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Sift the almond meal (106 grams) and powdered sugar (106 grams) into a large bowl.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in 45 grams of egg whites. Fold the mixture together until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Next heat 118 grams of granulated sugar and 80 grams of water in a pot over medium heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the mixture reaches 235 F.
Once the mixture starts to boil, pour the remaining 45 grams of egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on a medium speed.
Add in 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar to help stabilize the meringue and continue to mix at a medium speed until soft peaks form.
Remove the sugar syrup from heat once reaches 235 degrees F and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the mixing bowl into the meringue on a medium speed.
Once the syrup is fully mixed in, increase the mixing speed to high and mix until glossy, stiff peaks form. If you want to color your macarons, mix in the gel food coloring in this step. There should be a tiny bend in the peak of your meringue when the whisk is lifted.
Mix the meringue into the almond/powdered sugar mixture in three additions.
Once the meringue is mixed in, fold the batter in a circular motion until thick ribbons of batter run off the spatula when it's lifted. Be careful not to overmix the batter!
Transfer batter to a large piping bag fit with a medium sized round piping tip and pipe 1 1/4 inch rounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
Bang the pans firmly on the counter a few times to release air bubbles, then pop any remaining air bubbles that come to the surface with a toothpick.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F, then let the macarons rest for 30 minutes to allow a skin to form. They should be dry to the touch once they're ready to be baked!
Bake one tray of macarons at a time on the middle rack of your oven for 12-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let the macarons cool on the pan (about 1 hour), then gently remove them from the silpat mat.
Place 1/4 cup of dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and set aside.
Heat 1/4 cup of heavy cream in a saucepan until it begins to simmer.
Gently pour the heavy cream over the chocolate, making sure they are covered with cream. Allow mixture to sit for 1-2 minutes.
Stir slowly until fully combined and the ganache is silky smooth, then pour into a piping bag to fill the macarons.
Pipe a small dab of ganache onto the center one macaron shell and top with second shell to create a sandwich.
Place the finished macarons in the fridge to chill overnight, then let them come to room temperature enjoy!