Decadent chocolate raspberry macarons are one of the best ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, especially since they’re heart-shaped! These heart macarons are filled with a simple and rich dark chocolate raspberry ganache filling. The raspberry ganache pairs beautifully with the raspberry macaron shells, flavored with freeze-dried raspberries.
I love pairing chocolate with bright fruit flavors, like with my white chocolate pomegranate cake and my berry Bundt cake, and these dark chocolate raspberry macarons are no exception. The rich dark chocolate ganache is brightened with the tartness of raspberries for a delicious bite every time.
You don’t have to wonder how to make heart-shaped macarons: I’ve included a free printable template for heart-shaped macarons and filled this blog post with tips and tricks for your success. Please read (or at least skim!) the blog post to know what to expect if you’ve never made macarons before. You can also watch me make these raspberry macarons if that’s more your thing.
This recipe was sponsored by Endangered Species Chocolate. I love recommending this brand because all their products are certified Fairtrade, and they donate 10% of profits to organizations that make a positive impact. (Plus, every flavor features a collection of fun facts about a different animal on the inside of the wrapper—this bar has the grizzly bear!)
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Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Raspberry Macarons
French macarons require only a few ingredients to make, but they are notoriously particular. Macarons are made with a simple mix of almond flour, powdered sugar, and meringue, which is made from egg whites and granulated sugar. These Valentine’s Day macarons are filled with a simple chocolate raspberry ganache
- Freeze-dried raspberries. Freeze-dried fruit is a great way to add flavor to French macaron shells! Just a bit packs a ton of tart raspberry flavor without changing the structure of the shells too much.
- Granulated sugar. Sugar helps to stabilize the meringue, allowing you to fold in the almond flour mixture and rest the macarons without worrying about the meringue collapsing.
- Almond flour. Almond flour provides structure for the macaron shell and a nutty flavor.
- Powdered sugar. Powdered sugar helps to thicken the macaron batter and provide structure.
- Egg whites, from four large eggs. For best results, use eggs in the shell rather than egg whites in a carton. Carton egg whites are pasteurized and may not whip into a meringue.
- Gel food coloring (optional). Please do not use liquid food coloring—it will not work! If you don’t have any gel food coloring, I recommend this kit from Americolor. It has all the colors you’ll need!
- Raspberry-flavored chocolate. This dairy-free dark chocolate bar from Endangered Species Chocolate is flavored with raspberries for a perfectly tart and fruity flavor.
- Heavy cream. This thins out the chocolate so that it stays soft inside the macaron. You can make this recipe dairy-free by substituting water!
How to Make Chocolate Raspberry Macarons
The most important thing to remember is that macarons are finicky. Even if they don’t look perfect, they’ll still taste great! (And, worst case for these heart macarons, you’ll end up with broken heart macarons that you and your friends can laugh about on Valentine’s Day.)
The number one tip I have for making French macaron shells is to be patient. It can take a number of tries to get a perfect batch. My first batch of macarons came out well enough with just a few cracked shells. It took me quite a few months, though, to feel confident that each batch I put in the oven would turn out. And even now, I find that I’m still learning new things about macarons whenever the weather changes.
Here’s a quick overview of the process to make chocolate raspberry macarons:
Recommended Supplies for Making Macarons
Each oven and home variables vary. I have had success with dark baking sheets and aluminum baking sheets in different ovens. With my current oven, a light-colored aluminum baking sheet placed in the lower third of the oven is essential for turning out macarons.
In my old house and old electric oven, I could use a dark nonstick pan and parchment paper on top of silicon macaron mats with no issues. In my new house and new gas oven, I have to use aluminum pans with silicon macaron mats. For making macarons in my countertop oven, I use those same type of pans and mats with my Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro. It’s a great option if you’re looking into baking macarons with a small electric oven.
If you are following all the steps and your macarons still aren’t consistent after five batches, I would look into your supplies. Try changing one variable at a time to determine what the problem is.
Grinding the Freeze-Dried Raspberries
A lot of macaron bakers don’t add flavor to their shells, but I live for a flavored macaron shell. These French shells are flavored with freeze-dried raspberries, which are surprisingly potent.
For best results, you’ll want to finely grind the raspberries until they turn into a powder. You can use a food processor, a mortar and pestle, or a rolling pin and parchment paper. I use my food processor because I also like to process the almond flour and powdered sugar together. Blitzing everything a couple times in the food processor results in a really smooth shell!
