Named the World’s Best Pastry Chef 2016 by the World’s Best 50 Restaurants Academy, Pierre Hermé is one of the most famous pastry chefs in France. In this video (in French), he shares with us one of his favorite chocolate macaron recipes: le Macaron Infiniment Chocolat (the Infinitely Chocolate Macaron). This recipe is from his pastry book Chocolate (2016). To quote Pierre Hermé this recipe “est complexe mais pas compliquée” (complex but not complicated). You’ll need to follow his instructions religiously to make the most delicious chocolate macarons.
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For more recipes from Pierre Hermé, there are several pastry books I recommend:
- Pierre Hermé Macarons: The Ultimate Recipes from the Master Pâtissier (2015)
- Pierre Herme Pastries (Revised Edition, 2012)
- Infiniment Macaron (French Edition, 2020)
For more recommendations, you can read my article on the best French pastry cookbooks of all time.
Pierre Hermé’s Tips for Making the Best Macarons
1. Follow the recipe à la lettre
In order to make the perfect macarons every time, Pierre Hermé recommends following the recipe in the book (“à la lettre” in French) without changing anything. Make sure to weigh all your ingredients using a kitchen scale, and always use fresh and high-quality ingredients.
2. Sift your ingredients
Don’t forget to sift the powdered sugar and almond powder! This is to avoid grains in the preparation and to obtain a fine and homogeneous powder.
3. “Age” the egg whites
The macaron shell is made with meringue made from properly beaten egg whites. To get a more stable meringue, Pierre Hermé recommends “aging” the egg whites in the refrigerator prior to starting the recipe. This process will help prevent over-whipping while creating a strong meringue with stiff peaks. To make aged egg whites (“blancs d’œufs liquéfiés”) four to five days in advance, place the fresh egg whites in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, pierce a few holes in the film, and refrigerate.
4. Do an Italian meringue
Italian meringue is made by cooking a sugar syrup and then adding it to the egg whites while whipping them continuously. Making the meringue using the Italian method creates a very stiff and stable meringue. The result is more reliable when making the macarons using this method.
5. Wait for 24h before eating the macarons
It’s probably the hardest part of the recipe! But it’s very important to store the macarons in the fridge for at least 24 hours. This process is called “maturing,” as it will allow the filling to soften and flavor the shells.
So, now you know every of Pierre Hermé’s best secrets to making the most delicious macarons, here is Pierre Hermé’s Infinitely Chocolate Macaron recipe!
Infinitely Chocolate Macaron Recipe by Pierre Hermé
- 1 Kitchen scale
- 1 Stand mixer
- 1 Sifter
- 1 Food thermometer (that can go up to 120°C/248°F)
- Piping bags & round tip (around 1.2 cm in diameter)
- Parchment paper
- Cookie sheet
Infinitely Chocolate Ganache
- 500 g heavy whipping cream
- 500 g dark chocolate (Pure origin brazil, Plantation Paineiras 64% cocoa or Manjari, Valrhona)
- 145 g unsalted butter
- 120 g cocoa paste or 100% cocoa dark chocolate
- 300 g almond powder
- 300 g powdered sugar
- 110 g aged egg whites (around 4 small eggs)
- A few drops of liquid carmine red food coloring
- 300 g sugar
- 75 g mineral water
- 110 g aged egg whites (around 4 small eggs)
- Cocoa powder (Valrhona)
Infinitely Chocolate Ganache
- Cut the butter into pieces.
- Chop the chocolate and place it in a bowl.
- Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan. Pour it, one-third at a time, over the chopped chocolate, stirring from the center out in small, then progressively larger circles.
- When the temperature of the chocolate mixture cools to 50°C/122°F, gradually incorporate the butter. Whisk until the ganache is smooth.
- Pour into a shallow dish like a gratin pan for example.
- Press a plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the chocolate ganache.
- Refrigerate until the texture is creamy. Pierre Hermé prefers to let it cool at room temperature to avoid having to reheat it when filling the macarons.
- Sift the powdered sugar and almond powder.
- Chop the cocoa paste and place it in a bowl over a bain-marie of simmering water to melt to 50°C/122°F.
- Combine the 110g of aged egg whites (from part 1) with a few drops of the food coloring. Pour onto the sifted almond powder–sugar mixture without mixing.
- Combine the sugar and mineral water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, monitoring the temperature with a food thermometer. Meanwhile, place the remaining 110g of aged egg whites (from part 2) in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a wire whisk. Once the sugar syrup has reached 115°C/239°F start whisking the egg whites.
- Once the syrup has reached 118°C/244°F, reduce the mixer speed to medium and pour the syrup in a steady stream into the beaten egg whites. Continue beating until the mixture cools to 50°C/122°F. Then, incorporate the meringue mixture into the almond–sugar–egg white mixture. Add the melted cocoa paste and use a spatula to gently fold until combined.
- Mix the batter to remove the air pockets. This step is called the macaronage. Just work the batter until smooth, shiny, and flowing. The batter should lose 1/3 of his volume.
Cooking and Finishing
- Transfer the batter into a pastry bag, fitted with a round tip (around 1.2 cm in diameter). Line baking sheets with cooking parchment and pipe about 3.5 cm rounds about 2 cm apart.
- Tap the baking sheets gently on a work surface covered with a kitchen towel to get rid of any air bubbles. This step ensures smooth tops.
- Place the cocoa powder in a sifter and sprinkle lightly over the macaron shells. Let the macarons sit out on the counter for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. When you lightly touch the macarons and the batter does not stick to your finger, then it’s ready to go into the oven.
- Preheat the oven on convection setting to 180°C/356°F. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for about 12/13 minutes. Open and close the oven door quickly twice during the baking to release steam. To test for doneness, touch a macaron lightly and try to move it. The cooked macarons should be firm to touch and the base shouldn’t move.
- Remove from the oven and slide the macaron shells onto the work surface. Let them cool completely.
- Remove the shells from the parchment paper and turn half of them over, flat side up, on the work surface.
- Pour the chocolate ganache into a pastry bag, fitted with a round tip.
- Pipe the ganache generously onto each shell. Place the top shell over the filling and press lightly so the filling spreads to the edges.
- Store the filled macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 24 hours. It will allow the filling to soften and flavor the shells.
- To serve, bring the macarons out about 2 hours prior to serving.
Et voilà! I hope you enjoyed this French chocolate macaron recipe. If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating, letting me know how you liked it. Merci beaucoup and bon appétit!
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