Macarons always look perfect, always look special, enticing and exciting. They are the ultimate treat for you or your friend or your loved one.
If you can master them that is.
I will be honest, I went through roughly 17 tries to get this right. Each time had very different outcomes and all very wrong. This Christmas break I got them right. I think it has been my proudest achievement in life so far (I haven’t done much else, I’m still a child at 21).
I got new electric scales from Santa and I want to say this made all the difference and is a necessity for macaron making. Precision is key. Something I have no time for usually but it was seriously satisfying and I will from now on make more effort.
I also got a recipe book called ‘The Secrets of Macaron Making’. This should say it all really.
Now you try:
180g Ground Almonds
200g Icing Sugar
30g Cocoa Powder
200g Caster Sugar
2 x 80g Egg Whites
150g Plain Chocolate
100ml Almond Milk
Line a baking tray with baking paper (you can stick it to the corners of the tray with your mixture).
Preheat the oven to 150 C.
Mix together your ground almonds and icing sugar – this they call the ‘tant pour tant’. Next process then sift the ‘tant pour tant’ and the cocoa. Set aside for use later.
In a heavy-based saucepan, bring the water and caster sugar to the boil. Do not stir the mixture and don’t let it get hotter than 115 C.
Gently beat 80g of your egg whites to soft peaks then increase the speed. Once your sugar syrup reaches temperature (115 C) remove it from the heat and and pour a thin stream into the beaten egg whites.
Combine the ‘tant pour tant’ and the cocoa with the remaining egg whites to make a smooth paste.
Use a spatual to incorporate a third of of the meringue mixture into the almond paste, this should loosen it. Then add the rest of the meringue mixture and carefully work the batter (DO NOT OVER OR UNDER WORK).
Fill a piping bag with your batter and pipe small, regular rounds, roughly the size of a two pence piece (you could draw circle on the baking paper before).
Lightly tap the bottom of the tray to get rid of bubbles.
Leave the macarons to rest at room temperature for an hour.
Bake in the oven for 14 minutes.
Once out of the oven place the baking paper onto a damp cloth as this will make the shells easier to remove.
For your ganache bring the milk to the boil. Then take it off the heat and stir in the chocolate.
Leave to cool and it should thicken.
Fill a piping bag with your cooled ganache and pipe onto the flat side of the macaron shell, stick another shell on top and voilá! You have your chocolate macaron!
You can decorate them; I used glitter on some or just leave them plain. They still look great.