If ever I have to choose between milk and dark chocolate, I will 99% of the time choose milk chocolate. I don’t mind the more bitter taste of the dark chocolate, but I want something to melt in my mouth and be able to taste a creaminess along with my chocolate. That said, when I bake I tend to use dark or semi-sweet chocolate because of all the added sugar that goes into cakes and buttercreams.
Last week though, as you may have read in my post about Raspberry Macarons, I was baking on commission, and my client was looking for raspberry macarons and milk chocolate macarons. So I stepped out of my realm of baking with dark chocolate and used milk chocolate in every element of this macaron–which I was somehow skeptical of even though I am a total milk chocolate person.
I was worried that the added sweetness and creaminess of the milk chocolate would lead to problems in my macaron shell and an overwhelming sweetness in my buttercream. But to be honest my recipes only seem to fail when I am confident about them, so in a weird way I should have been relieved that I was worried–it was a good omen.
These macarons are delightful. I thought they might be too simple and I wanted so much to add in other flavors to enhance or pair with the chocolate, but since macarons are only a few bites big, it is actually the perfect amount of chocolate, and is surprisingly not too sweet.
If you wanted to change things up a little, you could also fill the milk chocolate shells with a chocolate ganache of some sort–instead of or in addition to the chocolate buttercream.
Milk Chocolate Macaron Recipe
Milk Chocolate Macaron Shell:
*Recipe adapted from the Laduree Macaron Cookbook (I used milk instead of dark chocolate)
Almond flour 260g
Powdered sugar 250g
15g unsweetened cocoa powder
65g milk chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
6 egg whites, room temperature
1. Pulse the almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor until it is combined and finely ground.
2. In a clean stand mixer, whip the egg whites until foam begins to form. Add 1/3 of the sugar and beat for 1 minute until the sugar is combined, then continue adding additions of sugar and beating to combine. You are looking for stiff peaks to form and for the mixture to become glossy. Add in the cooled milk chocolate and mix until just combined.
3. Add in the almond mixture and carefully fold it in with a spatula.
4. Put the batter into a pastry bag/piping bag and pipe 3-4cm circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let the macarons rest for 30 minutes uncovered at room temperature before baking at 150C/300F for 14-15 minutes.
5. Let the macarons rest on the sheet until completely cooled then carefully remove them from the tray. (The Korean text is much longer because the actual recipe tells you to do this trick with putting water under the parchment paper, but I didn’t do that and they turned out just fine).
Milk Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients:
1 cup butter, room temperature
~4 cups powdered sugar
4 oz milk chocolate, melted and cooled
1. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 5 minutes, until it is lighter, fluffy and smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
2. Add in one cup of powdered sugar and beat on medium high for another two minutes.
3. Pour in the cooled milk chocolate and beat to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure there are no streaks of chocolate or pools of unincorporated ingredients at the bottom of the bowl.
4. Add in the remaining powdered sugar 1 cup or even 1/2 cup at a time, stopping when you have reached the desired consistency–remember you want to be able to pipe it onto the macaron shells.
**Assembly: Match like sized macaron shells in pairs, then pipe the chocolate buttercream onto the flat side of one and sandwich with the other shell. If you like, before you pipe the buttercream onto the shells, drizzle white chocolate over one or both shells in each pair and sprinkle shaved milk chocolate onto the still wet white chocolate. If you decorate the shells, make sure the decoration is set before working with them, or you will have smudges.