Chocolate Strawberry and Neapolitan Macarons

I am having a total 70’s flashback today (in reference to my childhood) thinking about Neapolitan ice cream. In the 70’s it was still the cheap square cardboard boxes when it came to ice cream, and you didn’t have a million flavors like we do today. Somewhere along the line we transitioned into circular ice cream containers. What’s up with that?

Neapolitan ice cream was a frequent in our house growing up. I loved the first glance of those perfectly proportioned lines of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry when you first lifted the lid on the container. I was a naughty girl and always scooped from the strawberry stripe only. I’m sure my Mother figured it out. If not-she is certainly right now- reading this. For some reason I was not much interested in the chocolate or vanilla. Today I have grown out of my strawberry obsession and am an equal flavor opportunist.

Neapolitan macarons. You get all 3 wonderful flavors at the same time. Give it a try….

I did a couple variations on flavors. You could use vanilla swiss meringue buttercream to fill all or also choose to divide some of them and fill with chocolate ganache or even strawberry buttercream.

neapolitan macarons

strawberry choc and neapolitan macs

neapolitan macaron closeupstrawberry mac and neapolitan macs

chocolate with neapolitan macs

Chocolate Macarons

200 gms almond flour, sifted

200 gms confectioners sugar, sifted

2  Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

76 gms egg whites

200 gms granulated sugar

50 gms water

75 gms egg whites (room temp)

pinch of cream of tartar

1. In a large bowl combine the almond flour, and confectioners sugar and cocoa powder. Add the 75 gms of egg whites, and stir to combine. Set aside.

2. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment combine 75 gms of egg whites and the cream of tartar and begin whipping them on medium-high speed.

At the same time combine the 200 gms of  granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan on high heat; bring to 240° without stirring while whipping the egg whites on your mixer simultaneously. You want the cooking sugar syrup to reach 240 degrees at the same time your whites reach stiff peaks. To time this; keep the stand mixer next to the stove so you can peek at the whites while still watching your cooking syrup. If you notice the whites starting to get too stiff before the sugar is done; slow down the mixer to low-speed.

3. Once the syrup is at 240 degrees, stop/take off the heat and start pouring the syrup down the side of the mixer bowl slowly with the mixer running on slow-medium at the same time; careful not to let the syrup hit the whisk to prevent hard syrup forming. Once all the syrup is in, crank up the mixer and whip the whites until very glossy and stiff.

4. Take the whipped meringue and place on top of the almond mixture and start to  fold gently until all of the meringue is incorporated; careful not to deflate the mixture. You are looking for a thick consistency like lava. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip and pipe the cookies on parchment lined sheet trays; leaving at least an inch space between cookies. Take the trays and rap them hard on the counter to release any air bubbles. Let the trays sit out anywhere from 30-60 minutes; as long as it takes until when you touch the top of the cookies they are dry and no longer tacky to the touch.

5. Bake the cookies double panned (placing one empty tray underneath the piped cookies) one tray at a time in a 325° oven for about 15-18 minutes until the cookies are no longer wet on the bottom and appear dry. Sacrifice one if you have to test. Let the cookies cool on the tray. Sandwich with the filling. Store the cookies in the fridge covered loosely for 8 hours or overnight; this helps the cookies become even more chewy as the moisture from the filling helps the texture of the cookie.

Strawberry Macarons

Follow the same recipe as above except substitute the cocoa powder with 2 Tbsp. dried strawberry powder and add a few drops of deep pink food coloring gel in step one.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

4 egg whites

1 cup granulated sugar

4 sticks  unsalted butter

2 tsp. vanilla

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine egg whites and sugar. Set over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until mixture is hot and sugar is dissolved. Remove bowl and place on mixer and beat until stiff meringue forms and bottom of mixer bowl is cool to touch; about 5 minutes. Add softened butter one tablespoon at a time until all is incorporated. Add vanilla and and beat until smooth. Use a generous 1 tsp. full to fill macarons.

