How to make it

  • For Macaron Shells

  • 1. Sift together the icing sugar with ground almonds using a fine sieve. Weigh big left over pieces of ground almonds and replace with more fine ground almonds.
  • 2. Divide the egg whites in two equal parts. Pour one part over the mixture of icing sugar and ground almonds but do not stir. (optional: add powder or gel food coloring to color the shells)
  • 3. Bring the water and caster sugar to boil at 118°C. When the syrup is boiling well (about 110°C), simultaneously start whisking the second portion of egg whites to soft peaks.
  • 4. When the sugar reached 118°C, pour it over the second part of egg whites. Whisk and allow the meringue to cool to 50°C, then fold it into the ground almond-icing sugar mixture until a nice lava like flowing batter that forms a ribbon on the spatula. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
  • 5. Pipe rounds of batter about 3.5 cm in diameter, spacing them 2 cm apart on baking trays lined with baking parchment. Rap the baking trays on the work surface covered with a kitchen cloth. Using a sieve, sprinkle the shells with a light dusting of cocoa powder. Leave the shells to stand for at least 30 minutes until they form a skin. (tip: double stack your baking tray if you have trouble creating consistent feet)
  • 6. Preheat the fan oven to 180°C then put the trays into the oven. Bake for 12 minutes quickly opening and shutting the oven door twice during the cooking time to release moisture. Out of the oven, slide the shells on to the work surface. Do not remove from the sheet until they are completely cooled.
  • For the ganache

  • 1. Cut butter into pieces. Chop the chocolate with a serrated knife.
  • 2. Partially melt the chopped chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (never let it boil or let the water touch the bowl).
  • 3. Bring the cream to barely boiling and pour over the chocolate a third at a time. Resist mixing and gently stir from the center to the outside of the bowl in widening circles.
  • 4. When the temperature of the mixture reaches 50°C, add the pieces of butter a few at a time. Whisk to obtain a smooth ganache.
  • 5. Pour the ganache into a gratin dish and press clingfilm over the surface of the ganache. Set aside in the fridge for the ganache to thicken.
  • 6. Spoon the ganache into a piping bag fitted with plain nozzle. Pipe a generous mound of ganache on to half the shells. Top with the remaining shells.
  • 7. Store the macarons for 24 hours in the fridge and bring back out 2 hours before serving.

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