Having attempted them before and failing miserably I knew I was going to need professional help. I signed myself up to a course at Angel Food Bakery and left three hours later with a box of handmade macarons, a pocket full of top tips and my head held high.
We worked out that we needed to make 264 macarons in total(!) and decided on three festive flavours, Pistachio, Mulled Wine and Clementine. After a few deep breaths we tackled our first batch...
Here are some photos from along the way:
I'm not going to lie a few came out dodgy, one batch we forgot to put in half of the almond/sugar mixture and another we burnt badly but having said that, they aren't as hard to make as you might think.
Here is our tried and tested recipe for French Macarons:
65g Egg whites (We used liquid egg whites by Two Chicks. You MUST leave the box out overnight so they can get to room temperature before baking)
19g Caster Sugar
65g Ground Almonds
145g Icing Sugar
1/4 tsp powdered food colouring
1. Heat the oven to 160 degrees
2. Using a whisk (we used a hand whisk and they turned out fine!), whisk the egg whites until they turn white, then slowly pour in the caster sugar. Continue to whisk for another 6 minutes. Towards the end of the 6 minutes you can add in your food colouring.
3. Weigh out the dry ingredients and sift them both together into a bowl.
4. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients to the egg white mixture using a spatula.
5. Now get your trays ready. Use baking paper to lay over your baking trays and use a 10p coin to make a template on a piece of a4 paper. Place the paper underneath your baking paper for guidance.
5. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle inside and pipe out 10p coin sized blobs of mixture.
6. Dip your finger into a glass of tepid water to smooth out any imperfections on your macarons
7. Leave in a dry place for a crust to form. We found this varied according to the weather but typically took 30 mins. Once a slight crust has formed they are ready for the oven. If the batter sticks to your finger they need longer.
8. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool.
9. The macarons should lift from the baking paper without any problem but use a knife carefully if some are stuck. Now pop on a wire rack to cool completely.
10. Make your buttercream, pipe onto one macaron and sandwich with another.
11. Time to devour!