Chocolate is one of the most popular macaron flavors. Change it up by combining it with chestnuts, a quintessential French ingredient.
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Makes about 36 macarons
For chocolate-chestnut buttercream filling
1 stick butter (½ cup, 113 g), room temperature
¼ cup chestnut spread (such as Clément Faugier)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp rhum (optional)
For the shells:
3 large egg whites, aged for at least 24 hours
125 g almond meal
200 g powdered sugar
15 g cocoa powder
30 g granulated sugar
½ tsp coffee extract
To make the filling:
In a medium bowl, cream the butter using an electric mixer. Add the chestnut spread, cocoa powder and rum, and beat together until creamy and homogeneous. Reserve.
To make the shells:
Take the egg whites out of the refrigerator about an hour before making the macarons to bring them back to room temperature. Line two doubled baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Place the almond meal, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in the bowl of a food processor. Finely grind everything together for a minute or two. Stop the processor, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and process again for a minute. After processing the sugar-almond-cocoa mixture, carefully sieve it, discarding any bigger bits that remain in the sieve. Reserve.
Put the egg whites in a large stainless steel bowl. Beat at medium/high speed with a handheld or stand mixer. Once they start to get bubbly and white and the whisk is lightly leaving marks, slowly add the granulated sugar. Keep on beating until stiff peaks form.
Add the coffee extract to the egg whites along with a third of the almond-sugar-cocoa mixture. Fold to incorporate by sliding a rubber spatula down to the bottom of the bowl and gently bringing it back to the top. Keep on adding the almond-sugar-cocoa mixture a third at a time until everything is incorporated, always folding gently and never beating.
Pour the batter in a pastry bag fitted with a round ½-inch tip, then pipe equal rounds of batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Let rest for 20-30 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 310°F (155ºC). When the shells have rested enough, bake for about 15 minutes, or until the shells are firm on their feet when lightly tapped.
Let cool the shells completely, then remove from parchment paper. Fill with chocolate-chestnut buttercream, then refrigerate for 24 hours before eating. Enjoy within the next 5 days for the best texture and flavor.