Macarons are really expensive to buy from patisserie shops and have become iconic with fancy afternoon teas but the reason they’re expensive is because they’re devilishly tricky to make. I’ve practiced these a few times and I’ve just about got the hang of them so I wanted to share my recipe with you.
The key is having your dry ingredients super fine, throw away anything that doesn’t go through your sieve. Here I’m using ground almonds but next time I will try almond flour as this might have a finer texture.
Try to use your fingers when you’re separating the egg yolks from the egg whites as they’re less likely to break this way than using the shells. Use the gaps in your fingers to let the egg white slide through while holding onto the yolk. If you’re not very confident, crack each egg into a separate bowl so that if you accidentally crack one of the egg yolks, you won’t contaminate any of the others. When you’re beating your eggs, you should eventually get stiff peaks which don’t fall out of the bowl. The true test is whether you can hold the bowl on top of your head without the eggs falling out!
Here I’m making salted caramel flavoured macarons but you could swap out the flavourings for whatever you prefer. I’ve done plain vanilla ones before but you could add anything you like. You can add any colourings you like – the gel ones are much better than the liquid colouring but you don’t have to add colours, I don’t think this salted caramel recipe needs any added colour – they look great as they are.
Try to resist the temptation to open the oven door while the macarons are baking because they’ll start to fall flat and won’t rise properly. I cheated by buying pre-made icing to use as the filling for my macarons but I’m pretty sure nobody would notice! You can use any flavour you wish, here I’m using salted caramel but I’ve also done these using a chocolate filling which is equally delicious.
Once you’re all finished you’ll have to resist eating them for at least a day when they’ll taste much better after being in an airtight container to “bloom”. Then enjoy and shout loud and proud to everyone you know about your delicious homemade macarons!
Salted Caramel Macarons – The Recipe
210g icing sugar
95g ground almonds
3 egg whites, separated
50g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salted caramel flavouring
prepared salted caramel icing
- Start by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl and sift the ground almonds into the same bowl.
- Add half of the teaspoon of salt into the bowl and mix together, then set aside.
- In a separate large bowl beat the egg whites with the remaining half teaspoon of salt using an electric hand whisk until soft white peaks form. Gradually add in the sugar and continue to beat until fully incorporated and stiff peaks form.
- Add in the salted caramel flavourings and mix until incorporated. If you’re using food colouring gel, this is when you’d add it.
- Add a third of the almond mix to the egg whites and gently fold until incorporated. Continue until the whole mix is combined.
- Transfer the mix into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and prepare your baking sheets covered with greaseproof paper.
- Pipe four dots onto the baking sheet in each corner and place the greaseproof paper on top, using the batter to help the sheet stick to the baking tray.
- Pipe the macarons onto the greaseproof paper in 3cm circles, spaced 1 inch away from each other.
- Tap the baking sheet onto the table about ten times to let out any air bubbles
- Let the macarons rest at room temperature for about an hour, while they develop a skin and they should feel dry to the touch
- Preheat the oven to 130 degrees celsius and bake the macrons for 17 minutes until well risen and you can see their feet.
- Transfer the macarons to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before icing.
- Spoon some of the salted caramel icing into a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe a dollop of icing onto half of the macarons. Gently take another macaron shell and sandwich the two together.
- Repeat with the remaining macarons and icing.
- Store for 24 hours in an airtight container to “bloom”..
What’s your favourite macaron flavour?