Macarons are the ultimate dinner party dessert option - light, sweet and really special looking, try this chocolate recipe and you'll not be disappointed.
- 120g icing sugar
- 40g cocoa powder
- 150g ground almonds
- 3 large free-range egg whites
- 150g caster sugar
- For the buttercream:
- 75g icing sugar
- 15g cocoa powder
- 35g Philadelphia cream cheese
- 25g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes
- ¼tsp vanilla extract
- You will need:
- 4 baking trays lined with baking parchment, then use a 3cm round cutter as a stencil to draw out equally spaced macaron templates
- a sugar thermometer
- a large piping bag fitted with a 1cm fat nozzle, plus a medium piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle
Mix the icing sugar, cocoa powder and ground almonds until well combined. Pulse in a food processor until evenly mixed. Add one of the egg whites and pulse until evenly incorporated; set aside.
Meanwhile, put the sugar with 40ml water in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Put the remaining egg whites in the bowl of a free-standing mixer and start to mix on a low speed.
Increase the mixer speed and the heat under the sugar, until it reaches 118C. Whenit approaches this temperature, increase the speed of the mixer to high and keep mixing until the egg whites are just stiff.
Gradually pour in the melted sugar mixture while continuing to whisk on a high speed, keep whisking until the bowl feels warm to the touch. Add the ground almond mixture, fold to begin with then, using the electric whisk, briefly flash thespeed to medium-high a few times until combined, be careful not to over-mix. Scrape into the large piping bag and pipe into 3cm rounds using the templates.
Tap the trays on the work surface to knock out any air bubbles, then set aside in a cool place for 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 170C, gas 3. Bake for 12 minutes, set aside to cool on the trays.
For the buttercream, mix the icing sugar and cocoa powder until well combined, sift into a bowl, then beat in the cream cheese followed by the butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Remove to the medium piping bag and pipe a little on to the fat surface of the macarons then sandwich with another.