Turtle Macarons have chocolate french macaron shells drizzled with chocolate ganache and caramel, sprinkled with pecans, and filled with chocolate ganache and caramel.
Macarons are one of my favorite things to make, but they are definitely tricky. They have a mind of their own and one wrong step in the recipe can totally change the end result. BUT they are also so fun to make, a major win when you get them right, and delicious no matter how they end up looking.
That being said, it is so possible to master macarons. I compiled a Step-by-Step Macaron post with all of my best tips and tricks for making the best macarons possible. It has all of the steps and tools that I use every time I make macarons and I can promise you it will get you closer to being a macaron master!
What is macaronage?
In order to make french macarons, you have to do a process called macaronage. This is where you fold the wet and dry ingredients together in order to achieve a smooth, shiny, and flowing mixture. A good way to tell if you have done the macaronage stage correctly is if you can hold up the spatula and draw a figure 8 with the mixture without it breaking off.
Ingredients for Turtle Macarons
Ingredients for Chocolate French Macarons:
- Powdered sugar. This will aid in the flavor and structure of the finished macarons.
- Almond flour. Be sure that you are using almond flour and not almond meal.
- Egg whites. Having your egg whites at room temperature will make it easier to whip them.
- Granulated Sugar. Sugar will give structure to the beaten egg whites.
- Cocoa Powder. This will add color and flavor to the macaron shells.
Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache:
- Chocolate. I use semi sweet chocolate, but you can use whatever you prefer.
- Heavy Cream. This will make the ganche creamy.
Ingredients for Caramel:
- Granulated Sugar. Melted sugar is what creates caramel.
- Water. Water will give us a thinner caramel.
- Heavy cream. This is going to make your caramel nice and creamy. be careful when you add it because the caramel will bubble up!
- Butter. Butter adds to the overall flavor and creaminess of homemade caramel.
Ingredients for Turtle Macaron Assembly:
- Pecans. I chopped up my pecans pretty finely, but you can roughly chop or leave them whole.
- If possible, make your macarons on a less humid day. You will need to rest the macarons for longer and they might not turn out as well on a humid day.
- Don’t over mix the batter. You only need to macaronage until you can make a figure 8 with the batter. If you over mix the macarons will spread too much.
- Wipe the bowl down with vinegar before adding the egg whites to whip. Even a speck of leftover dish soap or fat (egg yolk, butter, etc.) will inhibit the egg whites from whipping up properly.
- Let the macarons rest before eating. Macarons are best when they have matured for 12 or so hours. So after you fill the macarons, let them rest overnight for the best flavor.
How to make Turtle Macarons
STEP 2: In a food processor add the powdered sugar, almond flour, and cocoa powder and pulse until fully combined and rid of lumps. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. If you don’t have a food processor you can just sift the ingredients together.
STEP 4: Add the french meringue into the dry ingredients and begin to gently fold with a silicone spatula. This process is called macaronage. You will know the batter is ready when the ingredients are fully combined and not streaky. You should be able to hold the spatula above the bowl and draw a figure 8 smoothly without the batter breaking off. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. Pipe 1-inch disks onto the prepared cookie sheet.
STEP 5: Firmly tap the cookie sheet onto the counter 3 or 4 times to bring any air bubbles to the surface. Use a toothpick to pop any remaining air bubbles. If desired, you can sprinkle the chopped pecans over the wet macarons.
STEP 6: Let the macarons rest for an hour. There needs to be a dry layer on the top. You should be able to run your finger over the top without any transferring to your finger.
STEP 7: Preheat the oven to 280 degrees (F). This is the temperature that I have found works well for my oven, but you may need to play around with the temperature.
STEP 8: Place the pecan macarons on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet, bake for another 5 minutes, and rotate the cookie sheet again, bake for 5 minutes. 15 minutes in total.
STEP 9: Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. They should peel off the mat easily.
STEP 10: When the macarons are cooled peel them off of the mat and match each shell to another that is the same size.
STEP 1: In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water over medium-high heat. Let cook, without stirring, for about 10 minutes or until the sugar turns a medium amber color.
STEP 2: While the sugar cooks warm the heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Be sure not to boil.
STEP 3: When the sugar is ready slowly add the heavy cream. Whisk constantly for 2 minutes.
STEP 4: Remove from heat and add the butter. Whisk until butter is melted and smooth. Let cool.
CHOCOLATE GANACHE MACARON FILLING
STEP 1: In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream over low heat until lightly boiling.
STEP 2: Remove the pan from heat and add the chocolate chips. Allow to sit for five minutes.
STEP 3: Next, use a whisk to slowly stir the mixture together until everything is melted and fully incorporated.
