With Chocolate Ganache Filling
These were the first macarons I've ever made and I was super thrilled when they came out pretty close to perfect. I did a ton of research on how to make the perfect French macaron - there's the French technique, the Italian one, the Swiss... you name it. Some recipes called for warming up the eggs, others for aging the egg whites; some called for cream of tartar, others for a pinch of salt... The oven temperature and time varied between recipes...I ended up going with my gut and taking a little bit of each suggestion and was mind-blown when they came out great!
First off, you need a scale because all measurements are in grams! You also need a piping bag and silicon mats for baking.
I would suggest aging the egg whites in the fridge overnight - I made one batch without doing it and one after I aged them and (maybe coincidentally, maybe-not) the batch with the aged eggs turned out better! The batch without aging the eggs deflated slightly upon taking them out of the oven and 1 cookie cracked... Still tasted awesome though and the texture was perfectly chewey!
I did go with the "Swiss technique" which calls for whisking the eggs with a few spoons of sugar over hot (steaming, not boiling) water.
Also, all my research pointed to using gel food coloring, not liquid - I just trusted that and bought a pack of food colors on Amazon (not used for chocolate macarons in the recipe below).
Now on to the recipe...
Chocolate French Macarons
100g egg whites
100g fine almond flour (not almond meal which contains the almond skins)
100g powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
For the chocolate ganache
75g semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Carefully separate the egg whites making sure no egg yolk makes its way in (100g of egg whites equates to about 3 large eggs). Some recipes suggest aging the whites in the fridge overnight - it couldn't hurt so do it if you have the time and patience. Bring them to room temperature before making the macarons.
Process the sugar in a blender for a few minutes to make it finer.
Mix the powdered sugar, almond flour and cocoa and sift with a strainer at least twice to remove any lumps.
Heat up a medium pot with water till about steaming temperature. In a small pot over it whisk the egg whites with 3 spoons of sugar until the sugar is melted and the egg whites become frothy.
Move the egg whites to a bowl, add the cream of tartar and mix with a hand mixer (or standing mixer) until they start to harden and form peaks. Start adding the remaining sugar in small portions continuously mixing until you get stiff peaks.
Carefully fold in the flour/powdered sugar/cocoa mix a few spoonfuls at a time. You've reached the right consistency (or they call it "macaronage") when you can make a figure eight on top of it and it holds its shape for a few seconds.
Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat (I used the macaron one with circles drawn on it for guidance - purchased on Amazon).
Move the mixture to a piping bag with a wide tip and pipe it on the silicon mat.
Carefully bang the cookie sheet against the counter a few times to get any excess air out. If you see any bubbles on top of the macarons, carefully pop them with a toothpick. Let the macarons stand for 30-45 min until they form a "skin" on top.
While the macarons stand, preheat the oven to 300F.
Bake the macarons for 15 min - the goal is to see "feet" - as they rise the bottoms show rough edges.
Cool them off completely before "sandwiching" them with the filling.
MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE: heat up the heavy cream till just about boiling. Pour it over the chocolate chips. Let them stand 3-5 min and then carefully mix until the chips are melted and the consistency is homogenous.
The ganache is a bit liquidy so spread it with a spoon on one cookie and sandwich a second cookie over it.
Place them in the fridge for a few hours until the ganache hardens.