For the macaron shells:
110g icing sugar
50g ground almonds
12g cocoa powder
2 egg whites
40g caster sugar
For the chocolate filling:
125g unsalted butter, softened
100g icing sugar
50g dark chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1x large baking sheet or tray, lined with greaseproof or parchment paper
1. Begin by placing icing sugar, ground almonds and cocoa in a food processor and blitz to a very fine powder.
2. Whisk the egg whites for several minutes until soft peaks are formed. Gradually add in the caster sugar, while still whisking the eggs. Continue whisking until you have a meringue that will stand in peaks.
3. Sift the icing sugar, almond and cocoa mixture over the meringue mix.
4. Using a silicon spatula, sweep around the bowl in a circle and then cut sideways strokes with the thin blade of the spatula through the centre backwards and forwards ten times. Repeat sweeping around the edge of the bowl and doing your ten strokes five times so that you’ve done fifty strokes. Your batter should be roughly ready by this point, you are looking for a flowing lava effect. If it is too stiff continue sweeping around the edge of the bowl and doing another ten strokes until you are happy with the flow.
5. Place the batter into a piping bag. I used a fabric piping bag with a nozzle of about 1.5 cm diameter, but you can use a disposable piping bag and cut a hole of similar size in the end.
6. Pipe discs about the size of a £2 coin onto the baking sheet. Leave equal gaps between all of the macarons as they will spread a bit.
7. Preheat oven to 150°c.
8. Place macarons beside a radiator and leave for about 20 minutes. After that time, the surface will dry out, and when baked this will help create the "feet" of the macaron.
9. Bake for 12-18 minutes. Mine took 12 minutes at the bottom shelf, as our oven is quite harsh.
10. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before peeling away from the paper.
11. For the icing, simply beat together all the ingredients for several minutes until light and fluffy. Fill macarons with the mixture.
12. The macarons are best when they have had some time to rest. I discovered that they are best 24 hours after being filled.