- Macaron shells
- 75 g water
- 150 g sugar
- 55 g egg whites (A)
- 150 g icing sugar
- 150 g almond flour
- 20 g cocoa powder
- a few drops brown gel food colouring
- 65 g egg whites (B)
- Chocolate ganache
- 50 g milk chocolate, chopped
- 50 g dark chocolate, chopped
- 50 g cream
For best results separate your egg whites 1-2 days before starting. You will need 5 large egg whites. Keep the egg whites in an airtight container in the fridge for 24-48 hours. This is called "ageing" and reduces the moisture content of the egg whites. Weigh the egg whites after ageing.
Line 2 baking trays with silicone or grease-proof paper. Draw evenly sized circles on the paper, 3-4cm in diameter (I traced around a tot glass). Turn the paper over so that ink/pencil does not transfer onto the macarons.
Combine the sugar and water together in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat.
Meanwhile whip the egg whites (A) in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer (or a hand-held mixer, but you'll need help later) until foamy.
Once the syrup has reached 116°C, remove from the heat and cool for a minute or until the bubbles subside.
With the mixer running on medium speed, carefully pour the hot syrup in a thin stream down the sides of the bowl, away from the whisk. If you are using a hand-held mixer you will need an assistant to do the pouring here. Continue mixing until the bowl feels cool to the touch.
Sift together the icing sugar, cocoa and almond flour through a fine sieve. Make sure to push all the almonds through the sieve.
Stir together well, then add the egg whites (B) and mix well with a metal spoon to make a thick paste. Mix in the food colouring (remember the egg whites added now will dilute the colour, so add a bit more than you think you need).
Now stir a third of the meringue mixture into the almond mixture to lighten it. Gently fold the remaining meringue in, using a figure of 8 motion - you will need to do about 20-25 folds. Stop folding when the mixture has become loose and shiny - if you lift the spoon the mixture should no longer break into pieces but fall in a continuous flow like molten lava.
Scoop the mixture into a piping bag with a plain round nozzle and pipe onto the prepared trays. The best way to do this is to hold the piping bag directly above the circle (not at an angle) and squeeze just until, or slightly before the circle is filled. Once all the circles are filled, bang the tray hard onto a counter top 3 or 4 times to knock the air bubbles out.
Preheat the oven to 140°C (without the fan). Leave the trays to stand for 30 minutes so that the macarons dry out. If you touch them gently with your finger, they should have formed a skin.
Bake the macarons for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool completely on the trays. If they don't easily lift off the paper/silicon mat, they need to dry out more. In this case you can return them to the warm (but switched off oven) with the door left ajar.
To make the ganache, add all ingredients to a heatproof bowl and place on top of a pan of simmering water. Alternatively microwave the ganache ingredients in a plastic bowl, stirring every 20 seconds. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature until set. Place the ganache into a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle.
To assemble, match like-sized macarons together, then pipe a generous amount of chocolate ganache onto one macaron, and sandwich gently with the other macaron.
Place the assembled macarons into an airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to serve, or up to 3 days. The macarons actually taste better after "maturing" in the fridge overnight.
Personally, I prefer to leave them at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, so they aren't cold and the ganache is not too hard.
Original recipe and images by Astrid Field, of The Sweet Rebellion. Follow her on Instagram for more baking recipes and tips.