And one for the road…Espresso Macarons

I know it’s October but I’ve got one more for you.

The theme of this run of macaron recipes seems to have been “stuff you can add to the shells without totally messing up their fickle, fickle structure.”  Maybe I should have started with this recipe because really, it’s a no brainer: espresso powder.  I was so lazy I didn’t even use the instant variety.  Nope, I just took a knife to a Nespresso pod (I do the same thing for my favorite brownie recipe) and the rich bitter results went straight into the batter.

A million years ago I worked as a cocktail waitress at Lawry’s the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills.  I’ve talked about this right?  Anyhow, when we made espresso we’d serve it with a lemon twist.  As a nod to the citrus brightness that plays so well with the espresso’s bitterness I added a drop or two of orange oil to the chocolate ganache filling.

Happy October!

Espresso Macarons with Bittersweet Chocolate and Orange Ganache

for the shells


  • 60g almond flour
  • 100g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground espresso
  • 50 g egg whites
  • 20 g granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 315 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment.  I like to draw the circles with Sharpie on a couple of pieces of parchment as a stencil. In order to use them multiple times I lay another piece of parchment over the top.
  2. Weigh and measure out all of your ingredients.  When I’m making multiple batches I actually weigh out the almond flour, sugar and any other dry ingredients into separate zip-lock baggies and label them.
  3. In a food processor fitted with a blade, pulse together almond meal, espresso powder and confectioner’s sugar.  Give it a few pulses then sift into a medium bowl.  Set aside.
  4. In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or an electric hand mixer), add the egg whites.  Beat on medium low until frothy.
  5. Increase the speed and slowly add the granulated sugar and pinch of salt.
  6. Beat eggs until they form soft peaks.
  7. Working in three batches, add first portion of almond meal mixture to the egg-whites.  Gently fold until just combined.  Repeat with the additional two portions of meal folding to combine while using as few folds as possible.
  8. To test if the batter is ready to pipe, scoop about 1/4 tsp onto a flat surface.  The batter should act like lava and spread enough to lose its peak but not its shape.  I usually do this test several times starting at the point where everything is just combined.  If you under-mix the batter you can always give it a few more folds.  However, you are out of luck if you over mix.  So, err on the side of multiple tests.
  9. When the batter is ready, pour it into your piping bag.  To be honest, I don’t bother with a tip, I just snip the bag about an inch or so from the tip.
  10. Pipe your shells onto the parchment-lined baking sheets.
  11. Allow to sit for 10-60 minutes or until the shells appear dry.  I have found this process is heavily dependent on the weather.  The more moisture in the air, the longer they need to sit.
  12. Working with one sheet at a time, bake for about 20 minutes.  To test, gently grab one corner of the parchment and attempt to peel it from the shell.  A clean peel means the shells are done.  If they are sticky, back in the oven for another 5 minutes and test again.
  13. Let the shells cool but once cool, carefully remove from the parchment.  I have found that you don’t want to let the cooled shells sit on the parchment.

for the ganache


  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 1/4 lb chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 TBS butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 drops orange oil



  1. In a small saucepan gently warm the cream until little bubbles form along the perimeter.  Remove from heavy.
  2. Add in chopped chocolate swirling the pan so that all the chocolate is covered.  Let rest for 2-5 minutes.
  3. Gently whisk chocolate and cream to combine.  Add-in butter, salt and oil. Whisk until smooth and silky.
  4. Pour into a heat-proof container, cover and allow to set in fridge.