Rich and flavorful Port Wine, folded into dark chocolate then piped onto macaron shells - a cozy, fall treat to accompany your beverage of choice. Continue reading below to make these Port Wine Ganache Macarons for yourself!
Tips for Macaron Success
A few tips to note before we explore the process of making a macaron!
MISE EN PLACE
The French term “Mise En Place” means to set up your working space in preparation for an activity. With macarons, it’s extremely important to make sure that set yourself up for success before starting. The meringue and batter you will be making are quite sensitive – if you take too much time in-between each step, you won't see quality results. Take that extra bit of prep to measure your ingredients and prepare the tools you need before starting these macarons.
SIFT, SIFT, SIFT
Another essential tip is to make sure that you are properly sifting the dry ingredients together – both almond flour and powdered sugar. I like to ensure that these ingredients are not clumped together by both using a food processor to first break up these dry bits and then in addition sifting into a clean bowl before incorporating the meringue.
Want to make sure that you have perfectly circular macarons? Use a template! Before I pipe my macaron batter, I like to draw identical circles onto a piece of parchment paper that I will then flip over before piping. You can use a cookie cutter, small lid, salt shaker – anything that is about 1 inch in diameter that you can then trace onto your parchment.
After renting various apartments throughout the west coast, I have experienced my fair share of…let’s say quirky ovens. Without an oven thermometer, I would not have known that a couple of my ovens were running 50 degrees hotter than what I had actually set my oven temperature to. If you don’t have an over thermometer already, I would highly recommend grabbing one to make these delicate macarons. Here’s the one I use!
EMBRACE THE SCALE
Since macarons require such precise measurements, I would encourage those that do not own a kitchen scale to invest in one! Here’s a link to the scale I used throughout pastry school, and to this day. When working with pastry and confection recipes such as macarons, even a slight over-measurement of say, egg whites, will alter and potentially ruin your recipe. Macarons only require four ingredients – if one of those ingredients is not measured correctly, your odds for macaron success are considerably decreased.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Remember that making macarons is a technique that takes a few tries to master depending on your experience! I remember practicing macarons at home for the first time while I lived in Seattle. It took some time to really understand why my first few batches weren’t turning out the way I expected. I would look online for tips, watch tutorial videos – anything I could get my hands on to help me develop a process that would work in my kitchen. Finally, I developed this tried and true recipe that I absolutely adore. All that being said – don’t give up and have patience with yourself! You got this.
For more tips on making homemade foolproof macarons, check out my complete guide here!
Port Wine Ganache
Essentially, ganache is defined as an emulsion of equal parts of chocolate and heavy cream - and in this case, a touch of Port Wine! Ganache is one of my favorite ways to infuse flavor into all kinds of macarons - Coffee Macarons, Jasmine Macarons, and Hibiscus Macarons to name a few!
Before we get into the method, let's break down a few tips to keep in mind in order to make a successful ganache:
- Chop that Chocolate- taking a few moments to roughly chop your chocolate into small pieces will allow for the hot cream to easily melt your chocolate. This leads to a lovely ganache texture and mouthfeel.
- Quality is Key - Since there are so few ingredients in ganache, I'd highly recommend using quality chocolate as the flavors and textures will shine through!
- Heat the Cream Thoroughly - The cream's temperature needs to be hot enough to gently melt our chocolate. Your cream is ready to pour over chocolate when it comes to a slight boil!
- Softened Butter - Ensuring that the butter is at room temperature will help during the immersion process. If your butter has not been softened, it will be quite challenging to incorporate it into the chocolate & cream mixture.
- Immersion Blender - Using an immersion blender to make ganache will help to make sure that all the ingredients are properly mixed together!
- Add cream & glucose to a saucepan and bring to a slight boil.
- Remove from heat and pour over the finely chopped dark chocolate. stir to combine as the warm cream starts to melt the chocolate.
- Add the butter into your warm chocolate mixture and, using an immersion blender, blend ganache until the butter has fully incorporated and your mixture is smooth. Then, fold in the port wine.
- Allow mixture to cool until the chocolate ganache has cooled before assembly.
Adding Color to your Macaron Shells
A fun way to jazz up your macarons is to add some gel food coloring into your meringue before the macaronage process! I prefer to use gel food coloring as liquid food coloring adds too much moisture to the meringue and the color is not as intense.
Maturation & Storing
Technically, allowing your completed macarons to sit overnight in the fridge allows for the best texture for consuming! If you have the patience, place your macarons in the fridge overnight and enjoy the following day. Macaron shells can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for a month and still taste as good as new! Take the frozen macarons out of the freezer and let them sit for 10-15 minutes before enjoying. In the fridge, filled macarons should be stored in an airtight container for no more than 3 days.
