The Ultimate Valentine's Day Treat Box


 
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox

I couldn’t let Valentine’s day go by without a sneaky wee cookie box. Personally I’m not a giant fan of Valentine’s day, but what I do really love is making super cute pink stuff, so here we are! My friend Chelsea reached out a while back and asked if I wanted to do a wee valentine’s day collab with some macarons, so I roped in Jase and we took it one step further and came up with this epic Valentine’s themed treat box! We each did a bunch of prep the day before, then got together and put it all together, hung out, and took 12 zillion photos. It was the best day.

Jase and I made Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Macarons (classic v day flavour, chocolate and berries), and then some meringue kisses, which are super easy to make - the recipe makes loads, and they keep for a super long time. We also tried our hand at making some soft caramels, which turned out beautifully. We made an earl grey version, and I’m now hooked on making them and can’t wait to make more in the future. Finally, we also made some super cute marshmallow hearts, flavoured with a freeze dried raspberry powder.

Chelsea brought Sugar cookies, linzers, and chocolate sandwich cookies. She ices the cookies with royal icing and then paints on them with edible paint - I am totally, totally blown away by her talent. She did some wee heart cookies which became little conversation hearts, and then made THE most amazing, detailed, valentine’s themed cookies I have ever, ever seen. She chatted away while she just casually painted macarons, a task which would have me hiding in the corner in tears five seconds in. She’s also just an amazing human being, and will be opening a bakeshop in the near future. I am so excited for her, but also so, so grateful that I am lucky enough to call so many amazingly talented people my friends! Yay to more collabs in the future!

Here’s what we ended up with:

  • Earl Grey caramels

  • Vanilla bean Meringue Kisses

  • Raspberry Heart Shaped Marshmallows

  • Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam (Chelsea brought these but I have included a version below)

  • Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Macarons - Recipe Here

  • Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (This recipe, but without any leavener, and filled with extra buttercream from the macarons)

  • Decorated Sugar cookies (Chelsea made these with her recipe, but I have a version here - I like this royal icing recipe)

A few wee tips:

  • The key to a good Cookie box (in my opinion), is choosing one colour and sticking with it as a theme throughout. We went with pink for valentine’s day.

  • We did all the prep work the day beforehand, then put it together and shot it the next day!

  • Make sure you plan out your cookie box before you start so that you have a good mixture of things - I like to do a combination of cookies but also little sweet treaty things such as as the caramels and the meringue kisses

  • A good way of making things a little easier on yourself is to make some components that can be used in a few places - for example, the jam and the buttercream from the macarons can be used to fill the linzers and chocolate cookies.

  • Here is the box we used - I got Rich to make us some dividers on the laser cutter.

 

 

Earl Grey Caramels

- Makes about 160 caramels -

Recipe Adapted from ‘Candy Is Magic’ by Jami Curl

Earl Grey Cream
300g Heavy Cream
30g Loose leaf Earl grey tea

Caramels
438g Glucose syrup or light corn syrup
800g sugar
220g Earl Grey Cream
8g Kosher Salt
2g Vanilla bean powder (I used Heilala)
330g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1 inch cubes

 

- PROCESS -

EARL GREY CREAM

Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan, and heat over low to medium heat until just shy of a simmer. Add the loose leaf tea, cover the pot, and steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down on the tea to get as much liquid out as possible. Clean out the saucepan, wipe dry, and measure 220g of the cream into the saucepan. Place over a low heat until ready to use. If you are making ahead, store in an airtight container in the fridge, then rewarm when ready to use.

CARAMELS

Butter a 9” x 13” pan and have nearby.

Place the corn syrup or glucose into a large heavy bottomed saucepan (It is easiest to weigh directly into the pan). Heat over medium high, until it begins to bubble. Swirl the pot occasionally to prevent any hot spots

Sprinkle in a third of the sugar, and, using a spatula or wooden spoon, poke the sugar so it is covered by the corn syrup. Do not stir at any time. Once all of the sugar has been covered, add the second third, and repeat the poking process. Repeat with the final third of sugar.

Place the cream into a small saucepan and place over low heat. Add the salt and vanilla bean powder.

Cook the corn syrup and sugar mixture, swirling the pot occasionally, until it is dark amber in colour. This should take around 13 to 15 minutes. Do not walk away from the caramel - it is important you watch it carefully so you can swirl the pot as needed to distribute the heat and ensure even cooking.

