We can't go past a Macaron for a sweet treat with a cup of tea at any time of the day. They are light and fluffy and oh so delicious. Whether you choose to follow the French or Italian way of creating them, you really cant go wrong. We are experimenting in the test kitchen with different shapes and flavours. Check us out on TikTok to get some creative Macaron inspiration.
Here is our favourite Italian recipe using ground almonds. You can substitute for almond flour if required.
- 150g Ground Almonds
- 150g Icing Sugar
- 55g Egg Whites (two chicks)
- Squeeze of Gel Food Colour
- 35g Water
- 150g Caster Sugar
- Add the ground almonds and icing sugar to a blender. Blend for 1 minute.
- Pass the mixture through a sieve, into a clean bowl. If you have a lot of ground almonds still in the sieve, weigh the amount that is in the sieve, then pour them out and put them to one side. Blend some more ground almonds, and sift in the weight of almonds that did not make it through the sieve, with the new blended almonds!
- Pour in the first part of your egg whites and add a squeeze of gel food colour. Mix into a smooth paste. Set the bowl to one side.
- Add the water and sugar to a medium saucepan. Place it on a medium heat.
- Meanwhile, add the remaining egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk on a medium - low speed while the sugar syrup heats up.
- The sugar syrup needs to reach 118C on a digital thermometer. By the time it is at temperature, your egg whites should be frothy and thick.
- Increase the speed of the mixer to high, and slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg whites. Try to drizzle the syrup slowly in between the bowl and the whisk, but don't worry if a bit splatters on the bowl.
- Whisk for 7 minutes. After 6 minutes, add a squeeze of gel food colour into the meringue and continue whisking. You should have relatively stiff peaks when it is done.
- Take one-third of the meringue and fold it into the almond paste. The idea is to fold the meringue into the almond mixture just until the meringue is incorporated - the key is not to overmix it. Take the spatula and swipe it twice through the centre, and then spin the bowl and rotate the spatula around the outside.
- Once the first third is incorporated, add the second third of meringue and repeat the folding process.
- When it comes to the final third of meringue, the key is to just keep folding it until the mixture reaches a ribbon stage. This is where you drop the mixture from the spatula and it holds a ribbon, which just about disappears and settles within 10 seconds. The key is to not overmix the batter - if it is too runny it will be very hard to pipe. If it is still stiff and the ribbon is not disappearing, then mix it a few more times, and check the consistency again.
- Once you are happy with the consistency, place a round tip nozzle (7-8mm is a good size) into a piping bag and pour the batter in.
- Take a baking tray with a silicon mat on, and pipe circles of batter. Hold the piping bag vertically and apply even pressure. Once you are happy with the width of the macaron (about 1.5") - stop piping and whip the piping bag away.
- Leave about 3/4" between each macaron as you pipe.
- Tap the tray on the work surface to knock out any air bubbles. Then if you see any on the surface - use a toothpick to pop them.
- Add some sprinkles on top (optional) and then leave the macarons at room temperature for 30m to form a skin. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 165C/330F.
- Place the tray of macarons into the oven and bake for 16-17m. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for 1 hour.
- Once they are cooled, peel the shells off very carefully. Pipe in a filling of your choice!