It’s up to you if you want to sift out the raspberry seeds. I leave them in for texture, but you are welcome to remove them.
The Perfect French Meringue Base for Macarons
A good meringue is key for a good macaron. French macarons generally call for aged or at least room temperature egg whites, but because of the way I mix up my meringue, I use eggs directly from the fridge without a stabilizer like cream of tartar or powdered egg whites.
I adapted this technique from Cenk Sönmezsoy’s The Artful Baker (though he recommends room temperature egg whites). If you’re newer to meringue, I would recommend using room temperature egg whites, as they are a bit more elastic (read: forgiving).
For a perfect French meringue every time, start by whipping the egg whites on low in a stand mixer, just to incorporate. Once the whites begin to foam, increase the speed to medium. The whisk will begin to leave trails in the foam; at that point, sprinkle in the sugar about a teaspoon at a time.
When all the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to high and whisk until you begin to see the whisk leave deep indents in the meringue (anywhere from three to five minutes).
Test to see if the meringue has stiff peaks by removing the whisk and flipping it upside down. If the meringue stands straight up or curls into itself lightly with a sharp point, stop whisking. (See photos below.) If the point is soft and looks like it has a lot of tiny bubbles in it, whisk for another 10 seconds, then test again.
Once the meringue is stiff, add your gel food coloring. To make raspberry-colored macarons, I use about 20 drops of Super Red, 1 drop of Violet, and 1 drop of Fuchsia gel coloring (all from Americolor).
The Perfect Raspberry Macaron Batter Consistency
Macaron batter needs to be a certain consistency in order to develop feet. The consistency and process is so important that it has its own name: “macaronage.”
The top descriptor I have read for testing macaron batter consistency is it “flows off the spatula like hot lava…” I have never seen hot lava in person, much less seen it being picked up with a spatula. That phrase does not personally help me figure out how to macaronage, which is one of the most important things for beginners to understand.
A more fitting description for the perfect macaron batter consistency is to think of macaronage as a process, not an end result.
Macaronage Is a Process
The egg whites start out as liquid with no air in them. Then you whip in lots of very tiny air bubbles to transform the egg whites into a meringue. You have added so much air into the egg whites that now they essentially function as a solid instead of a liquid.
Then, you fold in almond flour and powdered sugar. As you fold the batter with a spatula, you are knocking the air out of the meringue. That helps to transform our previously solid meringue back into a liquid batter. The more folds you give the batter, the more liquid the batter becomes. (My husband says this is called viscosity, but that’s a bit technical.)
The perfect consistency of macaron batter will look grainy as it flows off the spatula in one long, stacking ribbon. Then, it will begin to look shiny and absorb back into the rest of the batter within 10-15 seconds.
If your batter takes more than 15 seconds to absorb, you need to knock more air out of the meringue. Too much air in the macarons will make them crack in the oven.
If your batter takes closer to 5 seconds to absorb, it’s likely overmixed; however, it will probably still turn out decent macarons. Unfortunately, if your batter absorbs immediately, there is not enough air left in the meringue to form proper macarons. I recommend starting over.
How to Make Heart-Shaped Macarons
I recommend using my free template for heart-shaped macarons if you are a confident macaron baker with a fair amount of piping experience. The batter can be a little tricky to pipe neatly until you know how it flows. If you’re a little iffy on shaped macs still, you are more than welcome to simply make circles! You can also watch my video on how to pipe heart-shaped macarons below.
Prepare the template underneath a silicone mat or parchment paper. Make sure it’s straight (or close enough). If you are using half-sheet pans, I recommend printing out two templates and using them side-by-side for ease.
Using a small round piping tip (#8), pipe a circle of batter at the top of a heart until the circle of batter is even with the curve of the heart. Let up on the pressure and drag the piping tip towards the point of the heart, letting up lightly on the pressure as you go. Quickly move onto the other half of the heart and repeat the process.
Once the whole tray has been piped, use a toothpick to smooth out any rough edges. I usually pull the macaron batter down a little to form a sharper point, then pop any visible air bubbles.
Next, pick up the pan with one hand and bang the heel of your other hand against it in various locations under the macarons until you see air bubbles rise from the bottoms of the shells. Alternatively, bang the pan against the counter a few times.
Let the macarons rest until they are dull and don’t leave a residue when you lightly run your finger across the top. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, sometimes closer to two hours if it’s really humid outside.
