Macaroon phobia?

Made by Me

Don’t these look wonderful?  Little delicacies that make you smile!  I haven’t seen them around Nottingham but in the capital there are shops dedicated to the little things!  I first made macaroons in Summer 2010 using the Pistachio Macaroon recipe from Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ book and was quite disappointed with the result although they tasted OK (I will try these again in the future).  I recently purchased Eric Lanlard’s ‘Home Bake’ and loved how simple his recipe was and how little of each ingredient was used to yield so many lovely macaroons!  For my first time I just flavoured with vanilla and made vanilla butter cream to fill.  I simply don’t understand why people have a phobia of making macaroons!

Makes 28 double macaroons

Prep. time 40minutes + resting and cooking.  Cooking time 12-15minutes.

Ingredients

100g (3 1/2oz) ground almonds

100g (3 1/2oz) icing sugar

90g (3 1/4oz) egg whites (from 3 large eggs)

100g (3 1/2oz) caster sugar

Chosen flavouring e.g. vanilla essence

Chosen food colouring (I prefer gel/paste colours that don’t dilute the mixture)

Chosen filling e.g. lemon curd, white chocolate ganache, flavoured butter cream…

Method

  • Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar together into a bowl to produce a fine powder.  (I placed my bowl on my digital scale and sifted them separately to ensure I had equal measures of each, you’ll probably find that the almonds don’t sift as easily as the icing sugar and may need to add a bit more than the initial 100g ground almonds).
  • In a large bowl, using an electric hand whisk, whisk the egg whites at full speed until they start to thicken, then very slowly add the caster sugar until they form stiff peaks. (Be careful not to get any yolk in with the egg whites and make sure you weigh your egg whites before whisking!)
  • Fold the almond mixture into the egg white, along with your chosen flavouring and/or colouring, using a large metal spoon (I used my rubber spatula).  You will get a stiff, shiny and smooth mixture.
  • Using a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain tube, pipe 3cm discs on to baking-paper-lined baking sheets.  (I think any good sized round ended piping nozzle will suffice).
  • Leave for about 5-10 minutes so that they can dry out a little, while preheating the oven to 150°C/ 300°F/gas mark 2. (I left them about 20minutes just to be sure they were dry enough).
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15minutes.
  • As soon as they come out of the oven lift the baking paper and pour a bit of cold water in between the sheet and the paper.  The steam will help to remove the macaroons easily.  Cool down on a wire rack. (This bit can be tricky!)
  • Once cool, sandwich the macaroons together with the fillings suggested.  Pile together on a plate and dig in!

If at first you don’t succeed try and try again!

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