Makes about 15 cookies Adapted from The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz
1 cup (100 grams) powdered sugar
1/2 cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50 grams, sliced almonds, pulverized)
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat over to 375 degrees.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with plain tip (about 1/2 inch) ready.
Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor since most of the almond meal you can buy isn't quite fine enough.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you're alone).
Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch circles, evenly spaced 1-inch apart.
Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from the baking sheet.
To make the chocolate filling:
Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the corn syrup. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit for one minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the pieces of butter. Let cool completely before using.
Spread a bit of batter on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together. Be careful not to over-fill. Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors.
Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days, or freeze. If you freeze them, defrost them in the unopened container, to avoid condensation which will make the macarons soggy.
My notes: I used whole almonds, the bags you buy at Costco (they're so much cheaper there). I measure out the almonds and powdered sugar, put both in a food processor, then pulse until extremely finely ground. Then push this mixture through a large seive or strainer, to get rid of any larger pieces of almond that might not have gotten ground up. By processing the almonds with the sugar, you keep the almonds from turning into almond butter when processing. As far as baking pans go, if you have extra baking sheets, stack 2 on top of each other. Still use the parchment on the top, but this double-layer of baking sheets creates a more even baking surface and they do better this way, especially if you don't have thick baking sheets. When you are mixing the almond mixture into the egg whites, you want to end up with a texture that is described as "molten lava". You don't want to overbeat too much, but it needs to be folded enough so that the batter kindof flows when you drop from the spatula. When you pipe out the 1" circles, if they don't flatten out a little or you have a tip or nipple from your piping, wet your finger lightly, then push down the top of the cookie until it's flatter. I didn't do this the first time and mine were shaped like Hershey's kisses.