Chocolate Macaron

Recipe from here

Makes about 10

65g ground almonds
85g icing sugar
25g cocoa powder
75g egg whites
Pinch of salt
60g caster sugar

For the ganache:
100g whipping cream
100g dark chocolate, chopped
20g butter, cut into small pieces
Pinch of sea salt

1. Make the ganache first. Heat the cream in a small pan until it’s just beginning to boil, then take it off the heat and add the chocolate. Leave it be for a couple of minutes, then stir furiously until smooth. Gradually beat in the butter and finish with a pinch of salt. Set aside to … set.

2. To make the macarons, you’ll need a template. Cut two pieces of baking parchment to fit your baking tray and, using a glass or pastry cutter about 3.5cm in diameter, cover one piece with dark ink circles spaced about 2cm apart. Put this on the baking tray and cover with the other piece of parchment: you should be able to see the circles through it. Prepare a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle, or cut the end off a disposable one so you have a hole about 1cm in diameter.

3. Blitz the almonds in a food processor or spice grinder for a couple of minutes, then sift these, the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Repeat, so they’re well mixed.

4. Put the egg whites and a pinch of salt into the mixer and begin whisking. As soon as the whites begin to hold their shape, whisk in the caster sugar, and continue whisking at high speed until you have a stiff meringue – you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without fear (go on!).

5. Fold in the dry ingredients, and then beat the mixture vigorously until it’s of a consistency which falls off the spatula: if it’s too thick, it will be hard to pipe. Don’t worry about beating the air out of it: you don’t want too much trapped in the shells.

6. Spoon the mixture into the piping bag and carefully pipe on to the circles. Pick the baking tray up and drop it on to the worksurface a couple of times, then leave to rest for about 30 minutes until the macarons feel dry to the touch: they should not be sticky. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 180C.

7. Bake the macarons for about 17 minutes until firm, opening the oven door briefly a couple of times during cooking to let off any steam. Once you’re sure they’re cooked, slide the baking parchment off the tray immediately to stop the macarons cooking. Cool completely on the paper, then carefully peel off: if they’re cooked, they should come away easily.

8. When cool, match up equally-sized macarons, and then, using a small palette knife or spoon, sandwich them together with ganache. Refrigerate for 24 hours, then serve at room temperature.

Adeola x

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