Welcome to the month of June, when the birds start tweeting that it’s cherry time! So to celebrate cherry season in Paris, let me share a quick and easy chocolate cherry ganache recipe to fill your macarons.
I’ve also taken the opportunity to explain why we don’t eat macarons straight away and why it’s so important to leave your macarons to settle for at least 24 hours before eating them.
Roasting Cherries vs Pan-Fried
I love making this ganache, as it’s so simple. By frying the cherries in butter and splashing with Kirsch, it’s almost a cheat’s way of speeding up the process of roasting them. I find that the cherry flavour is intensified both ways. However, please go ahead and roast them in butter and Kirsch if you prefer. Roasting cherries takes about 20-25 minutes.
It’s Not Cherry Season – Can I Still Make a Chocolate Cherry Ganache?
Even if it’s not cherry season and you don’t have fresh cherries, you can still make this chocolate cherry ganache using chopped tinned cherries. However, PLEASE PLEASE use only good quality ingredients. I use excellent tinned cherries from Apt, Provence (the world capital of candied fruits) which are in Amaretto. Otherwise use French Griottine® cherries that are jarred and soaked in Kirsch.
How Long Should You Wait Before Eating Macarons?
I know. It’s upsetting, isn’t it? You make a batch of macarons at home and instead of eating them straight away, we pack them in an airtight box in the fridge. What? Why can’t we eat the macarons straight away? The answer is simple but it’s a very important tip when making macarons. Eat them straight away and I guarantee you will be disappointed: the macarons will be too dry and crispy and the filling will not be given its full potential.
Many people who try macarons that are too dry, eating too quickly after making them, believe that’s what macarons taste like. Wrong! That’s what gives macarons a bad image. Please, please. Have patience and leave the filling to work its magic.
The ideal time to wait before eating macarons – especially macarons with a chocolate ganache – is after at least 24 hours. Ideally wait a couple of days before eating chocolate macarons. The result will be perfect: with a slightly crispy outside and a delicious fondant centre, with the chocolate permeated into the macaron shell as a whole. The result is divine.
Mad About Macarons Recipe
The recipe below is for the macaron ganache filling only. For copyright reasons with my publisher, Waverley Books, I can’t post my basic macaron shell recipe here on le blog but you’ll find my step by step macaron recipes, chapter after chapter, plus tips and troubleshooting macarons in my first book, Mad About Macarons! There’s also a chapter on macarons with more recipes in my latest book, Teatime in Paris.
Which Flavour is Best in Macarons?
I often have readers ask me this question and to be honest, it’s difficult to just pinpoint a few. The beauty with macarons is that any flavour is best, as savoury macarons are also delicious fun as well as the sweet kinds.
For savoury, I particularly love spice in them, as the sweetness of the macaron shell cancels out the fiery spices, such as my tikka curry macs, Thai green/red curry macarons etc. – see my article on serving savoury macarons.
On the more classic sweet side, chocolate ganache-filled macarons are best for chocolate lovers. These chocolate-cherry ganache macarons are just a taste. The list of chocolate combinations is endless – I have a whole chapter of them in Mad About Macarons. Some favourites include chocolate pistachio; chocolate hazelnut; chocolate, ginger & cardamom; white chocolate & liquorice; white chocolate & coffee; and white chocolate, vanilla, pistachio and wasabi.
Moreover, there are many more in Teatime in Paris: chocolate, chestnut and cinnamon; salted caramel; Mojito (mint, lime & rum).
That’s just the macarons with a chocolate ganache! With macarons, enjoy the empty canvas.
More Recipes with Cherries
- Enjoy the French classic family favourite, Cherry Clafoutis.
- Looking for a Gluten-free Clafoutis French baked custard made with almond flour? I have you covered with this most versatile version for cherries, strawberries, blueberries, mirabelle plums etc. – and it’s also on Video: How to Make French Clafoutis.
- French Chocolate Mousse Without Cream – why not add a tablespoon of Kirsch and serve with fresh, plump cherries or with Griottines® (jarred cherries soaked in Kirsch)
- German Chocolate Creams with Amaretto Cherries
Chocolate Cherry Ganache (Macaron Filling)
- 100 g (3.5oz) organic black (griotte or burlat) cherries (about 12-14 cherries); washed, pitted & halved
- 25 g (1oz) butter, unsalted
- 1 tbsp Kirsch liqueur (or Amaretto)
- 120 g (4oz) Dark (bittersweet) chocolate (at least 64% cacao)
- 85 g (3oz) Whipping cream (30% fat)
- 2-3 drops Almond extract
- Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan and sauté the cherries over high heat for 5 minutes. Splash in the Kirsch and leave the cherries to soften over a gentle heat, uncovered, for 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat then blitz to a purée in a food processor.
- Break the chocolate into pieces in a heatproof bowl and melt together with the cream over a pan of simmering water (bain marie). Ensure the bowl does not touch the water.
- Once melted, stir in the cherry purée and add the almond extract. Leave to cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes (be careful not to wait too long as the chocolate hardens quite quickly after that).
- Transfer to a piping bag and pipe the ganache onto your macaron shells and sandwich the shells together. Best eaten next day and the next and the next!