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(makes ± 28 when put together with icing)

  • 96 g egg whites (not fresh eggs) at room temperature
  • 120 g castor sugar
  • 120 g icing sugar
  • 120 g ground almonds or almond flour

Baking parchment, silicone mat or macaron silicon mat with indents placed on a baking sheet.
Weigh all ingredients accurately.
Blend the icing sugar and ground almonds finely in blender or coffee grinder by pulsing it a few times. A fine mixture ensures a smooth shiny outside on macaron. I used my coffee grinder and blend small amounts at a time.
Whip up the egg whites to stiff peak form and then add the castor sugar and mix until dissolved.
With a spatula fold the almond/icing mixture into the egg/castor sugar. It might look like the mixture is too dry but it does come together eventually. Once it’s moist and well blended, use the spatula to beat all the air bubbles out. This is quite important for a smooth perfect texture. When you lift the spatula out of the mixture it should run off with the consistency of lava and fold onto itself into ribbons when moving the spatula while it’s dripping off.
At this point you can add your colour gel or paste (do not use liquid food colouring as it will make your mixture too runny). If you want to make a few colours, split the mixture into bowls and colour each batch. Start by adding very little colour and rather add more if needed. Colour does fade during the baking process so it needs to be darker than what you need it to be when baked. Blend the colour in well making sure you scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl well. I found that spectral colour paste works perfectly but I’ve not been able to find it in SA. I opted for a gel in this case.

I prefer not to flavour the macaron shells but only the filling.
Put the mixture into a plastic piping bag (I put the piping bag into a big glass jar like a Consol bottle and fold the extra plastic over the edges so that it’s easier to fill the bag). Cut off the tip of bag and pipe your rounds into prepared parchment or baking paper with circles on or on the silicone macaron mat. Start on the outside and end with a twisting motion in the middle. You will get the hang of this with practice. I’m still trying too!
Once you have piped all the macaron rounds give the tray about 3 hard taps on the counter surface to get air bubbles out. This is very important as it ensures a good “footing” for your macaron. Should you see any bubbles on the surface use a toothpick to break them.
If it’s raining or very humid when you bake macarons then leave the tray for about 2 hours so the tops can dry. Otherwise half hour to an hour is fine. You can test by lightly touching the top of a macaron. If it’s dry to the touch it’s ready for the oven. I left mine for an hour.
Preheat oven to 140°C (in my gas oven I put onto 150°C and turned down to 140°C once I put the tray in oven). Bake for 16 minutes. In my gas oven I switched the oven off and left the tray in for another 5-8mins before removing. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before trying to lift them off very carefully. Store in airtight container before and after putting them together with icing. They can be frozen successfully but I have not tried yet.
I hope your macarons turn out perfectly.

  • Butter icing:
  • 100 g soft butter
  • 250 g icing sugar (sifted well)
  • approx 30 ml milk
  • gel colour
  • flavouring essence of your choice

Cream the butter and icing sugar, beating well until smooth. Put enough milk in to make the mixture light and creamy and of spreading consistency. Add the colouring and essence a bit at a time until you get the correct colour and flavour. Blend well.
Pipe a bit of icing onto each half of the macaron and carefully put them together but do not press or the shell will crack.

Recipe and photo: Elsabie Templeton

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