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First off, I want to say that my flat only has a fan oven.  Hence why these don’t look like actual macarons and more like whoopie pies.  These were my first attempt ever to make macarons and, considering the whole oven thing, I think they turned out pretty okay.  Also, I’ve heard that it takes years to perfect macarons so I’m not panicking.

Yet.

Shells:

  •  2 large eggs
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 110g icing sugar
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 25g unsweetened cocoa powder
Ganache:
  • 175g dark chocolate
  • 300ml whipping cream
Separate the egg whites and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.  Allow to reach room temperature before making the shells.
To make the ganache: Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.  Add the cream and mix well.  Remove from heat and chill in the fridge until needed.
To make the shells: Preheat oven to 150C (135C for fan oven).  Grind the ground almonds and icing sugar in a blender (you need to do this otherwise they don’t get their crust).  Sieve the mixture onto a baking tray and cook for 5 mins.  Let cool.
     In a large bowl, beat the egg whites into snowy peaks.  When they start to stiffen, slowly add the caster sugar, beating constantly.  Add the cocoa powder and combine completely.  Sieve the almond mixture over the egg mixture and fold in using a plastic spatula.
     Fill a pastry bag with the mixture and pipe out ~30 4cm circles onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.  Leave them to stand at room temperature for about an hour until a crust forms on the surface, then cook for ~10 minutes.  Let the shells cool before removing from the greaseproof paper.
To assemble: Spread the ganache over half of the shells and top them with the remaining shells.  Chill in the fridge for an hour before serving.

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