What You'll Need
For the macaron
55 grams caster sugar For the filling:
1 cup/100 grams icing sugar 150 grams unsalted butter
1 cup/100 grams ground almonds 75 grams icing sugar
2 medium free-range egg whites
Small pinch salt
How to Make It
Macarons need a steady, lowish temperature to cook properly. Too high, and they quickly burn. Too little and they don't cook through. These temperatures are a guideline, adjust to suit your oven.
Preheat the oven to 300 F/140 C. If your oven happens to have a fan in it, we recommend not to use it if possible. But do not worry if you have no alternative, the results will still be good!
1. Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds into a large mixing bowl. Throw any lumps left behind away. Mix the two together.
1. In a separate, scrupulously clean bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks. Add the caster sugar, a little at a time and continue to whisk until the whites are very thick and glossy (ideally, you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the whites falling out - go on, we dare you!) Gently stir in the icing sugar and almond mix. The mixture will lose some air and become quite loose, don't worry, this is the way it should be.
2. Using a piping bag with a 1/3-inch (1 cm) nozzle, fill with the macaron mixture. Place the silicon mat (see note in the introduction) or paper template onto a baking sheet. Pipe small blobs onto the sheet remembering that less is more at this stage because the mixture will settle and form into the allotted spaces.
3. Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to help the macaron mixture to settle and to break any air bubbles, then leave to dry for 20 minutes - the surface of the macaron will become smooth and shiny
4. Bake the macarons in the preheated for 7 to 8 minutes open the door to release any steam, close the oven door and cook for a further 7 to 8 minutes. The macarons are cooked when they feel firm and are slightly risen.
5. Slide the mat or greaseproof paper onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool thoroughly. Do not be tempted to remove the macarons from the mat until they are cold or you will break them.
Make the Filling
1. Beat the softened butter until it is fluffy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. At this point you can add in any flavourings, you may choose. See examples below.
1. Place approximately half a teaspoon of the filling to the flat side of one macaroon and sandwich together with another then twist ever so slightly to create a bond. Continue with the remaining macarons.
2. The macarons can be eaten immediately, but will benefit from being refrigerated for 24 hours (that's if you can resist them for that long) as this will make them even more chewy and tasty.
Making Different Colored Macarons
This is the basic recipe for macarons, and you can make coloured macarons by (sparingly) using a food colouring paste, rather than liquid food colouring.
Filling Variations for Macarons
For pink macarons, raspberry and strawberry are good matches. For contrast add a little vanilla flavouring to the buttercream.
Green macarons work very well with a pistachio flavoured cream. You can use either food additive or finely ground, pistachio nuts.
If you would still like green, but want to add a little twist, we recommend adding a little coconut, fresh lime zest and a tiny squeeze of the juice for a zingy filling.
For creating a purple macaron, we find that blueberry flavor is perfect.
Craving a cream coloured macaron? Vanilla extract makes for a wonderful cream colored macaron and provides for an extra creamy taste.
Want to brighten things up and create a yellow macaron? Lemon is a great solution for you!
Whichever flavour and colour you decide to make while baking, we're sure you'll fall in love with these macarons.