These Neapolitan macarons feature chocolate and vanilla macaron shells filled with light, strawberry buttercream! They're perfect for people who hate having to choose between chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry!
Since we're making two different flavors of macaron shell, I like to weight out the ingredients separately.
In one small bowl, sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar for the vanilla macarons and set aside.
In another small bowl, sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder for the chocolate macarons and set aside.
Be sure to weigh your mixing bowl first so that you know what it weighs empty.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until they become foamy, then add in the cream of tartar.
Turn the mixer up to medium-high and gradually add in the granulated sugar. Once all the sugar is added, turn the mixer to the highest setting and whisk on high until stiff peaks form.
Then weigh the bowl again and subtract the difference to find the total weight of the meringue (it should be around 160 grams, but always weigh to make sure).
Then divide the meringue into 2 separate bowls (try to be as exact as possible with the equal weights for best results).
For the vanilla macarons: gently fold in the sifted dry ingredients and the vanilla bean paste. Continue to gently fold the batter until it reaches a “flowing lava” consistency. You should be able to make a “figure 8” with the batter before it breaks. As soon as you reach this consistency, stop mixing! If you over-mix the batter, the macarons won’t rise properly in the oven.
For the chocolate macarons: gently fold in the sifted dry ingredients. Continue to gently fold the batter until it reaches a “flowing lava” consistency. You should be able to make a “figure 8” with the batter before it breaks. As soon as you reach this consistency, stop mixing! If you over-mix the batter, the macarons won’t rise properly in the oven.
Scoop the vanilla macaron batter into a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Hold the piping bag perpendicular to the silicone mat and pipe 1 inch rounds.
Pick up the baking sheet and drop it onto the counter 3-4 times to help bring any air bubbles to the surface of the macarons. Then use a toothpick to pop any visible air bubbles to make a smooth surface.
Then repeat the same steps with the chocolate macaron batter.
Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 30-40 minutes or until a skin forms on the surface. You should be able to lightly touch the surface without any batter being disturbed.
While the macarons are resting, preheat the oven to 300°F.
Bake one sheet at a time on the center rack of the oven for 13-15 minutes or when they do not move on their “feet” when touched.
Let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet before removing them. They should easily peel off when fully cooled.
In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter and powdered sugar together until smooth.
Then add in the strawberry powder and beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until the buttercream is super light and fluffy.
If the frosting is too thick, add in heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time to thin it out.
Match up your shells before filling, and then turn one side over. Then pipe the strawberry buttercream in the center and top with the other shell.
Put the assembled macarons in an airtight container, then place them in the fridge for mature for 12-24 hours before eating for the best taste/texture.
Tip: Clean mixing bowl and whisk attachment of your stand mixer with lemon juice or white vinegar to make sure there are no trace fats on either (if you skip this step, your meringue may not form).Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.