Once the mixture is dark amber, remove from the heat, and add in the earl grey cream mixture, followed by the butter. Using a large whisk, whisk the mixture for 5 minutes, until it is completely emulsified. Make sure you whisk for the full 5 minutes to ensure this.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and allow to set for at least 3 hours, or ideally overnight.

To cut, prepare a chopping board and sharp knife. Carefully lift the caramel out of the pan - I found it was easiest to start in one corner and slowly work my way out. Use a ruler to mark the caramel - we did approximately 1 1/2 “ by 3/4” pieces, but you can cut however you like - 1” squares work great too.

Wrap the caramels in wax paper or cellophane squares - we used wax paper squares.

 

 

Vanilla Bean Meringue Kisses

- Makes about 60 meringue kisses, or about 24 nests -

Note: This recipe is very scaleable - the ratio of egg whites to sugar is 1:1.5, so adjust to your liking. Because the meringues are essentially ‘dried’ rather than cooked, you can pipe various sizes and bake all together.

200g egg whites
300g granulated sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
Pink Gel Food colouring (Optional)

 

- PROCESS -

MERINGUE

Preheat the oven to 225˚f / 110˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit two large piping bags with your tip of choice (I used an Ateco #826).

Measure the egg whites and granulated sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or other heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture, whisking often and watching the edges carefully, until it no longer feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers, and it registers at least 70˚c / 160˚f on a thermometer. 

Carefully transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, approximately 4-5 minutes. Transfer half to a to piping bag, then colour the remainder with a few drops of gel food colouring, mix to incorporate, and transfer to the second piping bag.

Use a few small blobs of meringue to secure the parchment paper to the baking sheet. Pipe 'kisses', onto the baking paper lined sheets, leaving a small amount of space between each (they will not spread in the oven). You can pipe whatever shape you would like here - blobs, nests, kisses etc.

Place the baking sheets into the oven. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until they feel firm and no longer sticky, and peel cleanly off the paper when you lift them up. Turn off the oven, and leave them in there for at least an additional hour to dry out and crisp up.

Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

 

 

Raspberry Marshmallows

- Makes one 13” x 9” pan of marshmallows -

Marshmallow Dust
35g (1/4 cup) powdered sugar
35g (1/4 cup) Corn Starch

Raspberry Marshmallows
75g cold water
14g (2 sachets) powdered gelatine
75g cold water
270g Sugar
106 g light corn syrup
1 tablespoon (18g) vanilla bean paste, or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
20g freeze-dried raspberry powder (we used Freshas brand)

- PROCESS -

MARSHMALLOW DUST

Sift together the powdered sugar and corn starch. Set aside - this will be used to dust the pan.

RASPBERRY MARSHMALLOWS

Grease a 9” x 13” quarter sheet pan with butter, and dust with marshmallow dust. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine 75 grams water with the powdered gelatine. Combine well and leave to bloom while you prepare the sugar syrup.

In a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan, heat the second measure of water, granulated sugar, light corn syrup, vanilla bean paste, and freeze dried raspberry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer registers 240˚f (116˚c). Remove from the heat, and allow to cool to 210˚f (99˚c).

Turn the mixer to medium speed, and allow it to break up the gelatine slightly. Carefully stream in the sugar syrup mixture. Increase the speed to high, and beat until the marshmallow has doubled in volume, holds a small peak, and is fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Working quickly, scrape into the prepared pan, and smooth down with a lightly oiled offset spatula. Dust with additional marshmallow dust, and allow to cure for at least 3 hours.

Dust a work surface with marshmallow dust, and turn the marshmallow onto it. Using a heart cutter of your desired size, cut out heart mallows, dusting the cutter with marshmallow dust as needed.

Store in an airtight container until ready to use.


 

 

Shortbread Linzer Cookies

- Makes approximately 18 sandwich cookies, depending on size -

Shortbread Roll-out Cookies
180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
65g powdered sugar, sifted
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
265 g all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar to dust

Raspberry Quick Jam
375g frozen raspberries
400g granulated sugar

- PROCESS -

SHORTBREAD COOKIES

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste on high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the flour, and mix on low until just combined.

