Don't be tempted to double this recipe as speed is essential in spooning the mixture onto trays. Even with the deftest hand, by the time you shape the last of the mixture it will have slackened and those macaroons will be flatter than the first ones. And a special tip: filled macaroons are more squidgy and much more delicious after 1 or 2 days in an airtight container.
1/2 cup ground almonds, sifted
1 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
4 tbsp Dutch-style cocoa, sifted
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
75g dark couverture chocolate
1 tsp butter
4 tbsp cream
Preheat oven to 200C.
Prepare 2 baking sheets lined with baking paper.
Mix the sifted ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
Beat the eggwhites with the cream of tartar to snowy peaks. Fold a spoonful of the eggwhites into the sifted mixture to blend and then fold in the rest of the eggwhites quickly but with a light hand.
Spoon teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the paper-lined trays, leaving 3cm between blobs. Do this as quickly as possible and place trays immediately into the preheated oven. Cook for 8 minutes or until the macaroons feel firm on the outside.
Wet a teatowel with cold water, wring out and place on the bench. Remove trays from oven and place on the damp cloth for a few minutes. With a spatula slide the macaroons onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before filling. If not needed immediately, store unfilled macaroons in an airtight container.
Chocolate ganache filling
Break chocolate into small pieces and pulverise in the food processor to a powder.
Bring cream and butter to the boil in a pan.
With motor running pour the boiling cream mixture onto the chocolate in a steady stream. Process until smooth. Refrigerate until just cold and then beat in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Use straight away.
Excess ganache will become too stiff to spread. Allow it to return to room temperature and then rebeat for a few minutes to regain spreadable consistency.