STEP 4: Remove the ganache from heat and transfer to a small bowl. Cover the surface of the ganache with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to firm up. Stir every 5 minutes to speed up the cooling process. The chocolate ganache needs to be completely cooled in order for it to be firm enough.
Turtle Macaron Assembly
STEP 1: Transfer the ganache to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip and pipe your desired amount in a circle around the edge of one macaron shell, leaving a space in the center.
STEP 2: Add a dollop of caramel to the center of the chocolate ganache circle. Sandwich macaron shell on top.
STEP 2: Drizzle chocolate ganache and caramel on top of each macaron. Sprinkle with pecan pieces.
Can I make macarons ahead of time?
For sure! I make macarons ahead of time pretty often and they always still taste amazing. If I am making macarons more than a day before I want to serve them I freeze them. They will freeze well for about two weeks. Just pull them out of the freezer about an hour before you are ready to serve them and they will thaw out perfectly. These Turtle Macarons are no exception!
More Macaron Recipes
- Jelly Donut French Macarons- French macaron shells with a donut filling, raspberry jelly and a dusting of powedered sugar.
- Vanilla Macarons- French macarons with a sweet vanilla filling.
- Pistachio Macarons- Macaron shells made with pistachio pieces and filled with pistachio buttercream.
More Macaron Recipes From Kitchen 335
- Pecan Pie Macarons- a classic french macaron shell that has been sprinkled with crushed pecans and filled with brown sugar and pecan American buttercream.
- Pumpkin Spice Macarons- a classic french macaron shell flavored with pumpkin spice and a sweet pumpkin spice buttercream.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Macarons- a classic french macaron shell drizzled with peanut butter and filled with peanut butter American buttercream and a dollop of jelly.
- Coffee Nutella Macarons- a classic french macaron shell that has been flavored with instant coffee and filled with Nutella.
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For Chocolate Macaron Shells:
- 1 ⅔ cup (200 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 cup (110 grams) almond flour
- 2 tablespoons (10 grams) cocoa powder
- 3 large (100 grams) egg whites
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
For Homemade Caramel:
- ½ cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter
For Chocolate Ganache:
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon (85 grams) heavy cream
- ½ cup (85 grams) chocolate
- pecans, chopped as needed
For Chocolate Macaron Shells:
- Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or you can use parchment paper if you don't have one
- Using a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar, almond flour, and cocoa powder until fully combined and rid of lumps. Sift the combined dry ingredients into a large bowl. If you do not have a food processor you can just sift.
- In a medium bowl, prepare the french meringue. Beat the egg whites on low speed with a hand mixer until they get frothy. Increase the speed and slowly add the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. If you want to add any food coloring, do it now, but use it sparingly or you will make the meringue too liquidy.
- Add the french meringue into the dry ingredients and begin to gently fold. The batter should be fully combined and not streaky. When you are able to make a figure 8 with the batter in one motion, the batter is ready. If it is too runny it has been over-mixed.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. Pipe 1-inch disks on to the silicone mat.
- Tap the cookie sheet on the countertop 3 or 4 times to get rid of any air bubbles. Use a toothpick to pop any remaining air bubbles.
- Allow the macarons to rest for an hour or until the tops of the macarons have dried. You will be able to gently run your finger over them without anyting getting on your finger.
- Preheat the oven to 280 degrees (F).
- Place the macarons on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet and bake for another 5 minutes, rotate the pan one last time and bake for 3 minutes. 13 minutes in total.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on the cookie sheet.
- If the macarons were baked correctly they should easily peel off of the silicone mat.
For Homemade Caramel:
- In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water over medium-high heat. Let cook, without stirring, for about 10 minutes or until the mixture turns a medium amber color.
- While the sugar cooks warm the heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
- When the sugar is ready slowly add the heavy cream, whisking constantly for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add butter. Whisk until melted and smooth. Let cool.
For Chocolate Ganache:
- In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream over medium heat.
- When the cream comes to a light boil turn off the heat and add the chocoalte chips. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Use a whisk to slowly stir the ingredients together until the chocolate is fully melted.
- Transfer the ganache to a small bowl and cover the surface of the ganache with plastic wrap. Place in fridge until fully cooled and thick.
For Turtle Macaron Assembly:
- Transfer the ganache to a piping bag and pipe your desired amount into a circle around the edge of the inside of a macaron shell, leaving a space in the center.
- Add a dollop of caramel to the center of the chocolate ganache circle. Sandwich another macaron shell on top.
- Drizzle each macaron shell with chocolate ganache and caramel and sprinkle with pecan pieces.