If you have been following my blog for a long time, you will know that I have made macarons before. However, they became a real stumbling block and I haven't attempted them again for a really long time. While on the hunt for more ideas as to what to do with the surplus egg whites left over from the Portuguese Custard Tarts, they came up time and time again. So I thought it was time to bite the bullet and give them another go.
For the shells -
200g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
3 egg whites
75g caster sugar
For the filling-
100g icing sugar
1. In a food processor, blitz the icing sugar and ground almonds together for a couple of minutes. Sieve the mixture into a large bowl and leave to one side.
2. Whisk the egg whites, using an electric whisk, until they are thick, foamy and forming stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar, one teaspoon at a time, until full incorporated. Once all the caster sugar is mixed in, continue to mix for a few more minutes. Add your food colouring until you have reached your desired colour. (I used the Sugarflair 'Scarlet' food colouring which came out a gorgeous pink!)
3. Once the colour is thoroughly mixed in, combine you egg whites with your icing sugar/almond mixture. Fold together very gently. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag.
4. Pipe your macarons on to a macaron mat (if you're posh!) or onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment (like me.) Leave roughly an inch between each one.
5. Tap the trays on your work surface a few times to knock any air bubbles out. Leave to one side for 1 hour so that a skin is formed.
6. Preheat your oven to 130 fan. Bake the macaron shells for 16-20 minutes until they have risen to their "feet." Leave them to cool completely before removing them from the tray.
7. To make your filling, whisk together the softened butter, icing sugar and food colouring until light and fluffy.
8. Spread a small amount of filling on to half of your shells and sandwich together to make little macaron sandwiches.
And there you go! They're a bit fiddly but it's so satisfying when they work! I was leaping around the kitchen with joy seeing them rise and their little "feet" form. Let me know if you've ever made macarons and what your experience was like!