150g powdered sugar
150g ground almonds
3 tbsp cocoa powder
110g egg whites (a bit less than 4)
150g white sugar
2 1/2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp powdered egg whites (optional)
Sift ground almonds to remove any large pieces making sure you still have 150g. Sift together the ground almonds, powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Mix 52g of the egg whites into this almond mixture and set aside.
Place remaining egg whites with powdered egg whites (if using) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. In a small sauce pan heat the sugar and water, stirring it so that the sugar dissolves, and measuring the temperature of the mixture. When the mixture reaches 107 degrees C, start beating the egg whites on high in the mixer. Once the sugar mixture has reached 117 degrees C, remove from the heat and gradually add in a steady stream to the egg whites while the mixer is still on, beating until you get stiff peaks. Let this mixture cool to 50 degrees C, add a little of it to the almond mixture to loosen the mixture, then fold in the rest of it taking care not to over mix the mixture. You can test when the batter is ready by removing a little batter and putting it onto a plate, if the blob flattens within 20 seconds, its ready. If there’s still a peak, fold the mixture a couple more times and test again.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper (you can use little blobs of batter in each corner to get the paper to stick to the tray). Pipe even rounds of batter onto the lined tray. Pick up the tray straight away and slam it down (not too hard!) to pop any air bubbles in the macarons.
Leave the mixture on the tray for at least 1 hour or in the fridge for up to 36 hours, until the macarons aren’t sticky on top (the longer you leave them the better!). While you wait, make the ganache (see below).
When you’re ready, bake the macarons at 170 degrees C (340 degrees F), for 10-15 minutes or until you can remove the macarons from the parchment paper without the underside sticking to the sheet. Let the macarons cool for 30 minutes before removing from the paper.
125ml heavy cream
165g plain chocolate
Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it reaches just before boiling point, pour over the chocolate and stir together until the chocolate has completely melted and is combined. Let the mixture cool in the fridge or freezer until it thickens. Pipe small blobs of cool ganache onto the under side of a cooled macaron and sandwich another macaron on top.