Delicate, airy and sweet French Macarons are evocative of all the romance of Paris. This special red velvet version has a hint of chocolate flavor and is filled with a silky white chocolate ganache.
4 oz whole almonds
6.5 oz icing sugar
5 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
95 g egg white (about 3 large eggs)
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp red food coloring
7 oz white chocolate finely chopped
7 oz cream
Put almonds into a food processor and pulse until they resemble breadcrumbs.
Add the icing, sugar and cocoa powder, and process until the mix is very fine, approximately 1-2 minutes.
Pass through a fine sieve and set aside while you whip the eggs. If not all the almond passes through the sieve, that is fine; simply add it back to the rest of the mixture.
Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside. Add egg whites, salt and lemon juice to a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until the eggs turn bubbly, about 20 seconds.
Start adding the sugar very slowly while you keep the mixer running. Beat the egg whites until they turn the consistency of shaving cream (or until you could safely hold the bowl above your head without wearing the egg). This should take around 2 minutes, but be careful not to overbeat the eggs at this point or they will dry out.
Add the almond mix and red coloring to the bowl with the eggs, and fold the mixture together (taking no more than 40 strokes) - be very careful at this point not to over-mix the batter or your macarons will flop.
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe small rounds onto your pre-prepared trays (about 1 – 1 ½ inches is a good size). Try to work as fast as possible at this point, as with too much handling the batter will become runny. Use a finger dipped in a little water to pat down any points from the piping.
Leave the macarons to stand at room temperature for between 30 minutes to 1 hour to let the shell dry out a bit. They are ready to bake when you can touch a shell gently with your finger and your finger comes away clean, with no batter stuck to it. Preheat the oven to 300°F, and when the macarons are ready, bake them for about 16-17 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool before removing them from the baking paper.
While the macarons are baking, you can start to prepare your ganache by chopping the chocolate and adding to a mixing bowl and heating the cream to just before boiling (keep an eye on it so as not to burn it). When the cream is warm, add it to the bowl with the chopped chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. The chocolate should melt and combine with the cream. Wait for the ganache to cool (you can speed up this process by putting the bowl into a larger bowl of ice water to bring the temperature down quickly). Keep stirring the ganache until it has thickened and is silky and creamy.
When the macarons have cooled, completely spread the ganache on the flat side of one macaron and sandwich with another biscuit. Enjoy!