{Pierre Herme’s Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Cream Ganache}

Pierre Herme Chocolate Macarons from bakingattiffanys.com

I need to qualify this post by saying this was not a successful macaron-making attempt.  I had a friend over to make them together, and while I’m no expert at making macarons, she was hoping to learn how to make them.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure she learned that much from me.  My error was in whipping the egg whites to the glossy, stiff peak stage.  It’s always so disappointing to use quality ingredients and set aside all that time and effort only to mess up and end up with faulty macarons.  The saving grace is that even though the macarons came out with the wrong texture and didn’t look at all like those beautiful macarons from Pierre Herme, they were still tasty–as long as I didn’t think of them as macarons but rather chewy chocolate sandwich cookies.

When I went to Paris about a year and a half ago, I was so excited to try the interesting flavors at Pierre Herme.  The renowned Parisian pastry chef has some inventive flavor combinations, introducing new flavors each month like vanilla and olive oil or chocolate and foie gras.  I’m not sure how he comes up with these ideas, and as much as I’m intrigued by these unconventional flavors, sometimes traditional and familiar is comforting.  And chocolate is always a favorite.

Pierre Herme Chocolate Macarons from bakingattiffanys.com

Recipe notes: Volumes have been written on how to make macarons, so I will not even try to offer tips here, but what I do know is that to get perfect macarons, it takes a bit of practice and experimenting.  As I mentioned, this time I messed up on whipping the egg whites.  Following the directions as closely as possible, this recipe calls for whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks but without any sugar (or anything else) added.  Sugar helps stabilize the egg whites, so I was surprised at this, and I whipped the egg whites for a very long time and they never quite turned into the consistency I was looking for.  The recipe also calls for stacking the baking sheets when baking, preheating to a high temperature then turning it down, and baking with the oven slightly ajar.  I’m not sure how much these variations help but I’ve baked macarons using a single baking sheet and with the oven door closed successfully.  I recommend you try it different ways and see what works best for your oven and environment.  The recipe I provide here is consistent with what is in the cookbook I used (Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme, written by Dorie Greenspan).  I plan on making these again, and if successful, I’ll update this post!

Pierre Herme Chocolate Macarons from bakingattiffanys.com

{Pierre Herme’s Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Cream Ganache}

3 hours

Yield: About 18 macarons

Ingredients

    Macarons
  • 140 grams almond meal
  • 250 grams powdered sugar
  • 25 grams Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 100 grams egg whites, at room temperature
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • 230 grams (8 oz.) bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 T. unsalted butter, cut in cubes, at room temperature

Preparation

    Macarons
  1. Line 2 13x18 inch baking sheets with parchment paper (the cookbook recommends doubling the pans). Prepare a 16 inch pastry bag with a 1/2 inch round tip.
  2. Sift together the almond meal, powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. (You can process briefly in a food processor first to refine any larger almond pieces.)
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip egg whites on medium until foamy, then on high until glossy, stiff peaks form. (100 grams was about 3 large eggs for me, though the cookbook says it was 3 large eggs and a part of a fourth. Either way, make sure you measure out 100 grams.)
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and gently fold in the dry ingredients in three additions. Make sure the mixture is even.
  5. Fill pastry bag with batter and pipe out about 1 inch medallions, spacing them 1 inch apart. Tap the baking sheet on your kitchen counter to get air bubbles out. Allow baking sheets to sit for about 15 minutes.
  6. Adjust oven rack to the center, and preheat oven to 425F degrees.
  7. Dust macarons with cocoa powder and place one sheet in the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees, and use a wooden spoon to keep the oven door slightly open. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, until they are firm.
  8. The cookbook recommends removing macarons from the parchment immediately. To do so, lift a corner of the parchment paper, and pour a little hot water under to create steam. Tilt the baking sheet around to dampen the parchment paper evenly. Peel off the macarons and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  9. Chocolate Ganache
  10. Place chocolate in a medium bowl.
  11. Heat cream in a saucepan on low to medium until boiling. Pour cream over the chocolate, and gently stir the chocolate to melt the chocolate into the cream.
  12. After the mixture cools a little, add the butter in two additions, mixing after each addition with the spatula.
  13. Allow to cool until it reaches a consistency that can be piped.
  14. For the macarons, pair up macarons by size and turn them so the bottom side is up. Pipe a dollop in the center of one macaron cookie, and sandwich with the other macaron cookie. Refrigerate overnight--if you can wait that long!

(Adapted from Chocolate Desserts By Pierre Herme, written by Dorie Greenspan)

http://bakingattiffanys.com/2013/04/22/pierre-hermes-chocolate-macarons-with-chocolate-cream-ganache/

3 thoughts on “{Pierre Herme’s Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Cream Ganache}

  1. That’s ok Tiffany! I’m not a macaron expert either and they can be kind of fiddly sometimes! So glad you posted them anyway and most importantly that you still were able to enjoy them! I see you just made them again to great success! Congrats!

  2. Hi Tiffany,

    Just happened to chance upon your blog. You require caster sugar in order to beat the egg whites to stiff white peaks. Perhaps you can grab a copy of Pierre herme macarons cookbook. The methods states the use of sugar + water boiled at 118 deg Celsius being added to the egg whites.

    Cheers

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