Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC.
In a food processor, blend the icing sugar and almond flour.
In an electric cake mixer, beat the egg whites until they are foamy, then add the cream of tar tar.
Continue to mix and once the mix starts looking like shaving-cream, add the caster sugar in small amounts (about a spoon at a time).
Blend the egg white mixture until it forms stiff peaks.
Sift the icing sugar and almond flour, and process the larger bits of almonds that don’t fit through the sieve.
Fold the blend of icing sugar and almond flour into the egg-white mixture.
Fold until the mixture resembles a thick cake/crumpet batter.
Place the mixture into a piping bag and pipe small rounds onto baking paper.
Leave the piped out rounds to stand until a skin forms on the surface of the macarons.
When the surface can be touched without leaving a trace of batter, place the macarons into the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes or until the macarons come away from the parchment paper when lifted.
Dark Chocolate Ganache:
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl.
Set the cream on the stove and bring to the boil.
Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until melted. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
When thick and cooled, pipe the ganache onto a macaron half, then sandwich together with another macaron half. Tips:
1. Size matters. Try 3 large free-range eggs for approximately 90g.
2. Don’t over or under beat your egg-whites. Stop beating as soon as the egg-whites reach stiff peaks. If not, the egg-whites will become too dry and the macarons will have too much air in them. Also be careful to under-beat the egg-whites.
3. When you fold the icing sugar and almond flour into the egg-whites, 25-30 folds will work well. To test the batter, spoon some onto a plate. The top will settle in 10 seconds if the batter is ready.
4. Once you have piped the macarons, it is important to leave them until a skin forms. Only when you can touch them and none of the batter sticks to your finger, are they ready for the oven. It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour for a skin to form.
5. Allow the macarons to cool before taking them off the parchment paper.Reprinted with permission of Foodmonger. To see more recipes, click here.