Rich chocolate ganache sandwiched between almond shells in these almond vegan macarons. The ganache is creamy and delicious - it’s hard to believe there’s no dairy or butter in this frosting. The classic almond chocolate flavor pairing is delicious!
I absolutely love making macarons - I have some other dessert recipe ideas drafted, but I just keep coming back to macarons for now. There’s just such a great variation of flavors and colors to make, and my technique improves each time. This is my third vegan macaron recipe (check out my pistachio and blueberry cardamom macaron recipes too!)
I eat macarons at every meal
Macarons are the perfectly sized small dessert. It’s nice to have an option other than a huge, heavy dessert. Just one (or, you know, three) of these is a sweet treat on your palette without making you feel weighed down.
The chocolate ganache pairs fabulously with the almond shells. It will initially look a bit thin, but never fear - it thickens in the refrigerator into a texture that mirrors chocolate buttercream. It’s hard to believe there’s no dairy when you taste this, but indeed it’s also vegan - instead of heavy cream, use coconut milk (or even better, coconut cream if you can get it).
The recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate, but you still have to check your labels to be sure it’s vegan. Some brands do have milkfat in the ingredients list. You shouldn’t have an issue finding it - I was easily able to find vegan chocolate in my local mega chain grocery store - just check to be sure.
Two teaspoons of liquid seems to give the batter the perfect viscosity, so this recipe calls for a half teaspoon of almond extract and another teaspoon and a half of water. Be sure you leave enough space between the cookies on the sheet as they will spread after you pipe them - I had a few run together.
This recipe uses a bit less sugar in the shell batter than past recipes, which I enjoyed, so I’ll keep those ratios moving forward. I still haven’t perfected getting the classic macaron “feet” every time, but we’re getting there!
Now I just have to figure out what to do with all these chickpeas…...
Hope you enjoy the classic chocolate almond pairing flavor in these vegan macarons!
Servings: Makes about 15 macarons
Time: 4 hours, about 3 of which are unattended
- Liquid from one 15 oz can of chickpeas (aquafaba)
- ½ cup cane sugar (organic is vegan)
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup almond flour (make sure to get the superfine kind without the skins)
- ¼ cup confectioners sugar
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon yellow gel food coloring
- 1 small drop teaspoon red gel food coloring
- 1 ½ teaspoon water
- ¾ cup of canned coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate (check the labels carefully, not all semi-sweet chocolate is vegan)
- Add the aquafaba to a saucepan and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, until reduced by a little more than half. You want to end up with ⅓ cup - pour into a liquid measuring cup periodically to measure as you go. It might smell a bit beany, but never fear - that will all disappear as it whips up. Set aside and let cool.
- Sift the almond flour and confectioners sugar together into a bowl - you want no lumps. I usually sift once and it’s fine, but you can sift 2-3 times to make certain.
- Add the aquafaba to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk and metal bowl.
- Add a pinch of salt and the cream of tartar to the stand mixer and whisk on high for about two minutes until the aquafaba starts to foam.
- Gradually add cane sugar a little bit at a time while continuing to whisk, about five to ten more minutes, until stiff glossy peaks form.
- Add the almond extract and food coloring and process for about a minute longer until the color is uniform, scraping down the sides as needed. To get a tan color, you want to use yellow with a small drop of red - too much red and it will become orange, so if that happens just add more yellow.
- Gently fold your flour/sugar mixture in with a spatula, about ⅓ at a time. Add a teaspoon of water and mix in with the spatula.
- Getting the batter to the right consistency can be tricky the first time, but you’ll soon get the hang of it. You are looking for the batter to be just thick enough to hold its shape when piped, but thin enough to smooth out as it settles. You can test this by spooning a bit of batter onto a plate and seeing if the small dot on the top from pulling away the spoon disappears. The mixture will thin as you fold in the dry ingredients, but you may also need to add a little more liquid (humidity and the amount of dry mixture you’re left with after sifting will affect this). When you are piping the macarons, it should slowly drip out on it’s own when you hold the bag at a 45 degree angle.
- This part takes some practice to get right, so be patient - getting the batter right is what gives you that unique, pretty appearance.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a piping bag and a large plain tip with the mixture and pipe into small rounds. My trick to get uniformly sized shells is to hold the piping bag at about a 45 degree angle just barely above the sheet pan surface and count “One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand”. It works for me!
- Lift the sheet pan up and slam it down on the countertop a few times. This eliminates the air pockets and helps the classic “feet” form, and helps get rid of the peaks that are on the top from lifting the piping bag away.
- Leave the macaron shells to rest at least two hours until they form a bit of a shell - they’ll no longer be sticky to the touch and the peaks should be smoothed out. This helps avoid cracking during the cooking process.
- While they are resting, make the chocolate ganache at this takes some time to thicken in the fridge.
- Put the chocolate in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan until hot and steaming. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for two minutes.
- Stir with a spatula, folding the chocolate and coconut milk together.
- Continue to stir every 10 minutes or so as it cools on the countertop, for about 30 minutes. Cover and place in the refrigerator. It will be fairly liquid now, but it will thicken quite a bit as it cools into a frosting-like consistency.
- Preheat oven to 205 degrees F and bake each batch of shells for 40 minutes. Check for doneness by lifting a shell off the parchment paper. It should release easily. If the bottom sticks and the insides ‘fall out’, continue to cook and check every 10 minutes.
- While the macarons are cooking and cooling, stir the chocolate ganache in the fridge every 20 minutes or so. It will thicken quite a bit as it cools.
- Remove the shells from the oven. Repeat and bake the rest of the macarons if you have more sheet pans.
- After the macarons have cooled completely (at least an hour), pipe about a tablespoon of chocolate ganache onto each shell and place another shell on top.
The interior texture of the cookies and the filling improves in the fridge, so I’d recommend refrigerating these for at least an hour before serving. These look super pretty laid on their sides, so you can see the shells and frosting - if you can present on their sides that’s the ideal presentation.
These will hold up quite well for a few days in the fridge, so don’t be afraid to make these ahead.
Are you a chocolate fan? Do you like the combo of almond chocolate flavor? Have you attempted macarons? Too much work, or do you love making them? Let us know in the comments!