If these macarons don’t rest for long enough, they will crack in the middle when baking, leaving you with broken hearts! (Don’t worry—I’m sure your valentine will find it funny.)
Baking the Raspberry Macaron Shells
Once the macarons have rested long enough to be dull and dry to the touch, it’s time to bake.
There are a few variations when it comes to baking macarons that you will have to figure out for your home. Here, I’ll share what I do, but you may need to make some adjustments!
I bake my macarons at 320°F/160°C for 16-18 minutes on the lower center rack of my oven. In warmer months, the center rack works best. I’m not 100% sure why, but I’ve learned to live with it.
You may try lowering your oven temperature or using a different rack depending on how your first tray of macarons turns out.
How to Make Chocolate Raspberry Ganache
The first step is to use a heat-safe bowl, like one of these glass ones. Break the raspberry dark chocolate bar into pieces and place them in the bowl.
Then, heat up the heavy cream in the microwave or in a small saucepan until steamy. (This takes about 30 seconds in the microwave but a little longer on the stove.)
Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk together with a whisk or silicone spatula until mostly smooth (there will be pieces of raspberry). If your chocolate pieces are too big, you may need to microwave the bowl for a few seconds to melt the chocolate entirely.
Allow the ganache to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, until it is firmer but still soft enough to pipe. Otherwise, you may need to warm it up slightly to be able to pipe it.
How to Fill Heart-Shaped Macarons
Filling the macarons is my favorite part! You can use a larger piping tip and pipe a large dollop in the center of a circular macaron shell or, to fill heart-shaped macarons, use a small, open star tip like I did below.
For a professional look, pair similarly sized macarons together. Match a pair of hearts together first, then line them up with one side face up and one side face down.
I like to pipe three dollops of ganache in heart-shaped macarons: Two towards the top (inside each of the curves of the heart) and one at the bottom towards the point. Make to sure to leave a bit of a border to accommodate the ganache spreading, then sandwich two shells together!
For simple circle raspberry macarons, you can pipe a swirl of ganache in the center of the shell. Leave a little room on the edges, then top with another raspberry macaron shell.
FAQs about Chocolate Raspberry Macarons
YES. I typically include both volumetric (cups) and mass (weight) measurements on my recipes, but because macarons are so finicky, I have only included mass measurements. This recipe requires a kitchen scale, but it is worth it to get perfect macarons every time. Kitchen scales are relatively inexpensive as far as minor appliances go, and they will last you forever. I have this kitchen scale from OXO and love it.
No, absolutely not! Start with parchment paper and, if you’re feeling confident, my printable heart macaron template underneath it. If you learn that you like making macarons, invest in silicone macaron mats down the road.
There are so many variables when making macarons that it can be hard to narrow it down. I’m happy to help you troubleshoot in the comments or in direct messages on Instagram (where you can send me pictures!).
You can, if you like! The macaron absorbed a little too much liquid when I made the ganache with water, so I’d recommend cutting the water by a Tablespoon or so just to be safe.
Yes, I used freeze-dried raspberries to flavor the raspberry macaron shells. I get my freeze-dried fruit at Trader Joe’s and Target.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Some more favorite dessert recipes you may like to try:
Dish Cleanup: Gonna Take a While
I rate my recipe cleanups on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 is only a handful of dishes, and 5 is everything including the kitchen sink.
My chocolate raspberry macarons recipe has a cleanup rating of a 4. Thanks to the simplicity of the ganache, this is a lower rating than many of my other macaron recipes! While there is still a good amount of dishes, you shouldn’t spend hours scrubbing away in the sink.
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Macarons Recipe
For the Raspberry Macaron Shells
- 5 g freeze-dried raspberries
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 120 grams egg whites, from four large eggs
- 125 grams almond flour
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- Red, fuchsia, and violet gel food coloring (optional)
For the Chocolate Raspberry Ganache
- 3 oz raspberry-flavored chocolate, like Endangered Species Chocolate raspberries + 72% (86 g)
- 3 oz heavy cream (86 g)
To Make the Raspberry Macaron Shells
- Prepare two baking sheets with silicone macaron mats or parchment paper. You can use my free heart template underneath, if desired. Prepare a piping bag fitted with a round tip (I use Wilton #10 or Ateco 803), and set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse the freeze-dried raspberries until finely ground.
- Add the powdered sugar and almond flour to the food processor with the raspberry powder and pulse just a couple of times until mostly combined. Set aside.
- Separate the eggs, reserving the egg whites for the macaron shells. Save the yolks for ice cream!
