Macaroons are renowned for being difficult to make…but with a few tips to make it easier – you should get some great results

Macaroons need a steady, lowish temperature to cook properly, so too high, and they quickly burn, too low and they don’t cook through. These temperatures are only a guideline, adjust to suit your own oven.

Preheat the oven to 140C/ 300F. Do not use a fan if possible but do not worry if you have no alternative, the results will still be good.

Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds into a large mixing bowl. Throw any lumps left behind away and mix the two together.

In a separate, extremely clean bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks.

Add the caster / fine sugar, a little at a time and continue to whisk until the whites are thick and glossy (If you dare, hold the bowl upside down without the whites falling out! Don’t blame us though if you have an accident) Gently stir in the icing sugar and almond mix.

The mixture will lose some air and become quite loose, this is the way it should be.

Using a piping bag with a 1cm / 1/3” nozzle, fill with the macaroon mixture. Place the silicon mat (see note in the introduction) or paper template onto a baking sheet.

Pipe small blobs onto the sheet remembering that less is more at this stage because the mixture will settle and form into the allotted spaces.

Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to help the macaroon mixture to settle and to break any air bubbles, then leave to dry for 20 minutes – the surface of the macaroon will become smooth and shiny

Bake the macaroons in the preheated for 7 – 8 minutes open the door to release any steam, close the oven door and cook for a further 7 – 8 minutes. The macaroons are cooked when they feel firm and are slightly risen.
Slide the mat or greaseproof paper onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool thoroughly. Do not be tempted to remove the macaroons from the mat until they are cold or you will break them.

Make the Filling

Beat the softened butter until it is fluffy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. At this point you can add in any flavourings, you may choose. See examples below.

Place approx 1/2 a tsp of the filling to the flat side of one macaroon and sandwich together with another then twist ever so slightly to create a bond. Continue with the remaining macaroons.

The macaroons can be eaten immediately but will benefit from being refrigerated for 24 hours as this will make them even more chewy.

Ingredients

100g (1 cup) icing (powder) sugar
100g (1 cup) ground almonds
2 medium, free-range egg whites
Small pinch salt
55g (¼ cup) caster (fine) sugar
For the filling:
150g (2/3 cups) unsalted butter, softened
75 g (2/3 cup) icing /powder sugar and tasty.

top tips

1 use a macaroon mat – designed just for the job

2 use colour paste not liquid as it changes the texture

3 Make sure you weigh all ingredients and sieve the icing sugar

4 ensure the eggs to be used are at room temperature

5 make sure that your whisk and bowl are grease free

6 take your time and add the sugar in stages to the egg whites and use a thin spatula folding quickly yet gently

7 use a round nozzle in your piping bag

8 make sure that you place them on a cooling tray and wait until they are cold before you remove the maceroons.. otherwise they will stick