Macaroons are the ultimate sweet treat, perfect for afternoon tea with friends or an after dinner dessert (frankly, we’ve enjoyed them for breakfast on more than one occasion…) – below is a wonderfully complex recipe that’ll show you exactly how to make a delicious offering of sugar-soaked heaven. Alternatively, just pop down to The Penny Market, where you can pick up delicious macaroons and more!
125g/4½oz icing sugar
125g/4½oz ground almonds
90g/3½oz free-range egg whites
2 tbsp water
110g/4oz caster sugar
food colouring (optional)
desiccated coconut, for sprinkling (optional)
150ml/5fl oz double or whipped cream, whipped
1 – Preheat the oven to 170/C/325F/Gas 3 and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2 – Put the icing sugar, ground almonds and 40g/1½oz egg whites together in a large bowl and mix to a paste.
3 – Put the water and caster sugar in a small pan and heat gently to melt the sugar, then turn up the heat and boil until the mixture starts to go syrupy and thickens – I don’t use a thermometer but if you prefer to use one, it should read 115C/239F at this stage.
4 – Whisk the remaining 50g/2oz egg whites in a small bowl until medium-stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl, then pour in the sugar syrup, whisking until the mixture becomes stiff and shiny. For coloured macaroons, add a few drops of food colouring. Tip this meringue mixture into the almond paste mixture and stir gently until the becomes stiff and shiny again.
5 – Spoon into the piping bag. Pipe a little mixture under each corner of the baking paper to stop it sliding around. With the bag held vertically, pipe 4cm/1½in flat circles onto the lined tray, about 2cm/¾in apart, twisting the bag after each one. The mixture should be quite loose to give a smooth finish. The piping will leave a small ‘tip’ on each circle so, when they’re all piped, give the tray 2–3 slams on a flat surface to flatten them. At this stage, sprinkle with desiccated coconut if you want.
6 – Leave to stand for 30 minutes to form a skin then bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes with the door slightly ajar until firm. Remove from the oven, lift the paper off the baking tray and leave the macaroons to cool on the paper.
7 – When cool, sandwich the macaroons together with whipped cream. They can be kept for a couple of days, if they hang around that long!
Good luck! Alternatively, meet me at The Pandan Bakery every Saturday from 9AM!