Dump the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and press out into a rectangle. Wrap tightly, and refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight, to allow the butter to firm up.

Place the wrapped dough on the bench for 10-15 minutes to allow it to soften slightly. Cut two pieces of parchment paper the same size as a half baking sheet (13” x 18”). Unwrap the dough, and place between the two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, bang the dough gently to help flatten out, then roll to the size of the parchment paper. If you have some wrinkles in the parchment paper, which will then in turn cause wrinkles in your dough, peel the sheet off and smooth it back onto the dough, then continue rolling.

Once you have rolled your dough to the size of the parchment paper, transfer it, still between the two sheets of paper, to a baking sheet, and place in the freezer to firm up, 15-20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325˚f (170˚c). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 2” fluted cookie cutter, cut circles of dough, and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet (you can fit quite a few cookies on a baking sheet, as they do not spread much). If the dough starts to soften, return to the freezer to firm up. Re-roll scraps, freeze briefly, then cut out the rest of the dough.

Place the cut out cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes, then, using a small shaped cutter, cut out a hole in the middle of half of the cookies.

One sheet at a time, bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes, until the shortbread is set and only just beginning to go golden. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

RASPBERRY QUICK JAM

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, mash the raspberries roughly. Bring to a rolling boil, and then add the sugar. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a container or sterilised jars, and allow to cool completely before using. Store in the fridge.

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

Pair up the cookies so each pair has one solid half, and one half with a cut-out. Arrange the halves with a cut-out on a wire rack, and dust generously with powdered sugar. Place all the solid halves, smooth side (the side that was facing upwards on the baking sheet) down, and, either using a piping bag or a spoon, dollop about a teaspoon of the Raspberry Jam Filling onto the halves. Top with a cut-out half, and carefully press down to sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies.

Store leftovers in an airtight container. If you are not planning on eating these on the first or second day, store the cookies and the filling separate, and sandwich closer to eating, to avoid them going soggy.

The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox

Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Macarons


 
Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Macarons - A classic pink shell, filled with a homemade raspberry quick jam, and a silky Dark chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, deepened with a little black cocoa. These are a classic valentine's day pairing, and would be perfect as a gift, but would also make an amazing anytime treat for a chocolate or berry lover. #frenchmacaron #valentinesmacaron
Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Macarons - A classic pink shell, filled with a homemade raspberry quick jam, and a silky Dark chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, deepened with a little black cocoa. These are a classic valentine's day pairing, and would be perfect as a gift, but would also make an amazing anytime treat for a chocolate or berry lover. #frenchmacaron #valentinesmacaron
Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Macarons - A classic pink shell, filled with a homemade raspberry quick jam, and a silky Dark chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, deepened with a little black cocoa. These are a classic valentine's day pairing, and would be perfect as a gift, but would also make an amazing anytime treat for a chocolate or berry lover. #frenchmacaron #valentinesmacaron
Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Macarons - A classic pink shell, filled with a homemade raspberry quick jam, and a silky Dark chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, deepened with a little black cocoa. These are a classic valentine's day pairing, and would be perfect as a gift, but would also make an amazing anytime treat for a chocolate or berry lover. #frenchmacaron #valentinesmacaron
Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Macarons - A classic pink shell, filled with a homemade raspberry quick jam, and a silky Dark chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, deepened with a little black cocoa. These are a classic valentine's day pairing, and would be perfect as a gift, but would also make an amazing anytime treat for a chocolate or berry lover. #frenchmacaron #valentinesmacaron
Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Macarons - A classic pink shell, filled with a homemade raspberry quick jam, and a silky Dark chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, deepened with a little black cocoa. These are a classic valentine's day pairing, and would be perfect as a gift, but would also make an amazing anytime treat for a chocolate or berry lover. #frenchmacaron #valentinesmacaron

Hi! Happy Happy Wednesday! Things have been a little hectic around here - we are preparing to shoot our new collection for the studio this Saturday, which is super exciting, but it wouldn’t be shoot prep without a wee bit of last minute running around trying to get everything sorted (currently waiting for an email from a lady about a fig tree). I wanted to quickly pop by and share this recipe before we post our epic Valentine’s day box for tomorrow, because 1. the recipe takes up loads of space, but 2. these are so delicious and cute that I figured they would need their own post so we could really show them off. I’m currently sitting in our fave coffee shop right by Jase’s house - I just left there where we literally just shot these, so this might be a new record for shoot-edit-post.

