Pretty, sweet and delicate; Macaroons make a great addition to your Christmas table or as an edible gift to your friends and loved ones. Once you master the basic recipe, you can try experimenting with different flavour combinations.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Makes: 20-25 pieces
180 g icing sugar
180 g fine ground almonds
150 g egg whites (from large eggs)
180 g caster sugar
1 tablespoon cold water
1 teaspoon orange extract
Drop of orange food colouring
- Line 4 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C.
- Place the icing sugar and finely ground almonds into a sieve and sift it to ensure there are no lumps.
- Stir half the egg whites into the icing sugar and almond mixture to make a smooth paste.
- Place the remaining egg whites into the bowl of a mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk the egg whites in the mixer until soft peaks form.
- Place the caster sugar, water, orange extract and orange colouring in a small pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Then, turn the heat up until the syrup reaches 115°C (preferably use a sugar thermometer to check this).
- Turn on the mixer and continue whisking the egg whites on a low speed, pouring in the syrup in a steady stream. Increase the mixer to a medium speed for two minutes then turn it down again and continue whisking for five minutes, or until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
- Fold the icing sugar, almond and egg white paste into the whisked egg whites.
- Spoon the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 5 mm nozzle.
- Pipe 4 cm diameter circles onto the baking trays.
- Leave the macaroons aside for at least 20 minutes before placing into the oven as it helps to form a skin.
- Bake the shells for 12 minutes or until they no longer wobble when you shake the baking tray. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Carefully peel the macaroons off the greaseproof paper.
- Sandwich with the Caramel Chocolate Filling.
CARAMEL CHOCOLATE FILLING
80 g thickened cream
80 g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
85 g caster sugar
80 g butter (room temperature)
- To make the caramel, heat the cream, chocolate and salt in a small saucepan until just before boiling point. Then remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- Heat the sugar in a clean pan, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it turns dark brown.
- Pour into the saucepan with cream, taking care as it will be very hot, and whisk until smooth.
- Add the butter and whisk thoroughly then transfer to a bowl and set aside.