macarons

macarons 5 macarons 2

These little biccies have the scariest reputation – but actually, I didn’t think they were too bad at all! Granted, half of them burnt, but I think the trick is to make enough so that some of them are good… law of averages, am I right?!

macarons 4 macarons 3

I don’t have much experience with meringues {I grew up in a household where Mum was allergic to eggs} but if there’s one thing I know, it’s that they don’t like grease. Grease does not a happy meringue make. In fear of a egg-based whipping disaster, I always clean my mixing bowl thoroughly, dry it, and then wipe it down with white vinegar or lemon juice. This gets rid of the grease, although my boyfriend {the chemist} could not tell me why.

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I decided to fill these guys with a simple vanilla buttercream, but part of the beauty is that you can fill them with whatever you like. To quote my housemates, they taste ‘like pure sugar’ which I would argue is no bad thing when we’re all in heads-down study mode. Finally, I would suggest putting on a playlist that contains Fleetwood Mac, Mack the Knife, the Macarena and Macklemore whilst making these… šŸŽ¶

macarons 1

Macarons

  • Servings: makes around 30 shells
  • Print

Ingredients:

Macaron Shells:
  • 75g egg whites {approx. 2 large eggs; room temp.}
  • pinch salt
  • 83g ground almonds
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • food colouring, if desired
  • sprinkles

Method:

Separate your eggs and weigh out the egg whites into a clean, grease-free mixing bowl. Set aside.

Sieve your ground almonds and icing sugar into a separate mixing bowl. And again. And again {I think I did mine at least 4 times}. Chuck out any stubborn lumps.

Add the salt to the egg whites and beat with electric whisks until you have soft peaks. At this point, with the mixer running on high speed, add the caster sugar in a steady stream until you have stiff, glossy peaks.

Beat in the food colouring on a slow speed at this stage, if you’re adding it.

Carefully add the ground almonds and icing sugar to the meringue in thirds, mixing through gently but thoroughly. The most common term I found for what it should look like is ‘molten lava’ – runny and a bit grainy-looking, but still quite thick.

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag, cut the end off, and pipe circles with about a 3cm diameter onto baking paper / a silicone baking mat on a baking tray. When you’re finished, pick up the baking tray and drop it from about a height of 10cm {this creates their little signature feet}. At this point you can add sprinkles or freeze-dried fruit or desiccated coconut or glitter or whatever your heart desires to the top.

Leave to do their thing for an hour, and preheat your oven to around 160*C {this was tricky to guess, as recipes I found differed wildly in cooking temperatures and times, and our oven likes to make up the temperature as it goes along}. Bake for 10-15 minutes, and try not to burn the bottoms as I did!

When cool, sandwich together with buttercream, ganache, jam. Alternatively, spread Nutella onto the burnt ones and dunk them in your tea as my housemate did :/ *le sigh*Ā 

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4 thoughts on “macarons

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