I had some extra chocolate ganache from making the last batch of almond chocolate macarons, so I had to figure out what to do with it. (Make more macarons, obviously.) These chocolate raspberry vegan macarons have bright pink raspberry flavored shells with chocolate ganache and a dab of raspberry preserves in the middle. I think they’re my favorite batch so far!
I had to go on a hunt for raspberry extract - I expected it to be easy to find, but oddly, it wasn’t. I picked up a bunch of other flavors though, so I have about a million ideas for more macarons though. Is one recipe a week too much?? I finally found some raspberry extract thankfully - because who wants to wait for delicious desserts? Delayed gratification isn’t really my thing, you know? (Must not eat these for lunch, must not eat these for lunch…) (Update: I only had one. Which I think shows remarkable self restraint since they're right at eye level in the fridge...)
Making macarons takes a long time, but most of it is unattended which makes it the perfect “puttering around the house” weekend project. Make the batter and pipe the cookies, then go do something else for awhile. Cook them, then go do something else for awhile. Most of the macaron making process is just letting them sit around.
These shells came together quite nicely - while I still haven’t perfected the “feet” yet (I do get them, but they’re small), the consistency of the batter otherwise seemed perfect. Adding a little dab of raspberry preserves along with the chocolate ganache adds a delicious pop of flavor in the filling - just the perfect amount of raspberry paired with the chocolate.
These were definitely a hit with everyone and this is one of those flavor combinations that’s fairly universal, so these are a great party treat. The colors are really pretty too, which never hurts.
Servings: Makes 15-20 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 raspberry extract
- ¼ teaspoon red gel food coloring
- 1 ½ teaspoons 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)
- 2-3 tablespoons raspberry preserves
- 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 the aquafaba 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 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 raspberry extract and food coloring and process for about a minute longer until the color is uniform, scraping down the sides as needed. If you’d prefer a deeper red color for your macarons, add more red food coloring.
- Gently fold your almond flour/sugar mixture in with a spatula, about ⅓ at a time. Add the 1 ½ teaspoons of water and mix in thoroughly 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 two baking sheets 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 above the sheet pan surface and count “One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand”.
- Lift the sheet pan up and slam it down on the countertop a few times. This eliminates the air pockets, 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 the shells are resting, make the chocolate ganache. This will take 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. Put a very small dab of raspberry preserves (about ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon - you don’t want the preserves to leak out the sides) in the center of the filling, then 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. Macarons look great laid on their sides, so you can show off the shells and frosting, so if you can present them that way that’s what I’d do!
These will hold up quite well for a few days in the fridge, so don’t be afraid to make these ahead.
Even though I’m a bit late, these would have been lovely for Valentine’s day, because, you know, pink desserts on Valentine’s day is a thing. What’s your favorite macaron flavor combination so far? What flavor would you like to see next? Peanut butter banana? Smores? Coffee Mocha? Vanilla? Key lime pie? Something else? Let me know in the comments!