I was very afraid of making these because I have never made them before. I have not even attempted to make meringues yet either, so I was not sure what I was in for. Thankfully enough it was not the total disaster I was expecting (there were a few casualties but not too many). Here is the basic recipe for the Macarons:
1 1/4 Cups Powdered Sugar
2/3 Cup Ground Almonds
3 Egg Whites (from three large to extra-large eggs)
Pinch of salt
3 TBSP Caster Sugar
In a mixing bowl combine the powdered sugar and ground almonds with a whisk until well distributed.
In a separate mixing bowl add the egg whites and salt and mix with an electric mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat until the egg whites start to form stiff peaks.
Continue beating the egg whites while adding the caster sugar 1/2 a teaspoon at a time until the sugar is well incorporated. By this point your egg whites should be completely white and forming firm stiff peaks.
Continue beating and add your food coloring and any flavor you want (if desired)
Stop beating egg white mixture and start folding in the powdered sugar and ground almond mixture using a large scraper or metal spoon, adding the dry ingredients in 1 tablespoon at a time to ensure that they are well incorporated into the egg whites. The texture of the mixture should resemble that of molten lava.
Put your mixture in a piping bag with a tip that has a smooth round opening about 3/8 inch in diameter (I used the Round Tip 12 in my Wilton decorating set).
On a baking sheet lined with parchment, start piping the mixture into nice even rounds about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Leave about 1 inch in between each round.
Once done piping make sure to strongly tap the bottom of the baking sheets to displace any trapped air bubbles.
Let the trays rest for at least 15 minutes to allow them to set. You will know when they are ready because they will not feel sticky or wet when you touch them. They will have developed a dry coat while still having a little give.
Preheat your oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Place one baking tray in oven at a time ensuring that they are centered in the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the tops are hard and shiny and the bottoms are dry. Repeat with any other ready to go baking sheets.
Remove from oven and leave to cool.
In the meantime start making your chocolate ganache.
Poor Man's Dark Chocolate Ganache
15 TBSP Good Quality Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
5 TBSP Vegetable Oil (preferably Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1 TBSP Light Brown Sugar
In a mixing bowl add the oil and slowly add in your cocoa powder to ensure that the powder is well incorporated and does not form any lumps. Once the mixture is well formed into a nice chocolate paste set it aside.
In a small sauce pan add the heavy cream and heat it up. Slowly incorporate the brown sugar and bring the cream to a boil.
Once the cream is boiling remove from heat and immediately start incorporating into the chocolate paste. Using a mixer on low speed start mixing the cream and the chocolate until you have a soft, smooth and creamy chocolate mixture.
Let the mixture cool a bit. Bring over your macaron halves and place as much ganache as desired on one half and sandwich it with the second half.