Despite getting off to a shaky start, macarons and I are now the best of friends! While they’ve earned a reputation as being decidedly difficult to make, once you find a reliable recipe (which I finally have), they’re great fun to make & can be flavoured and decorated in countless ways.
This recipe keeps the shells unflavoured and I’ve decided to use a tangy lemon filling to make the most of my family’s bountiful supply of beautiful fresh lemons.
Ingredients (makes around 40 macaron shells, 20 paired)
225g pure icing sugar
130g almond meal
115g egg whites
60g caster sugar
1g bicarb soda
A drop or two of yellow food colouring
As much luscious lemon curd as required or, alternatively, shop bought lemon curd/butter
Preheat oven to 150°C fan forced. Grease and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
Separately sift icing sugar and almond meal into medium bowls or over sheets of baking paper. Repeat process 3 times and re-weigh ingredients (I know this seems excessive but trust me, it’s worth it). You will need to top up the ingredients as you may have lost some in the sifting process. Sift icing sugar and almond meal into a bowl and repeat, ensure there are no lumps.
Whisk egg whites until doubled in size using electric beaters or an electric stand mixer. While still whisking, gradually add caster sugar, bicarb and food colouring, whisking until mixture forms very stiff peaks.
Gently fold almond meal mixture into meringue using a spatula until incorporated.
Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 9mm round nozzle (approximately). Hold nozzle close to the baking tray and pipe 3cm diameter circles onto prepared trays – don’t make a circular motion à la soft serve. Tap the underside of the tray to allow macarons to settle and air bubbles to escape. If there is still a little peak on top, dip a teaspoon in water and use the back to smooth the surface. Leave to rest for 15-20 minutes or until the macarons form a skin (this is VERY important as it will give your macaron its lovely ‘foot’).
Bake for 12 minutes. Remove trays from the oven and allow macarons to cool on the tray. They will still be soft at this stage but will firm up on cooling.
Once cool, remove from tray, pipe filling onto half the macarons and sandwich with a second macaron.
Makes around 40 macarons (20 paired)
Adapted from Callum Hann’s ‘Ginger Macarons’ –http://www.masterchef.com.au/recipes/ginger-macarons.htm