First make the chocolate ganache (Recipe ID: 1866795)
If the almond flour was moist, sift it and dry it by putting it in the oven at 120℃ for 2 to 3 minutes.
Using a 4cm ring cookie cutter, draw 24 circles on the parchment paper (these will serve as your guide when you pipe out the macarons onto the baking sheet).
Place the paper from Step 3 on a baking sheet, and place another parchment paper on top.
In order to work quickly, have your equipment such as the whisk, the pastry bag and tip (1cm), and thermometer ready and laid out.
Measure the ingredients correctly and have them ready as well. The egg whites should be at room temperature.
Combine the almond flour and the powdered sugar and pulse it 10 times in a blender. This is to break down the coarse flour. Oil will start coming out if you overdo it, so be careful.
Sift the powder from Step 7 twice with a coarse sieve (if the holes in the sieve are too fine, you cannot strain the almond flour). Remove the larger grains.
Add 1~2 drops of red food coloring to egg white number 1.
Add the Step 9 egg whites into the almond flour and sugar mixture (do not mix yet).
Melt the cocoa mass over a double-boiler. Remove it from heat once it has reached 122℉.
Set the rack in the middle of the oven. Place trays in the upper and lowest racks (to prevent browning) and preheat at 180℃ (350℉).
Combine the ingredients marked with ★ in a saucepan and heat over medium heat to make a syrup.
Once the syrup from Step 13 has reached 110℃ (230℉), start whipping egg white number 2 on high speed. Whip until peaks form.
Once the syrup has reached 115℃ (240℉), slowly drizzle it into the egg white. Continue to whip on low speed as you add the syrup.
Once you have finished adding the syrup, continue to whip the egg white on high speed until it cools down to 50℃ (122℉). The Italian meringue is now complete.
Add 1/3 of the meringue into the bowl from Step 10. Mix it quickly with a spatula.
Mix it well by pressing the spatula to the bottom of the bowl (to dissolve the sugar completely in the warm meringue).
Add the remaining meringue and fold it in, first with a cutting motion, then by lifting the batter from the base of the bowl with the spatula.
Add the melted cocoa mass from Step 11 and mix by rubbing it onto the bottom of the bowl with the spatula.
Mix it well so that the cocoa mass does not sink to the bottom. Continue the "macaronnage" mixing by folding the batter from the bottom of the bowl.
When the batter is slightly glossy and falls like a ribbon from the spatula, it is complete.
Pour the batter into the pastry bag and make 24 4 cm circles on the parchment paper. Make it slightly smaller than the circles on the paper because the batter will spread a bit.
Lightly drop the tray onto the work surface twice to remove the large air bubbles, and pop the small bubbles with a toothpick (otherwise the macarons will crack or go out of shape).
Remove the pattern sheet, and sift some cocoa powder on top. Leave it to dry for 30 minutes (on a humid day, leave it for even longer).
Once the surface feels dry, it is ready to bake. If they aren't dried well, the shell of the macarons will crack.
Bake for 12 minutes at 180℃ (350℉). After 5 minutes and 8 minutes, open the oven to let the moisture escape. Turn the baking sheet around half way through the baking process.
When the shell is hard to the touch when you lightly press its side with your finger, and no longer sticks to the parchment paper, it is done.
After removing from the oven, immediately add a teaspoon of water under each corner of the baking sheet (the steam will allow easy removal of the paper).
Immediately move the baked shells, paper and all, onto a table or counter (to prevent further baking).
Once the shells have cooled a bit, remove them from the paper and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely (before adding the filling, flip half of them).
Pipe out the pre-made chocolate ganache to 12 of the macaron shells. Pipe out a nice, big portion!
Sandwich the ganache with the rest of the shells and you are done. If you put them into a sealed container and refrigerate, they are good for up to 3 days. Best eaten at room temperature.
*Cross-section of the macaron. The cocoa mass shells are moist, soft and rich like a soufflé.
*If you leave them in the fridge for 2 days, the shell and ganache will become even more moist and soft, making it even more delicious.
For long-term storage: Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and freeze them in a sealed-container or a zip-top bag and they keep for several months. You can give them away as gifts.
*It is best to use old egg whites. For best results, put the egg white into a container and put a plastic wrap over it. Poke a few holes with a toothpick and leave it in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
*I put 2~3 egg whites into each sealed-container and freeze them. I defrost them in the refrigerator a few days before making the macaron.
*If you can, use powdered sugar that does not contain cornstarch. If you cannot procure any, make it by putting granulated sugar through a food processor.
*If you make the powdered sugar from granulated sugar, be patient and make sure it becomes fine and soft.
*However, if you blend for too long at once, it might overload the motor of the food processor, so do it over 2~3 times.
*If you don't powder the sugar enough, your shells will have cracks like shown in the photograph!
*I used 4g more of the almond flour than in the original recipe (this is because some larger grains of the flour are sieved out).
*On a humid day, it helps to turn on the dehumidifier in the kitchen and keep the humidity at around 35%.
*This recipe is tailored for gas ovens in American homes. The temperatures and cooking times should be adjusted to match Japanese electric ovens.
Story Behind this Recipe
Using the recipe from Pierre Herme's book "Macaron" as a base, I increased the amount of cocoa mass to enrich the flavor. This recipe aims to create the ultimate moist and rich macaron without using cocoa powder.
-If you use fresh egg whites, the macaron shells will crack and the "pied" or "foot" of the macaron will not form properly. You have to use old egg whites. -The success of Italian meringue depends on the temperature of the syrup and when you add the egg white. When you are adding the syrup, even though you are adding it bit by bit, do it quickly! If you do it too slowly, it will clump up.