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. - Jill
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 tablespoon 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!
Great success - merci!
So happy you like this, Charlotte. Thanks for popping in!
Hi Jill, This is exactly the filling I'm looking for! Only ... it's Fall and I don't have fresh cherries. Is there a decent substitute I might find in the store? Thanks so much!
Hi Catherine, in that case, I'd use good quality tinned (Amareno) cherries or the chic, jarred French 'Griottines' cherries that are steeped in liqueur. In that case, use the same weight of cream as chocolate and add the butter once they've melted together. Forget the first step and finely chop in the cherries with 1 tbsp of the juice at the end. Hope that makes sense. I will be updating this page beginning May 2021 to update the recipe and give many more ideas for you! So watch this space.
Thanks for the quick answer! I'll see how it goes! Thanks so much for the recipe!
It's a pleasure
Try using frozen cherries. I use frozen cherries to make a similar product which I use in making handmade filled chocolates. Rather than cooking the cherries, macerate them in cherry brandy for a week, drain but reserve the brandy, then blitz in food processor before adding to the chocolate and cream mixture. The addition of alcohol acts as a preservative and these will easily keep for 7-10 days, longer if stored in refrigerator
Thanks Danny. Your chocolates sound divine and wonderful you make your cherries from scratch!
However, I prefer not to use frozen cherries for macaron ganache fillings, simply as I like to be able to freeze macarons. Another possibility (showing my lazy side!) is to use French Griottines, which are jarred cherries steeped in Kirsch. I love using them during the holiday season when fresh cherries are not available.
Can you translate measurements into ounces and cups?
Hi Jeff, I've updated the recipe to include ounces. I'm afraid I don't measure in cups: I have a post here to explain why it's better to measure ingredients out in weight rather than volume - especially in precise French baking. Hope this helps!
This is an older recipe on le blog but as you can see from all the latest recipes, I include ounces as well as grams.
Hello Jill, I'm prepare the Pistachio macaron inspired at laduree patisserie and I'm found the recipe of pistachio filling (laduree) ... Make them and tell me if it taste like laduree and compare the Pistachio macaron at laduree patisserie. Kindle regards
After tasting my way around Paris with pistachio macarons, I love them as much as you do. My favourite at Ladurée as I mention on le blog here on many posts is the vanilla and the orange blossom. My pistachio macaron recipe is in Mad About Macarons, my first book, and I still love making them using this one. Alas, I can't post the recipe for it here, as my publisher, Waverley Books, prefer that readers buy the book - and at the price of a box of macarons for the book, I understand their sentiment.
Sometimes I'll add some orange blossom to the pistachio filling, inspired by Café Pouchkine.
Hi I'm preparing the Orangina Macaron recipe of your Teatime in Paris book - is a Orange drink like a soda fanta. Thanks.
Yes I'm like the recipe thats is a good idea that you open in your blog a only post of diferent macaron fillings and flavors that you will be create, for friends, chefs, for macaron followers and increase the repertory.
Thanks, Enrique. It's not easy, as my publisher doesn't allow me to post my macaron recipes - I'm sure you understand. Glad you like this, though!
Yes I have the books, for other fillings that it don't have in the books.
Chocolate and cherries, I can't wait to see how this combination tastes. Thank you for sharing the recipe! The macarons are so cute~
Thanks Elly. I'm dying for cherry season again and for some much-needed sunshine! Roll on spring in Paris ... Enjoy!
How did I miss these?
Adorable use of the stems...
My floor is littered with them...
Thanks Carol. Re-cycling the cherry stems!
With macs like this in front of you, never mind the weather 🙂
Jill – these have to be the cutest macarons ever! I love how you use the cherry stems.
Thanks David. I'm lazy - they're the quickest decor, sticking them on with a tiny bit of ganache!
These look very cute and I am sure they taste delicious!!
I always enjoy your photos on IG.. and your photos make want to make macarons and other goodies:) I am "macarongirl61" on IG.
Oh my! Great to put your real name to Macarongirl61, Kyoko. Thanks so much for popping by via Instagram.
These are works of art! I really need to put macarons on my baking list for this summer 🙂
Hehe, Liz. Thanks - just works of a mad macaron person. I do hope you make them soon!
Christina | Christina's Cucina
So sorry for the deluge, Jill! Sounds like we should exchange weather for a while! We need rain so badly!
Love this cherry ganache recipe! I've never put a fruit puree in a ganache before! You truly are the queen of macaron making!! 🙂
What is happening with this planet? Remember that Monday you had in Paris? Well it has been like that for too long now. And I can hear it has started up again tonight. It's crazy!