When teaching, I always use ganache for the filling. Buttercream tends to be too sweet and gets soft easily. I also don't happy with the texture, so I decided not to use it in my class. But for a reason, I'll put the buttercream back to the class and see how it goes.
For your information, I've been teaching and making macarons endlessly, French Meringue Method is still my favorite method. Here are the reasons.
- simpler to make
- nicer texture
- not as sweet
In class, I do not flavor the shells, unless they are chocolate or green tea macarons. I normally do the demo with chocolate macarons. Students will go with the basic--no flavor, just color the shells to associate with the filling. However, I do let them make chocolate macarons sometimes--just to see how they work. Some students ask me if they can flavor the shells in class, but I think it's best for them to understand the basic and be able to make it works before continue to another step.
Anyway, below is the update version of Italian meringue method I've adapted for my teaching. I think it's easier to modify the recipe using Italian meringue method than French meringue method. I can introduce different types of flour into the recipe, and the result is always great.
makes 20 shells (3" diameter)
for the shell
- 40 g hazelnut flour
- 35 g almond flour
- 5 g cocoa powder
- 75 g powdered sugar
- 25 g egg whites, aged
- 75 g sugar
- 18 g water
- 28 g egg whites, aged
for the filling
- 1 egg white
- 50 g sugar
- 1 g salt
- 75 g unsalted butter, softened
- 30 g cocoa powder
for the shell
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Create “Mass” by folding all ingredients together with a big spoon.
3. To make Italian meringue: Cook sugar and water to 240 degrees F. Remove from the heat, let the bubbles settle. In the meantime, whip egg whites in a mixer on high speed to soft peaks.
Pour cooked sugar slowly into the egg whites while continuing to whip the whites. Continue whipping the mixture to soft peaks. The finish meringue should be shinny and fold down when you flip the whisk over.
4. Fold in 1/3 of meringue into “Mass” to lighten the mixture.
5. Fold in the rest of meringue, and deflate the batter.
6. Place into a pastry bag with plain tip# 5, pipe 3-inch diameter circles on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat. Rest for an hour or until skins are form.
7. Double the baking sheet and place into the oven, then lower the temperature to 300 degrees F.
8. Bake for 12 minutes, rotate half way through.
9. Let them cool down completely on the baking sheet before removing.
10. Sandwich them with buttercream, store in an airtight container and chill.
for the filling
1. Whisk egg white, sugar and salt together in a mixing bowl over a bain-maire until the mixture reaches 140 degrees.
2. Place the mixing bowl into a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and whip on high speed until stiff peaks.
3. Gradually add small amounts of butter into the mixture, continue beating until the mixture is smooth.
4. Add cocoa powder, and beat for an additional minute.