‘Macaroons made easy’, is that a joke I hear you say ? Actually not, after years of making macaroons, some that were passable and some that were a damn right failure, I have finally been introduced to a completely foolproof recipe. It has taken a couple of attempts to perfect it, but at least I know now where I have gone wrong previously, and hopefully how not to make the same mistakes again. Once mastered, if I can call it that, these little sandwiches of air and sweetness are remarkably easy to make and unbelievably cheap, unlike their stunning cousins from Lauduree. They make a brilliant present and needless to say the ‘little people’ inhale them. The pink one has already put in her order for her party! Being rather a novice, I have only really done a couple of flavours, once you get the taste for it I guess you can embark on a huge journey of discovery, but for now, plain old vanilla and chocolate will suffice.
Makes at least 20
70g egg whites (about 2 eggs but do weigh them) at room temperature
35g caster sugar
115g icing cugar
60g ground almonds
There are a few rules with macaroons. Follow them and they should work. Deviate, and they won’t.
Set a fan oven on to 125c. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
1. Weigh out the egg whites and the caster sugar and pop in a Kenwood with your chosen food coloring, I use ‘Sugarflair Colours’, to beat on full speed for 10 minutes.
2. While the egg whites are being beaten furiously, sieve together the ground almonds and icing sugar. Once will do but twice is even better.
3. Stop the beaters after 10 minutes and fold in the almond-icing sugar mix into the meringue. You will need to make about 50 folds. Count as you fold, you do not want your mix to be undermixed.
The first photo shows the almonds and sugar just beginning to be folded in, the photo below shows what the mix should look like after 50 folds. The top left is the macaroons pre-cooking and the shot below is having just been removed from the oven.
4. Now you need to pipe the macaroons onto the baking sheets. Place a piping bag over a small jug and using a spatula transfer the macaroon mix into the piping bag. Pipe onto the trays around ’10p/50p’ sized macaroons. I pipe down so the mix spreads from the middle as such, so they are probably 3/4mm in depth. Evenly pipe them out.
5. Now the important bit. The trays need to be bashed 3 times on a table to knock out the remaining air. Lift them to 15 cm above a table and drop 3 times, turn the tray completely around and do the same thing again.
6. Now they are ready to go in the oven. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
7. Remove and leave to cool. They should have developed little feet where they have risen very slightly.
8. Fill with buttercream or ganache depending on what you fancy.
I use a classic buttercream filling, enriched with a tablespoon of cream cheese. In the pink ones I recently gave to Mummy I added a wee bit of lemon curd, quite delicious!
If you want to make chocolate macaroons use 1oog of icing sugar and 15g of cocoa powder. Chocolate macaroons should be filled with a chocolate ganache.
Happy macaroon making and roll on the Easter holidays, end of term fever around here!