With an assortment of vivid colours, this delicious dessert is a feast on the eyes and taste buds.
Before you don your apron, check out the essential items you'll need to complete the recipe:
• Cranked palette knife
• Plastic spatula
• Round Piping Nozzle - Wilton 1B
• Free-standing mixer- whisk attachment
• Piping bags
• Baking Tray / Greaseproof Paper
• Sugar Thermometer
Now that's all sorted - get baking!
- (Makes about 40-45 macarons with a 2-inch diameter)
- Almond paste:
- 200g blanched ground almonds, sieved
- 200g icing sugar
- 80g free range egg whites (about 3 medium eggs)
- 200g caster sugar
- 100g free range egg white (about 3 eggs)
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- 500g caster sugar
- 250g egg white
- 500g unsalted butter - room temp
MethodFirst, make the almond paste
• Turn the oven on to 200C
• Sieve almonds into a bowl with the icing sugar and mix until incorporated. With an electric hand whisk or stand alone mixer, mix in the egg white to make a thick, smooth paste
• Divide the mixture into two bowls, and colour with the chosen food coloring – e.g. pink and blue (remember to go slightly darker than you'd like, as the colour will dilutes when folded in the white meringue later)
Next, start on the meringue
• Pour the caster sugar into a deep roasting dish lined with baking paper and place in the hot oven for 7 minutes until the sugar gets very hot to the touch but doesn’t melt
• Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak so they are just ready (not over whisked) when the sugar comes out of the oven
• Take the sugar out of the oven and turn oven temperature down to 150c
• Teaspoon by teaspoon, spoon the hot sugar into the stiff egg whites on top speed. Take your time with this to get the meringue as stiff as possible
• Continue whisking until the bowl feels cool to the touch (5-10 mins). Divide the meringue mixture into two, and using a wooden spoon, fold the meringue into the two bowls almond paste being careful not to knock out the lovely air
• Fill a piping bag with 1B nozzle and pipe out small round mounds (about 2p size) onto parchment paper lined baking trays. Bash the tray against the worktop about 3 times firmly to remove air pockets. Let macarons form a skin (this normally takes about 30 minutes at room temp).
Tip: You can tell if its ready to go in the oven by running a finger gently across the top of the shells and seeing if it doesn’t stick (it shouldn’t!)
• Bake for around 14-16 minutes
Tip: to check if they are ready to come out, wiggle a fingertip right to left atop one of the macarons; if the top doesn’t come away from the feet then they are good to go!
• When they come out of the oven, IMMEDIATELY slide the macarons off the tray onto a cool counter to shock them - otherwise, they will stick to the paper when you try to remove them.
Tip: let them cool completely before trying to remove from the tray
To make the Italian meringue buttercream filling
• While the macaron shells are cooling, start on the Italian meringue buttercream filling
• Mix together egg whites and sugar in a large metal or glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until the sugar crystals have dissolved and mixture is warm to touch (to check this, rub it between two fingers)
• Transfer the mixture carefully to the standalone mixer or bowl with a handheld electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Keep whisking on full speed until the meringue is at room temperature
• Add room temp butter to the meringue on full speed in small chunks and keep whisking until the buttercream resembles the look of whipped cream
• Flavour as you wish! Vanilla is always a safe bet, but there are an abundance of great flavours including lemon curd, melted chocolate, essences, or pistachio paste
• Sandwich each shell with some buttercream and enjoy!
Tip: Unfilled shells can be frozen for up to a month, filled shells can be frozen for up to a week, and filled shells will keep well outside the fridge in a sealed container for 2-3 days.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time16 minutes
*As featured in this week's Buzz-O-Meter page in Reveal, Issue 45.
Baking duo Meringue Girls have partnered with Currys PC World to challenge the nation to try something new in the kitchen with a range of impressive dessert recipes. Visit www.currys.co.uk/baking for all your baking needs