Double Chocolate Macarons

Surely just those three words are enough to have any gourmet, or for that matter gourmand, salivating.

I've tried many macaron recipes, but this one has always worked a treat.  If you make a decent amount, you can freeze the unfilled shells and defrost & fill when needed.

Ingredients

145g icing sugar

125g ground almonds

25g cocoa powder

145g egg whites 

190g granulated sugar

45ml water

2g powdered egg whites

For the ganache

100g dark chocolate

100ml whipping cream

35g salted butter

Method

1) Mix half the egg whites, and all of the cocoa, icing sugar and almonds together to form a thick paste

2) Heat the granulated sugar and water together in a pan until it reaches 121c on a sugar thermometer. Whilst it is reaching temp, beat the remaining egg whites with the egg white powder until they form soft peaks.  

3) Pour the sugar mixture in a steady stream over the eggs whites whilst whisking vigourously (electric whisk is best).  Carry on whisking until egg whites drop to around 40c

4) Mix a third of the egg white mix into the almond paste mix and beat in well, then fold in the remaining egg white mix.  Put the mixture in a piping bag and pipe out onto lightly oiled parchment lined baking sheets.  Allow the mix to set in a warm and dry place until it is no longer tacky to the touch.  Bake at 160c for about 20 mins. Cool and set aside.

5) For the ganache, break the chocolate into a bowl. Heat the cream until just at boiling, then add 1/3rd of the cream at a time to the chocolate, mixing as you do.  When the chocolate is fully melted, slowly add small chunks of the butter until fully mixed. Cool in the fridge until it is of piping consistency then fill the macaron shells.

6) Once filled, leave the macarons in the fridge (covered) for 24hrs, then bring back to room temp and eat!