This recipe makes approximately 40 shells or 20 filled macarons
4 large egg whites (or 5 small) approx 140g
1/3 cup or 70g caster sugar
1 1/2 cups or 230g pure icing sugar.
1 cup or 120g almond meal
Pinch of salt
Gel food colouring (optional) (Note: too much liquid will make the macarons fail so if it is your first time making them try with no colour until you’ve got the technique sorted.)
Preheat the oven to 150C
Sift the almond meal and icing sugar and salt together, discarding any almond lumps that are too big to pass through the sieve.
Place egg whites and caster sugar into a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until stiff enough to turn the bowl upside down without it falling out. How long this takes will depend on your mixer.
Continue to whip for 1-2 more minutes.
Add gel or powdered food colouring and continue to mix for a further 20 seconds.
Fold the almond & sugar mixture into the egg whites. This is the most important step and where most first-time macaron bakers have trouble. It should take roughly 30-50 folds using a rubber spatula but obviously this will vary depending on your folding technique. The mixture should be smooth and very viscous, not runny. Over-mix and your macarons will be flat and have no foot, under mix and they will not be smooth on top.
Pipe onto trays lined with baking paper, tap trays on the bench firmly (this prevents cracking).
Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Make sure you are using NON-stick baking paper or they will stick.
Check if the macarons are done by quickly opening the oven and slightly pressing on top of one – if it squishes down slightly it’s not yet ready, close the oven so the oven temp doesn’t change. Taking them out of the oven too soon will mean the insides will drop and you’ll have hollow shells.
Fill with flavoured ganache, jam and cream, buttercream or just eat them plain.
Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate.
Let stand for a minute and then stir.
If it is not adequately melted then microwave for 20 seconds and stir – repeat until smooth.
Allow to cool and thicken before piping onto macarons.