For our February Macaron recipe we kept it kinda cliche Valentines day with Raspberry and Chocolate. I’m really not a huge Valentines fan, but I can’t resist making a whole heap of pink stuff. We went with a pink shell, which we filled with a dark chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream, darkened with a little black cocoa, which turned out to be the most amazing tasting thing ever - all dark chocolate buttercream will have cocoa in it from now on. The inside got a wee dollop of a raspberry quick jam - I made my own, but you can absolutely use a store bought one to save some time!

These Macs were a part of our Valentine’s cookie box, which is coming tomorrow - but they would be perfect on their own, as a valentine’s gift, or just for a little anytime treat.

A few wee tips:

  • Everything I know about Macarons - all the tips and tricks I can think of, are in this post

  • We used Black cocoa in the buttercream, but a dutch cocoa would work great too if you don’t have black cocoa.

  • You will have some Swiss Meringue Buttercream left over - you can either half the recipe if you don't want this, or it keeps super well in the fridge if you wanted to use it for another project. I find that making half a batch of buttercream can be a little tricky, depending on your mixer. Plus I think if you're going to go to the effort you might as well make lots to use again! It goes perfectly on a sheet cake - it would be epic on this banana cake.

  • The Raspberry jam does need a little time to cool, so make sure you account for this. I like to make my own, but store bought is also perfect - you can even get a few flavours to mix up the filling if you like. Again - this will make a bit more than you need, but it’s a great thing to have around.

 

 

Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Macarons

- Makes about 24 macarons -

Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g sugar
Gel food colouring - we used Electric Pink, and one drop of superblack by americolor
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Raspberry Quick Jam
375g frozen raspberries
400g granulated sugar


Dark Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
1/2 cup (123g) egg whites, or 4 large egg whites
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
455g (16oz, or four sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
250g dark chocolate
1/4 cup (25g) Black cocoa or dutch process cocoa

 

- PROCESS -

MACARON SHELLS

Preheat oven to 300˚f / 150˚c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle. 

Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Sift the mixture twice, to ensure there are no large lumps and that the mixture is properly aerated. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Add pink gel food colour a few drops at a time, until the desired colour is reached. Add one very small drop of black if desired to deepen the colour. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks (there is a good example here). 

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture. 

Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Again, this video does a good job of explaining it. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.

Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little "flick" of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.

Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly. 

Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth.

Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity. 

About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time - place the sheet with the macarons on the preheated sheet, and place in the oven. 

Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that! 

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.

If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper. 

Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use. 

 

RASPBERRY QUICK JAM

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, mash the raspberries roughly. Bring to a rolling boil, and then add the sugar. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a container or sterilised jars, and allow to cool completely before using. Store in the fridge.

DARK CHOCOLATE SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

While the buttercream is mixing, melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl in 30 second increments in the microwave. Set aside to cool slightly. 

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add in the cooled chocolate, and sift in the cocoa. Mix for a further 2-3 minutes, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip (we used Ateco #805). 

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

Place the raspberry jam into a small piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pair up each macaron shell with another of an equal size. Pipe a ring of buttercream on one half of the shell, then a blob of the compote in the middle. Place the second shell carefully on top. Repeat with the rest of the macarons. Macarons are best chilled overnight to allow the flavours to meld, but can also be eaten immediately. 

Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Macarons - A classic pink shell, filled with a homemade raspberry quick jam, and a silky Dark chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, deepened with a little black cocoa. These are a classic valentine's day pairing, and would be perfect as a gift, but would also make an amazing anytime treat for a chocolate or berry lover. #frenchmacaron #valentinesmacaron
Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Macarons - A classic pink shell, filled with a homemade raspberry quick jam, and a silky Dark chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, deepened with a little black cocoa. These are a classic valentine's day pairing, and would be perfect as a gift, but would also make an amazing anytime treat for a chocolate or berry lover. #frenchmacaron #valentinesmacaron
Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Macarons - A classic pink shell, filled with a homemade raspberry quick jam, and a silky Dark chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, deepened with a little black cocoa. These are a classic valentine's day pairing, and would be perfect as a gift, but would also make an amazing anytime treat for a chocolate or berry lover. #frenchmacaron #valentinesmacaron