Macarons can seem daunting but they’re not that difficult. I find the hardest thing is figuring out what to do with the leftover yolks. It’s really worth weighing the ingredients for the most accurate, most likely to succeed batch.
200 g ground almond
200 g powdered sugar
50 ml water
200 g granulated sugar
150 g egg whites (from about 5 eggs)
Pulse the ground almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor until the mixture is as fine as possible. Pass through a sieve to remove any larger pieces of almond that still remain.
Put the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir then bring to a boil over medium heat. Brush down the sides of the saucepan with water to prevent crystal formation on the sides of the pan. Cook to 114°C. Put 75 g of the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer and, using the whip attachment, start mixing on low speed. Once the syrup reaches 114°C, turn the mixer up to high.
When the syrup reaches 118 – 119°C take it off the heat, lower the mixer speed to medium, and pour the syrup onto the egg whites. Turn the mixer back up to high and whip until the whites are just warm to the touch.
Mix the remaining 75 of egg whites into the almond and powdered sugar. Once the meringue has cooled, add a large spoonful to the almond mixture and mix well. If you’d like to colour your macaron mix, add it now, making sure it’s a bit darker than you’d like the final product. Add the remaining meringue and fold in. It should be smooth and somewhat runny. If the mixture is too stiff keep stirring to deflate the meringue a bit.
Fit a piping bag with a large round pastry tip (something around ½” is good). Fill the bag half full and start piping rounds onto parchment lined baking sheets. I like to aim for rounds about 1 ½” across. Once a whole sheet is piped, bang the tray lightly against the counter to level out the batter. Pipe all the trays and bake in the order they were piped (sitting out before baking for a little bit helps the macarons develop their trademark “foot”).
Bake at 325 for 10 to 12 minutes. The macaron shells should be set and just a tiny bit golden around the edges.
200 ml whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
250 g bittersweet chocolate
40 g butter
(juice squeezed from 1 Tbsp grated ginger if you want)
Bring the cream and sugar to the boil. Pour over the chocolate and mix gently until it’s smooth and all the chocolate is melted. Stir in the butter until melted and fully combined. Stir in the ginger if you’d like to use it.
Cover the ganache with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature to firm. The ganache is ready when it is no longer runny, about the texture of heavily whipped cream.
Flip half of the macaron shells over. Pipe a large dollop of ganache onto the flipped shells, using about the same amount of ganache as you piped for the shells. Press on a top.
Package the macarons airtight and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.