Raspberry Chocolate Macarons


3 egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbsp caster sugar 
200 g powdered sugar
110 g almonds, blanched
10 g freeze-dried raspberries (possibly a little bit more)

Combine powdered sugar, raspberries and almonds in your food processor, and grind until very fine. Sieve. Re-grind any lumps or big pieces of almonds. Mix carefully (they tend to separate a little bit when sieving, since the sugar falls through first.) 

Beat egg whites and sugar until you have a thick, glossy meringue. Don't overbeat. Stir in the almond-sugar powder, and fold together. Don't overmix this - most seem to say that you should use less than 50 strokes. (You can try it by dolloping a little batter on a baking sheet - if the peak falls down, it's ready. If it doesn't, try a few more strokes.)

Pipe small rounds on a baking sheet with baking paper. Leave at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, to form a skin. 

Bake at 150°C for 10-12 minutes. (I have a convection oven.) Let them cool completely before filling. Unused shells can be frozen, or kept in an air-tight container for a day or so. 

Chocolate ganache: 
150 g dark chocolate 
100 ml cream (full fat, 35-40%)
small pinch of salt

Chop the chocolate finely and place in a small bowl. Bring the cream to a bowl and pour over the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Add a tiny pinch of salt - it'll bring out the chocolate flavor even more. Leave the ganache to thicken slightly as it cools. If it gets too thick, heat briefly in the microwave.

Fill the cookies, and store the finished macarons in the fridge where they'll keep for a few days, or in the freezer where they'll be fine for much longer.
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