form. Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue in three batches, mixing the batter until it deflates slightly. Transfer batter to a piping bag, pipe macaron circles onto a prepared baking tray, rest for 30-40 minutes, and then bake for 8-12 minutes.
STEP 2: Make the ganache. Whisk together the sugar mixture in a saucepan over medium high heat, swirling (not stirring) often to encourage even cooking. When it comes to a boil reduce heat to medium. Simmer the heavy cream in another saucepan, stirring often to avoid the bottom from burning. Add heavy cream to the sugar mixture, stirring until combined, then add the vanilla.
Pour one third of the caramel mixture over the chocolate, cover for about one minute, then whisk the chocolate caramel mixture until fully combined. Whisk in the remaining caramel mixture in two additions. Allow the chocolate caramel mixture to sit for a few minutes until it cools down to 95 degrees F. Once the mixture is cool enough, whisk in the butter, then cover the ganache and place in the fridge to set overnight.
Expert Baking Tips
- The flavor of macaron shells develop more by the second day, so I recommend making them the day before and chilling them overnight, then assemble the next day.
- If you have trouble peeling the macarons off of the parchment once they have cooled, pop them into the freezer for a few minutes and they should come off easily.
- Macarons will last for a few days at room temperature and up to a week in the fridge. I prefer to store them in the fridge not only so they will last longer, but also because I find that they taste even better cold.
- The ganache also gets pretty soft at room temperature, so it's best to store these in the fridge.
- If you liked this recipe, check out my other macaron recipes!
- P.S. If you love these speckled ceramic plates, you can find them here! They are made by Mora Ceramics, one of my absolute favorite ceramic companies! These are the Rimmed and Speckled Salad Plates, which are 7.8".
Baking in Grams
All of the recipes on this blog are carefully developed with gram measurements so you can easily recreate them in your own kitchen with success. Volume measurements are extremely inaccurate and leave room for significant errors. Not all measuring cups are made equally, so your one cup of flour will be different from my one cup of flour. By providing precise measurements in grams (aside from minor ingredients, which are given in tsp/tbsp), you can make these recipes accurately and with less cleanup! All you need is this kitchen scale.
If this still isn't enough to convince you, I have provided volume measurements in the recipe card. If you are interested in understanding the conversions, this is the best conversion chart.
But trust me, once you try baking in grams you'll never turn back!
Happy baking! x
Other espresso recipes you'll love
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Espresso Macarons with Chocolate Caramel Ganache
For the Macaron Shells:
- 130 g powdered sugar
- 120 g almond flour
- 15 g espresso powder
- 105 g egg whites, about 3
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
For the Chocolate Caramel Ganache:
- 115 g chocolate
- 100 g granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 15 g water
- 215 g heavy cream, warm
- ½ teaspoon vanilla paste
- 21 g unsalted butter, room temp
For the Macaron Shells:
- Prepare a macaron template by using a large piping tip or small round cookie cutter of about 1 ½″ in size to trace circles about 2 inches a apart on one sheet of parchment paper. You will place this under another piece of parchment paper when ready to pipe the macaron shells.
- In a medium bowl, sift the powdered sugar, almond flour, and espresso powder twice.
- Next, heat the egg whites and granulated sugar over a double boiler until the sugar has dissolved or until the temperature is about 120 degrees F.
- Transfer the egg white mixture to a large bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk until the meringue reaches soft peaks. At this point, you can add the vanilla paste.
- Continue whisking the meringue until stiff peaks form. The best way to test if it is ready is by turning the bowl upside down. If the meringue does not fall or move at all, then it is ready.
- Start the macaronage by folding in ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Mix carefully with a silicone spatula by scraping aroung the sides of the bowl, then through the middle of the batter. Do this a few times until it is mostly combined.
- Add the remainder of the dry ingredients, folding with the same gentle method. Once the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, begin spreading the batter along the sides of the bowl to deflate it slightly. I find that this mixing method ensures that the shells do not bake up hollow. Continue scraping around the sides of the bowl and through the middle. The mixture is ready when you can draw several figure eights without the batter breaking.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a small round piping tip (I used Ateco 802). Place your macaron template under another piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and pipe perpendicular to fill in each circle. Carefully remove the template and tap the baking sheet on the on counter a few times in order to release any air bubbles. It also helps to bang on the bottom of the baking sheet with your hand.
- Let the macarons rest for about 30-40 minutes, or until they are dry and no batter comes away when you touch them. Toward the end of the resting time, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bake the macarons for about 8-12 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet.
For the Chocolate Caramel Ganache:
- In a medium bowl add the chocolate and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the granulated sugar, salt, cream of tartar, and water. Heat over medium high heat, swirling (not stirring) often to encourage even cooking. When it comes to a boil reduce heat to medium.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring heavy cream to just shy of a simmer. Stir often to avoid the bottom from burning.
- When the color of the sugar turns an even medium amber color remove from heat and slowly add the heavy cream, whisking constantly and careful to not let it bubble over. After all of the heavy cream is whisked in, add in the vanilla.
- Pour one third of the caramel mixture over the chocolate, then cover for about one minute. Whisk the chocolate caramel mixture until fully combined, then whisk in the remaining caramel mixture in two additions.
- Allow the chocolate caramel mixture to sit for a few minutes until it cools down to 95 degrees F.
- Once the mixture is cool enough, whisk in the butter.
- Cover the ganache and place in the fridge to set overnight.
- Transfer the ganache to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.
- Pair the macaron shells up and pipe the ganache onto the bottom shell, then place the paired shell on top, pressing down slightly to ensure they stick together.