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Chocolate Macarons with Liquorice Ganache

Macarons are the kind of sweet, whose results can change from one attempt to another. One can have two perfect batches and then two following batches with the worst mishmash you could ever produce … even if you followed the recipe and did exactly as you did last time. But that’s how it is. Macarons can crack (usually because of to high temperatures or air pockets in the mixture); have no feet (too low temperature or batter was not folded together enough); and many other things that can happen. But you just have to keep trying and practice until you find a method that works. I have made them many times and it’s only now that I have found a method that works for me, which are described below.
But the end result is worth all the hassle and they taste great (even though they may be flawed).

CHOCOLATE MACARONS WITH LIQUORICE GANACHE
ABOUT 30 MACARONS

MACARONS:
205 G ICING SUGAR
130 G ALMONDS OR ALMOND FLOUR
20 G COCOA POWDER
3 LARGE EGG WHITES
75 G SUGAR

If you do not have almond flour, you can make your own.

Blanche the almonds, let them dry completely and then blend thoroughly.

Mix the cocoa and icing sugar with the almonds and blend again, it should end up looking like a fine powder.

Sift the flour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl to get the best results.

There will eventually appear some bigger bits of almond and icing sugar, just mash them through the mesh of the sieve with the back of a spoon, every bit is needed.

When everything is sifted, set the bowl aside.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites slightly stiff, add the sugar and whisk until the meringue is stiff and shiny, and hanging of the whisk in large lumps.

Add the almond flour into the meringue and fold it together from the middle and out with a rubber spatula until it looks like  liquid lava. If you let a dollop fall into the batter, the two should meld together in 30 seconds.

Add the batter to a piping bag and cut a hole in the end.

Pipe 60 small circles onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper, with space between each as they will spread slightly.

Tap the baking sheet lightly against the table, once for each side to remove as many airholes as possible and preferably do not create large air pockets in the finished macaron.

Let them rest for about 20-30 min until a skin has formed on the surface. They’re ready, if you can tap them lightly and the batter does not stick to your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees celsius.

Place the baking sheet in the middle for 15-20 minutes.

They are finished when you can lift them slightly from the paper and they don’t stick to it. If they still stick, they are not baked.

Remove them from the oven and let the macarons cool on the baking sheet.

Match them with their partners in size and shape.

LIQUORICE GANACHE:
100 G WHITE CHOCOLATE
55 ML DOUBLE CREAM
1-2 TSP. LIQUORICE POWDER, THE SALTY KIND

Roughly chop the chocolate and place it in a bowl.

Bring the cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate.

Wait a minute and stir it into a shiny ganache.

Add liquorice powder to taste.

Pour the ganache into a piping bag and place it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight until you need it.

Pipe a layer of ganache on one of the macaron parts and sandwich them together.

They can be eaten now, but they will be even better if left for one night in the fridge.

Enjoy all the work that was put into making the small beasts.

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