Add something extra to the Christmas party this year and make some beautiful French macarons with our top tips!
Step 1: Follow the measurements.
110g ground almonds
225g icing sugar
50g caster sugar
125g egg whites (approx. 4 eggs)
It's really important to weigh everything out, especially the egg whites! You have to give yourself the best start so do that by paying attention to what the scale says!
Step 2: Whip those egg whites right.
The thing I always teach in my classes is that you have to whip those egg whites (with a normal electric hand whisk or fancy machine if you have one) to within an inch of their life. You need solid egg whites so that when you add in your icing sugar and almonds, the meringue doesn't quickly become liquid with all the air out of it.
Step 3: Add ground almonds and icing sugar and mix without folding
After whisking your eggs whites to within an inch of their life to make them solid, add your almonds and icing sugar in two batches. Mix until the dry ingredients are completely absorbed by the meringue and you can't see any icing sugar hiding at the bottom of the bowl. Be careful! You don't want to do this so much that you take out all of the air and are then left with a runny mixture that won't stay in a circle shape once you've piped it.
Step 4: Pipe succinctly and leave to rest (be patient)
You can use little circle templates though we advise against the trays that have cut outs where the macaron shells go into. These don't tend to give a flat bottom of your macaron, more like a concave shape so either find a flat silicone tray with circles cut out or create your own. Leave well alone and don't put into the oven until the macarons have what's called a 'skin' on them. You know this has happened when you touch the macaron and no mixture comes off on your finger.
Step 5: Cook for 12 minutes but rotate half way through
Once the macarons have their skin, we cook between 155-160 degrees in an electric fan assisted oven and six minutes in we rotate the trays and place them on a different level. We do that because it ensures more even cooking (sometimes a trop tray can be too hot or too cold so we change it about). Once rotated, we bake for another six minutes. That's 12 minutes cooking time in total.
Step 6: Cool and fill
Once your macarons are out of the oven and have cooled down, you can pair them up and fill them with anything from a buttercream to jam or chocolate ganache. I'm nuts about Nutella so sometimes I put Nutella in there too!
Step 7: Don't eat immediately!
Macarons should sit in the fridge or freezer once they have been made in order for the filling to melt into the shell a little. That is how you get the more mallow like consistency rather than a hard biscuit. The temptation is real but once you match them up and add the filling, please put away for 24 hours!
Step 8: If confused, come to one of our macaron making classes
They are held twice a month and are great fun!