Filled chocolate macaroons remind me of Paris and those elegant gilt and marbled salons de thé. They are best eaten the next day (if you can wait) as the chocolate becomes more intensely flavoured and the texture slightly gooey.

 

Makes 8 filled macaroons

For the macaroons

100g bar Divine dark chocolate

150g ground almonds

150g  sugar

1 tablespoon Divine cocoa

3 large free range egg whites

For the filling

100g bar Divine dark chocolate

100ml double cream

15g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1-2 baking trays lined with non-stick baking parchment

Heat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.

Break up the chocolate, put it into a bowl and melt gently (see page 16). Put aside until needed. Put the ground almonds, sugar and cocoa into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Using an electric mixer or whisk, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually whisk in the cocoa mixture. Gently fold in the melted chocolate using a metal spoon — the meringue mixture will collapse.

Put a heaped tablespoon of the mixture onto the prepared tray and gently spread to a round about 7cm across. Repeat with the rest of mixture to form 16 rounds. Bake for an hour until firm. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking tray and when firm enough transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the filling: break up the bar of chocolate and put it into a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until scalding hot but not boiling then pour over the chocolate. Leave for a minute then add the butter and stir gently until smooth. Leave until cool then beat well with a wooden spoon until thick and fluffy. Sandwich pairs of macaroons together with plenty of the mousse filling. Leave for at least an hour before eating — they’re at their best the next day.

Store in an airtight container. Not suitable for freezing.

Reprinted with permission from Divine: Heavenly Chocolate Recipes by Linda Collister. © Absolute Press, 2007. Buy the book!

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