Macaroons

Macaroons

By
From
Leiths How to Cook
Makes
50
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
Chocolate ganache
or Custard-based buttercream
or 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 80 g unbeaten egg white, to create a smooth paste. Add ¼–1 teaspoon 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 80 g 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 rubber 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 macaroon 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 5–8 mm plain nozzle with the macaroon mixture and pipe little mounds, about 2–2.5 cm 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. To serve, sandwich the macaroons together in pairs with either a chocolate ganache, jam or buttercream icing.

Colour and flavour variations

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

    Raspberry: Use red colouring. Sandwich the macaroons together with raspberry ganache: mix 100 g melted white chocolate with 50 g warmed raspberry purée and cool for at least an hour before using.

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

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

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

    Pistachio: Use green colouring. Sandwich the macaroons together with pistachio ganache: warm 50 ml double cream with 1 tablespoon pistachio paste, add to 100 g melted white chocolate, stirring well, then cool for at least an hour before using.
Tags:
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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