- Weigh out 120 grams of egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, then mix on 2 (or low) until frothy. Increase speed to 4 (medium-low). Once the whisk begins leaving a trail in the egg whites, sprinkle in the granulated sugar about a teaspoon at a time. Once all the sugar is incorporated, increase speed to 6 (medium) and whisk until stiff peaks form.
- If desired, add gel food coloring. I used 20 drops of super red, 1 drop of violet, and 1 drop of fuchsia to make this raspberry color. Whisk on medium for a few seconds to fully incorporate.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and pour half of the almond flour mixture into the meringue. Fold together with a silicone spatula until fully incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add in the remaining almond flour mixture and fold together. The mixture will be thick, but as you continue folding, it will lose some air and thin out. Continue folding and pressing the batter into the sides of the bowl until the batter is the correct consistency (covered in the next step).
- To test the consistency, scoop the batter up, and let it flow back into the bowl. Continue folding until the mixture flows in one solid ribbon off the spatula. It should look a bit grainy as it flows off the spatula, then dissolve back into the batter in 10-15 seconds and look glossy instead of grainy.
- Pour the batter into the prepared piping bag. Holding the bag at a 90° angle to the pan, gently squeeze out the macaron batter into hearts or circles about 1.5" (3 mm) in diameter. They will spread a little as they settle.
- Once piped, pick up the pan with one hand and bang the heel of your other hand against it in various locations under the macarons until you see air bubbles rise from the bottoms of the shells. Alternatively, bang the pan against the counter a few times. Use a toothpick to pop any remaining bubbles for a perfectly smooth top. Notice how shiny the surface looks now; it will dull as the macarons rest.
- Set the macarons aside in a well-ventilated area to dry for about 20-30 minutes. On particularly humid days, this may take up to an hour. A note on heart-shaped macarons: The divot between the two halves of the hearts takes the longest to dry; if you bake the macarons before that section is fully dry, that spot will break open in the oven and turn the shells into broken hearts.
- While the macarons are drying, preheat the oven to 320°F/160°C.
To Bake the Raspberry Macaron Shells
- The macarons are ready to go in the oven when the tops are no longer reflective, don't leave a residue on your finger when touched, and feel like skin when you lightly run your finger across it.
- Once dry, bake one tray at a time in the lower center rack for 16-18 minutes or until the macarons are set. Test to see if the macarons are set: Try to gently wiggle a macaron back and forth from the center of the pan with your thumb and forefinger. If the top moves at all, put the tray back in the oven for another minute or two until the center of the macaron is set and does not move when prompted.
- Let each tray cool completely before removing the macarons from the mats, about 10 minutes.
To Make the Chocolate Raspberry Ganache
- While the macarons are baking, chop or break the chocolate into pieces. Place in a medium-sized heat-safe bowl, like glass.
- Heat the heavy cream in the microwave or in a saucepan over low heat until steamy, then pour over the chocolate.
- Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted completely. There will be small lumps of raspberry. If larger lumps of chocolate remain, heat in the microwave for 10 seconds, then stir together until smooth.
- Set aside at room temperature to thicken, about 30 minutes to an hour, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with your preferred tip. (I used Wilton #32.)*
To Fill the Heart-Shaped Macarons
- Begin filling the macarons when the ganache can hold its shape but has not completely set.**
- Pair similarly sized macarons together and line them up with one side face up and one side face down.
- On a raspberry macaron shell with the flat bottom facing up, pipe three dollops of the chocolate raspberry ganache, leaving a small border around the edges. Repeat with the rest of the macarons, then place the matching macaron shell on top.
- The macaron shells will soften and the flavors will develop after maturing in the fridge for one day, though you may eat them any time you'd prefer after assembly.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week for maximum freshness.
If you like a lot of filling in the center, you may want to double the amount of ganache and use two bars of chocolate.
*To speed this process up, you can nest the bowl of ganache in a larger bowl with ice water and stir constantly until the ganache has thickened slightly.
**The ganache can be difficult to pipe if it has cooled completely and set. I recommend piping the ganache when it's still a bit warm but holds its shape. If it has set completely, you can knead the piping bag over a warm spot (like the vent of your cooling oven) or transfer the ganache into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in 5 second bursts, stirring after each until it's pipeable.
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Serving Size:1 filled macaron
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 18mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 2g
The nutrition facts are estimated and may vary based on specific ingredients used.
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