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EASY MACARONS

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26 minutes
Cook: 16 minutes | Servings: 10 - 15

EASY MACARONS

Macarons get such bad press about being difficult to make. They may not be the easiest, but are not so bad, as you can see in the following recipe. You just need to bear a few points in mind and before you know it, you will be creating perfect macarons every time.

Take a look at my top tips for making macarons.

This is the basic recipe for macarons with a few extra tips to help a beginner on their way. From this recipe, the macarons can then be elaborated on by changing the colours and flavours of the fillings, see the note at the beginning of the recipe.

To create even-sized macarons, it is best to either create a template on greaseproof paper or buy a specially designed silicon macaron mat.

  • 100 g / 1 cup icing / powder sugar
  • 100 g / 1 cup ground almonds
  • 2 medium, free-range egg whites
  • small pinch salt
  • 55 g / ¼ cup caster / fine sugar
  • For the filling:
  • 150 g / 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 75 g / 2/3 cup icing / powder sugar

This is the basic recipe for macarons. You can make coloured macarons by (sparingly) using a food colouring paste rather than liquid food colouring. The colour should be added to the egg whites before whisking.

Macarons need a steady, lowish temperature to cook properly, too high and they easily burn, too low and they don’t cook through. These temperatures are a guideline, adjust to suit your oven.

Preheat the oven to 140°C/ 300°F no fan.

Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds into a large mixing bowl. Throw any lumps left behind away. Mix the two together.
In a separate, scrupulously clean bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks. Add the caster / fine sugar, a little at a time and continue to whisk until the whites are very thick and glossy (ideally, you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the whites falling out – go on, I dare you !) Gently stir in the icing sugar and almond mix. The mixture will lose some air and become quite loose, don’t worry, this is the way it should be.
Using a piping bag with a 1 cm / 1/3″ nozzle, fill with the macaron mixture. Place the silicon mat (see note in the introduction) or paper template onto a baking sheet. Pipe small blobs onto the sheet remembering that less is more at this stage because the mixture will settle and form into the allotted spaces.
Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to help the macaron mixture to settle and to break any air bubbles, then leave to dry for 20 minutes – the surface of the macaron will become smooth and shiny
Bake the macarons in the preheated for 7 – 8 minutes minutes, open the door to release any steam, close the oven door and cook for a further 7 – 8 minutes. The macarons are cooked when they feel firm and are slightly risen.
Slide the mat or greaseproof paper onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely
Do not be tempted to remove the macarons from the mat until they are cold or you will break them.

Make the Filling:
Beat the softened butter until it is fluffy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. At this point you can beat in any flavourings you may choose.
Place approx ½ a teaspoonof the filling to the flat side of one macaroon and sandwich together with another then twist ever so slightly to create a bond. Continue with the remaining macarons.
The macarons can be eaten immediately but will benefit from being refrigerated for 24 hours (that’s if you can resist them for that long) as this will make them even more chewy and tasty.

Nota:
Die amandels het ek in skyfies gekoop wat nie die bruin om het nie, en in meultjie gesit om fyn te maak.

First photo: Lynette van Zyl
Tweede foto en nota: Debbie Edwards
Macarons! Geel het suurlemoensmeer vulsel, oranje het ganache met ‘n klein bietjie lemoen olie en pienk het botterversiersel met rooswater. My amandels is nie geblansjeer nie – dis waar die spikkels vandaan kom.

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