From 6 Bittersweets (Guest Post by Eunice of Heaven in a Wild Flower)
Makes about 50 to 54 shells (about 25 macarons)
EUNICE'S NOTES: This basic recipe can be scaled up or down, I always use the egg whites as the base for proportioning the rest of the ingredients. So for every 1 part egg whites, use 1.3 parts almond flour, 1.6 parts icing sugar and 0.55 parts castor sugar.
100 g egg whites, aged for a day (equivalent to about 3 egg whites)
3 g egg white powder
130g almond flour (blitz in food processor together with icing sugar to get a finer texture)
160 g powdered sugar
55 g castor sugar
Pink gel food coloring (or other color)
Sift processed powdered sugar and almond flour together in a bowl. Set aside.
Mix egg whites with egg white powder and whisk in electric mixer until soft peaks on medium high speed. Lower speed on electric mixer and add in castor sugar slowly while still whisking until fully incorporated. Continue whisking on medium high speed until your egg white meringue mixture reaches stiff peak stage. Add in your food colouring when whisking.
Fold in 1/3 of dry ingredients (icing sugar + almond flour) into meringue with a spatula gently. Add in 1/3 more and fold again before mixing in the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients.
Make sure all dry ingredients are incorporated into the meringue and start folding mixture more vigorously to form a shiny batter with the consistency of flowing magma or drips down like ribbons.
When you lift the batter up and let it drip down, it should slowly disappear into itself without leaving a peak. Be careful not to over mix as batter will spread too much when piped.
Line 2 baking trays with non-stick parchment paper (or silpat). You can stick it down with bits of batter in the four corners. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1-cm (about 2/5-inch) round tip with the batter, and pipe even rounds of batter, about 3.5 cm (about 1 1/2 inches) across, onto the tray. If you've mixed the batter properly, it should not spread flatly out too much (overmixed) or leave a peak (undermixed).
Let the batter dry for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C/335 degrees F (for convection ovens) OR 180 degrees C/350 degrees F (for regular ovens). When batter is dry to touch (it forms a slight crust), turn the oven down to 140 deg C (or 150 deg C for conventional oven) and bake shells for 14-15 minutes, turning the trays halfway through baking.
After baking, lift parchment onto wire rack to let shells cool and gently lift up from paper when cool.
Chocolate Ganache Filling
125 g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
125 ml single [light] cream
Heat cream in saucepan until it comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir in a circular motion from the centre of the bowl and slowly incorporate more and more of the cream until the chocolate and cream comes together into a smooth emulsion. Let it cool at room temperature until it thickens, about 4 hours, or in a fridge for 2 hours.
Match pairs of shells of even size. Fit piping bag with plain round 1 to 1.5 cm tip [about 1/2 to 2/3 inch]. Fill piping bag with chocolate ganache. Pipe a small mound of chocolate ganache filling onto one half of each pair of shells. Top with the other shell.