More Macaron Recipes
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Port Wine Ganache Macarons
- 76 g (⅓ cup + 1 teaspoon ) Granulated Sugar
- 90 ml (About 3 egg whites) Room Temperature Egg Whites
- 80 g (¾ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Almond Flour, Blanched
- 150 g (1 ¼ Cup ) Confection’s Sugar, Powdered Sugar
- Gel Food coloring, optional
Port Wine Ganache
- 100 g (⅓ Cup + 1.5 Tbsp) Heavy Cream
- 32 g (1.5 tablespoon) Glucose syrup, or corn syrup
- 175 g (1 Cup) Dark chocolate, Roughly Chopped
- 30 g (2 tablespoon) Port wine
- 25 g (2 tablespoon) Unsalted Butter , room temperature
- Line each baking sheet with your prepared parchment templates and prepare your piping bags along with your piping tips. I like to use a small, round piping tips for piping.
- Pour your egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and start whisking on medium speed. Once they start to foam, slowly add your sugar and bring up your speed to medium for about three to four minutes.76 g Granulated Sugar, 90 ml Room Temperature Egg Whites
- While your meringue is whisking away, grind together your measured powdered sugar and almond flour using a food processor for one minute. Sift these dry ingredients into a large bowl with a fine sieve and set aside.80 g Almond Flour, 150 g Confection’s Sugar
- Your meringue is complete when it holds stiff peaks - add desired food coloring and gently whisk for a few additional seconds to incorporate,Gel Food coloring
- Now it’s time for the ever so important Macaronage! This is the act of mixing your dry ingredients into your french meringue and folding these ingredients enough to allow for the perfect desired consistency. To start, pour your dry mixture onto the meringue and slowly start to fold with a spatula. While rotating the bowl, continue to fold ingredients together. Press mixture on the side of your bowl until the batter flows off your spatula rather slowly and smoothly. You should see that the batter will drip off the spatula back into the bowl, and rest on top for a moment. Then, the batter from your spatula will slowly sink back into the mixture. One too many folds and your batter could be over mixed leading to it being impossible to work with, so be careful not to overmix!
- Pour your macaron batter into your prepared piping bag and pipe in circles onto your templated parchment paper. In order to get rid of any air bubbles within your piped shells and to even out your tops, tap your baking sheet firmly on a flat surface. You can always use a toothpick to gently pop any extra air bubbles that you see hovering on top of your shells.
- Allow the shells to rest for approximately 30 minutes. Once the top of your shells are dry to the touch they are ready to bake!
- Place your macarons in your oven that has been preheated to 310 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 9 minutes, then rotate the baking tray and bake for an additional 2 minutes.
- You will know that your macarons are ready to remove from the oven when you gently touch the upper shell, and it barely moves, while the developed foot of the macaron stays set to the parchment paper. Remove from the oven to cool completely before removing shells from the parchment paper.
Port Wine Ganache
- Add cream & glucose to a saucepan and bring to a slight boil.100 g Heavy Cream, 32 g Glucose syrup
- Remove from heat and pour over the dark chocolate. Stir to combine as the warm cream starts to melt the chocolate.175 g Dark chocolate
- Add the butter into your warm chocolate mixture, using an immersion blender, blend ganache until the butter has fully incorporated and your mixture is smooth. Add port wine and fold to combine.25 g Unsalted Butter, 30 g Port wine
- Allow the chocolate ganache to cool completely before assembly.
- Once cooled, the shells will peel easily off of your parchment paper. Find each shell's matching half and pipe a circle of port wine ganache into the middle. Finally, top with the matching half.
- Mise en place - Macarons are time-sensitive! Prepare your mise en place (meaning to set up your working space in preparation for an activity) before you get started so your ingredients and equipment are ready to go.
- Use a piping template - A foolproof way of making perfect macaron shells every time is to trace identical 1-inch diameter circles onto the parchment paper to use as your piping template.
- Use an oven thermometer - Baking the shells at the right temperature is important, so I highly recommend using an oven thermometer.
- Weigh the ingredients - While macarons only use 4 ingredients, if one isn’t measured correctly, your odds of macaron success are considerably lower. I highly recommend investing in a kitchen scale so everything is precise!
- Storing your macarons - Technically, allowing your completed macarons to sit overnight in the fridge allows for the best texture for consuming! If you have the patience, place your macarons in the fridge overnight and enjoy the following day. Macaron shells can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for a month and still taste as good as new! Take the frozen macarons out of the freezer and let them sit for 10-15 minutes before enjoying, In the fridge, filled macarons should be stored in an airtight container for no more than 3 days.
- Practice makes perfect - It’s no secret that making macarons can be tricky. Just keep practicing and experimenting with different macaron flavors, and you’ll be a pro in no time!