150g(½ cup + 2 tbsp) egg whites divided (liquid egg whites or from 5 large eggs)
200g(1 cup / 7oz) caster sugarsuperfine sugar or granulated
few drops vanilla extract
gel food coloring optional
150g(scant 1 cup) dark chocolate chips
120ml(½ cup) creamdouble /heavy cream
2tbsphoney or golden syrup
Make the macaron shells
Put the almond and icing sugar in a food processor and blitz, in short bursts, to a fine powder. Sift into a large bowl and discard any bits that don't go through the sieve. Repeat once more for perfectly smooth macaron shells.
Add half the egg whites into the bowl and mix vigorously together with a spatula until you have a smooth paste.
Put the caster sugar and remaining egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer. Place the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to come to contact with the water). Heat the egg whites, stirring with a wire whisk, until the sugar dissolves.
Fill the bowl to your stand mixer and whisk on high speed until you have a glossy stiff meringue that forms peaks. Add the colour and vanilla, if using, once the meringue forms soft peaks.
Add a third to the meringue to the bowl with the almond paste and mix it together to loosen.
Fold the remaining meringue, in a circular motion, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. Mix until the batter drops slowly off your spatula and flows slowly like molten lava. I
Line three cookie sheets with baking parchment or ideally use Silpat Macaron mats. Transfer the batter into a piping bag with plain round nozzle (Wilton 1A). Hold the bag at a ninety degree angle over the mat and pipe the macarons using the template, using a quick circular motion as you stop squeezing the bag.
Carefully but forcefully knock the trays against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. If the macarons have little 'peaks' pat them down with a clean, wet finger. Leave the macarons to dry until the shells lose their shine and become touch dry.
Preheat the oven to 150C / 300F. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the macarons have a smooth, dry top and are firm to the touch. Allow the macarons to dry for at least 10 minutes before peeling off the mat.
Fill the macarons
Put the chocolate chips, cream, honey and Baileys in a bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds then stir until chocolate melts. Leave the ganache to cool down (or pop it in the fridge) before using.
Pipe the chocolate on half the shells and sandwich them gently together.