I have attempted a handful of different macaron recipes – mostly vanilla and chocolate.  With each new recipe or trial, I endeavour to perfect my technique just that bit further.  There is an abundance of macawrongbasic macaron recipes on the web and unfortunately I have had some poor outcomes.  These poor shells were the innocent victims of an over beaten batter.  Too much zeal from me!

Though perseverance paid off and happy to say (fifth time lucky!), I struck gold.  The batter was probably still stiffer than I would have anticipated, but it worked.  It was the first time I managed feet, a flat top, a dry bottom, a crispy exterior and chewy interior.  Watching these in the oven was a delight.

A feeling of pride welled up inside me.  I could not believe my humble hands had created these macarons.  But I did not want to get too ahead of chocolate-macaron-6myself.  These little cookies had risen well in the oven before, only to flatten when cooling!  But lady luck was on my side that day.

Though my obsession is far from over.  Not only had I just baked these fine treats, when my next batch a couple of days later was nowhere near the same standard.  More practice for me I think.  I drool over the variation of macarons posted by Tartelette.  So I think I can find inspiration for further practice no trouble at all!

But in the meantime, here is the recipe that did work for me.  Bonne chance!

{ Chocolate Macarons }

Makes about 36 shells or 18 sandwiched macarons

* Batter*
50g ground almonds
100g pure icing sugar
25g cocoa
65g egg whites (separated for 48 hours)
65g caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180 C.  Process the ground almonds and icing sugar together.  Separately, beat egg whites until they start to foam.  Add the sugar and beat until soft peaks form.  Fold the almond mixture into the egg whites. Only fold until the mixture comes together – over beat and you’ll have macawrongs (see above!).  Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with about a 2cm tip.  Pipe the batter onto prepared baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats, in about 3cm circles.  Allow a few centimetres to spread.  Let the macarons rest for 30 minutes.  Bake for about 12-15 minutes.

 * Filling *
125g dark cooking chocolate, roughly chopped
125ml heavy cream

Gently warm the cream.  Pour over the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and blended.  Cool to room temperature before using.  Sandwich the filling between two macaron shells.  Store assembled macarons in an airtight container.  They are best if refrigerated at least overnight before sampling – if you can resist.  The flavours tend to come together nicely.