Note: any leftover buttercream may be frozen. Store in an airtight container. To use: thaw at room temperature and rewhip with paddle attachment. You may also make strawberry buttercream by dividing adding in some seedless strawberry jam and whipping to combine.

Assembling Neapolitan Macarons: match up one chocolate and strawberry mac cookie and fill with vanilla buttercream. As an alternative you may fill some with chocolate ganache.

Small batch chocolate ganache

4 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped fine

3 oz. heavy cream

In a medium bowl place the chopped chocolate. Heat the heavy cream on high until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for one minute before stirring to combine thoroughly. Place the ganache in the fridge while you make the cookies.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Tastie Dine says:

    My dream is to make macarons that don’t necessarily stick to the parchment paper, I’ve been using the “Martha Stewart” recipe for 2 months now, and they always stick. What am I doing wrong?? This recipe is driving me crazy, I end up feeling like am wasting a lot of expensive ingredients. I like to believe that everything goes well, until the baking part. 180 C is too hot and 120 C is too low
    1.Can you advise me where I might be going wrong?
    2.Is your oven like that for commercial use or the normal home version?
    3. I need your help <{more of a statement}


    1. swooz says:

      Hi Tastie, try baking at 160 or 162 C . I use just a regular home oven. It can be very frustrating trying to find the right temperature. The reason most likely why they stick is because not enough heat is getting into the shell initially. Also after removing when baked you can try lifting the paper and pouring 1-2 Tablespoons of water to create a quick steam to loosen the shells. Are you using baking paper? Maybe try using a silicone baking mat. Hope this helps. All my best, Suzie!

  2. Kristine Rodgers says:

    I made these and they turned out delicious with a great texture but the pink browned while baking. When bitten into they are still the bright pink color but looking at them they aren’t as pretty. How do you maintain such a vivid pink color without them browning?

    1. swooz says:

      Hi Kristine,
      Always color the batter darker than the desired color you want because the outside color changes. That being said, I also only use Americolor brand gel paste for coloring because I read an article once about some gel pastes have certain additives that can cause browning. (I can’t remember where I read it). I also use an empty sheet pan with the rack set on the top shelf in the oven (when the heat source is at the top in the oven) if the macs tend to turn brown or with light colored macs. Another trick I’ve tried in getting the color closer to what you like is color the batter by under whipping the batter a bit and adding in the gel color by hand at the end to really see the desired color, but the color will always be darker inside the mac than the end product. You can also play with the oven temperature by dropping it about 10-15 degrees less to prevent browning and bake them a bit longer; alot of bakers use this trick when baking white colored macs. Invest in some quarter size sheet pans and do some investigative work by piping a few macs on smaller pans and then changing the temp of the oven, bake off only a few and take notes. Good luck! Hugs, Sweet Tooth.

  3. ll says:

    how many does it make

    Around 30

  4. Andrew Petri says:

    Never in my life have I ever made any macaroons so this will be my first attempt to baking them hope that they will turn out alright just like the ones in the photo attached to the recipe

    1. swooz says:

      Good luck. The best advice l can give is don’t get too discouraged, and make different batches at different temperatures with your oven and keep a notebook and take detailed notes. Check your oven temp to see if it runs low or high. All the best!

  5. Lauren North says:

    I’ve never used a macaroni recipe that used egg whites twice? I feel confused. Why add raw egg whites to almond mixture and then make the meringue too? I’m confused. Thank you!

    Hi, yes- its called the Italian macaron (Italian meringue) method, and is well known in pastry/macaron world. Its the most “stable meringue “ when it comes to making macarons. I suggest you go to YouTube to view different videos on this type of method- there are several. Best of luck.

    1. swooz says:

      Hi, its called the Italian meringue method. Its well known in macaron making. It being one of three ways you can make a macaron. Its the mist difficult version, but produces the most stable meringue and the shiniest shells.

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