Supposedly difficult: Macaroons had been on my "to do" list for a while. When they say hard to make, i think what they actually mean is: Its hard to choose what flavor to make them in. I was tossing up between coffee, lemon, and caramel. in the end i decided to go with lemon.
The icing is heavenly, and works well. As the bitter lemon cuts through the sweetness, creating perfection (well in my eyes).
These are my first batch of a macaroons (as you can probably tell). Next time i bake these, hopefully they will be slightly less cracked and perhaps more uniformed in size, but still taste heavenly. Although i cannot remember if i have actually had a "real" macaroon, as i am always off put by the prices.
for the macaroon batter
130g ground almonds
170g icing sugar
3 egg whites
75g caster sugar
yellow food colouring(pastes/gels are best)
1. place the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and blitz until mixture is as fine as possible. When blitzed, sieve into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
2. place egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until the egg whites hold peaks, that are neither too soft nor too stiff.
3. continue beating slowly, adding the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time.When you have added half the sugar, stop beating , put some yellow food colouring on the whisk. Continue adding the sugar and add more colouring until you reach your desired colour.
4. beat for a final 30 seconds.
5. carefully scrape the egg whites onto the almond mixture.
6. using a narrow rubber spatula or metal spoon fold the almond mix and egg whites together by scraping around the side of the bowl then cutting through the middle. Repeat, ensuring you incorporate the ingredients from the bottom of the bowl, until you have a smooth batter, which drops in a thick, magma-like way. If the batter is too thick, air pockets will get trapped and cause the macaroon shells to crack.Too thin, and the macaroons will spread out and be unusable.
7. Carefully fill a piping bag and blob even sized circles on baking paper.
8. gently bang the baking tray 3 or 4 times,on the work surface to release any massive air bubbles.
9. with a damp finger gently flatten any peaks.
10. leave the macaroons in a draught-free place to form a shiny coating.
11. preheat the oven to 170°c/gas 3
12. once rested pop in oven for 12 mins, at 4 minute intervals,open the oven door then quickly close it. This releases hot air and humidity. After the 3×4 mins, take the macaroons out.
13. cool before removing from baking paper. peel the paper from the macaroons, not the macaroons from the paper.
14. fill with the buttercream below, sandwich and enjoy.
for the buttercream
230g icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
1.beat the butter and icing sugar together.
2.add the lemon juice and zest and beat until combined.