Sunday, 22 July 2012

Lets make some macarons!

Well, as I am sure you have all realised at this point, my blog is called 'Macarons and Miniskirts'. Now, I can't have 'macarons' in my title without sharing a macaron recipe that I use with all of you on this blog. So, I thought that it was about time that I did.
        Macarons make for a delicious and light snack or desert and can be perfect with a hot beverage. You can eat them at any time during the year, and most importantly, they look great! Also, being French, macarons are one of the many cakes that we take great pride in having invented and they are definitely one of my favourite foods in the whole world! 

       I'm sure that I am not the only person to have queued for an hour at Ladurée on the Champs-Élysées, just to get the chance to buy (and spend a fortune) on a few of these delicious treats. Luckily, with the recipe below, you can learn how to make your own macarons without the hassle and for much cheaper than if you were to buy them in Paris. 
       Unfortunately, macarons are slightly difficult to make and granted, your first attempt, as was my first attempt, is not going to be great. However, as with anything, practise makes perfect.


  1. 175g icing sugar
  2. 125g ground almonds
  3. 3 large free-range egg whites
  4. 75g caster sugar

For the Filling

  1. 150g butter, softened
  2. 75g icing sugar


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3. Whizz the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor to a very fine mixture, then sift into a bowl.
  2. 2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt to soft peaks, then gradually whisk in the caster sugar until thick and glossy. (At this point you can stir in flavour extract, such as peppermint or lemon, and corresponding colouring such as blue or yellow, to your meringue mixture, depending on what kind of macarons you want to make – see chef's tip. Or divide the meringue among different bowls if you want to make more than one colour).
  3. 3. Fold half the almond and icing sugar mixture into the meringue and mix well. Add the remaining half, making sure you use a spatula to cut and fold the mixture until it is shiny and has a thick, ribbon-like consistency as it falls from the spatula. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle.
  4. 4. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Pipe small rounds of the macaroon mixture, about 3cm across, onto the baking sheets. Give the baking sheets a sharp tap on the work surface to ensure a good ‘foot’. Leave to stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to form a slight skin. This is important – you should be able to touch them lightly without any mixture sticking to your finger. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
  5. 5. Meanwhile, make the fillings (unless making chocolate macarons – see chef's tip). In a bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy, then beat in the icing sugar. (You can now add flavouring or nuts, and colour – see chef's tip.) Use to sandwich pairs of macarons together.

Chef's Tip

Macarons taste wonderful plain, but why not add flavouring and colouring? Flavour extracts – such as raspberry, lemon and peppermint – and colourings are available in supermarkets and cake shops. 
        To add flavour and colour to your macarons, in step 2, add around ½ tsp flavour extract, then add the appropriate colouring, a drop at a time, until you reach the desired intensity. Flavour and colour the buttercream in the same way. For chocolate macarons, replace a quarter of the icing sugar with cocoa powder and use Nutella as the filling. For pistachio macarons, replace half the ground almonds with ground pistachios (whizz in a blender or finely chop by hand), and use green food colouring to achieve a pastel green. Fold chopped pistachios through the filling, if you see fit.

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