Macaroons

Macaroons

By
From
How to Cook Cakes
Makes
50 paired macaroons
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g ground almonds
200g icing sugar
160g egg whites, (about 5 medium)
food colouring of your choice, (see note)
75ml water
200g caster sugar

To assemble

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Or

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Or

Quantity Ingredient
good quality jam

Method

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment. Thoroughly mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together in a food processor and sift into a large bowl, discarding any coarse pieces of almond remaining in the sieve.
  2. Put the almond mixture into a bowl and, using a spatula, mix in 80g unbeaten egg white, to create a smooth paste. Add ¼–1 tsp food colouring, depending on how vibrant you want the colour to be. Set aside.
  3. Bring the water and sugar to the boil in a small saucepan to make a sugar syrup. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the remaining 80g egg white to soft peaks using a hand-held electric whisk. When the sugar syrup reaches 115ºC, pour it over the whisked egg white, avoiding pouring it onto the whisk itself, then continue to whisk to stiff peaks.
  4. Using a spatula, stir one third of this meringue into the almond paste, to loosen the mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining meringue. Continue to fold the mixture just until it becomes smooth, uniform, gently flowing and a little shiny. Test a small amount on the baking parchment: it should not be stiff enough to leave a peak, nor so soft that it floods excessively.
  5. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 5–8mm plain nozzle with the macaroon mixture and pipe little mounds, about 2–2.5cm in diameter, onto the prepared trays. Set aside for 20–30 minutes until a skin forms on the surface. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 160ºC.
  6. To check the macaroons are ready to bake, lightly brush the top of one with the tip of your finger: the batter should not stick to your finger and it should feel slightly leathery. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until the macaroons have formed a crisp shell and base.
  7. Slide the baking parchment onto a cool surface, to encourage the bases of the macaroons to release from the paper. Leave to cool completely before peeling carefully from the paper. They will keep for a few days, stored in an airtight container.
  8. To serve, sandwich the macaroons together in pairs with either a chocolate ganache, buttercream or jam.

Colour and flavour variations

  • Lemon Use yellow food colouring. Sandwich the macaroons together with lemon curd.

    Raspberry Use red food colouring. Sandwich the macaroons together with raspberry ganache: mix 100g melted white chocolate with 50g warmed raspberry purée and cool for at least an hour before using. Alternatively, use 30g warmed raspberry purée and a few drops of raspberry essence.

    Chocolate Use brown food colouring. Sandwich the macaroons together with chocolate ganache.

    Coffee Use brown food colouring. Sandwich the macaroons together with coffee butter icing.

    Vanilla Omit the food colouring. Sandwich the macaroons together with vanilla butter icing.

    Pistachio nut Use green food colouring. Sandwich the macaroons together with white chocolate and pistachio ganache: warm 50ml double cream with 1 tbsp pistachio paste, add to 100g melted white chocolate, stirring well, then leave to cool for at least an hour before using.
Tags:
cakes
baking
Leiths
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