140g almond flour
140g powdered sugar
100g egg whites – divided equally into two bowls
40g filtered water
100g granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
White food coloring (optional)
White Chocolate Ganache
60g heavy whipping cream
180g white chocolate chips
Start by wiping bowls and whisk with lemon juice and a paper towel, this helps eliminate any fat on your utensils. If any fat is in your bowl, it will prevent your egg whites from beating into a meringue.
Measure out your almond flour and powdered sugar. Sift together into a bowl. Be sure to discard any larger pieces of almond, otherwise you will end up with a lumpy macaron shell. Set bowl aside.
Measure your egg whites into two separate bowls, 50g each. Add one bowl of egg whites (50g) to the bowl of sifted ingredients. With a rubber spatula, mix until well combined. Mixture will seem very dry at first, but keep mixing until a thick, smooth paste has formed. Make sure there are no lumps left in your almond mixture. Cover with glad-wrap and set aside.
Measure out the granulated sugar and water into a clean saucepot. Place onto the stove at a low/medium heat, do not stir sugar mixture. Syrup will begin to boil softly, (watch carefully) checking the temperature frequently with an infrared thermometer. It is important to have a precise measurement of temperature as a few degrees hotter/cooler can ruin the meringue. Unfortunately, some candy thermometers are often not very precise for this process.
Once sugar syrup has reached 110 degrees C, you will simultaneously begin to beat your second batch of egg whites. Place egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat at a low to medium speed. When your egg whites are very frothy and foamy, it is time to add the syrup. This stage is before soft peaks form, the egg whites will not hold any type of peak. (if your egg whites are frothy before your syrup reaches 118 degrees C, you can turn the mixer down to low until syrup reaches the correct temperature. Once the syrup has reached 118 degrees C, turn your mixer to a medium speed, and slowly pour syrup into the egg whites along the side of the bowl. Be sure to pour it in a slow and steady stream, as to prevent scrambling the eggs! Once all the syrup has been added, turn mixer up to medium high.
Do not leave meringue, and check frequently to prevent overbeating. Beat until you have reached soft peaks, and add gel coloring if you choose to do so.
Continue mixing until stiff peaks have been reached. Stiff peaks will stand straight up without curling over. Only beat until meringue has reached this stage and no further.
Add 1/3 of the meringue, and scraped vanilla bean to the almond paste you made previously. With a rubber spatula, fold in the meringue. Fold in a circular motion, scraping around the bowl, and cutting through the middle. Be careful not to knock out the air you beat into the meringue, only fold until mixture is barely incorporated. Add another 1/3 of the meringue, and repeat.
Add the remaining 1/3 of the meringue, and continue folding in a scraping and cutting motion. At this point you want to remove some of the air from your meringue. Push the batter along the side of your bowl to knock some of the air out. Once the batter flows off your spatula and forms a figure eight without breaking, it is ready to pipe. Fit a piping bag with a large round tip, and pour your batter into the bag. Start piping small circles of batter onto your macaron mats.
(I would recommend using a silicone macaron mat in place of parchment paper, as the mats help regulate the heat better.)
Once your macarons have been piped onto the mat, preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Every oven has a different temperament, so you will have to spend some time learning what works for you with temperature and baking time. I would recommend using this temperature as a staring point, and adjust accordingly. Bang each macaron tray firmly on the counter, to help release air bubbles. Pop any remaining bubbles with a toothpick.
Allow your macarons to rest for approximately 30 to 60 minutes, or until macarons are very dry on top and have lost their sheen. Drying time will differ greatly, depending on your climate.
Bake macarons one tray at a time on the middle rack for 12-14 minutes. (Adjust bake time depending on your oven) To prevent macarons from browning on top, place a pan on the rack above the baking macarons. A tray can also be placed under the baking tray (for extra insulation) if the bottom of the macarons are browning.
Allow macarons to cool completely before filling.
Place cream and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, and heat for 30 second intervals until completely melted ( stirring in between intervals) Add gel food coloring at this point if you wish to do so. Cover, and allow to set. Place ganache in a piping bag, with desired tip attached. Pipe half the macaron shells with ganache filling. Sandwich cookies together.
Macarons will keep for a week (in an airtight container) in the fridge, or 1-2 months in the freezer.