I am going to France this week, so I thought a little french number would be the most appropriate post for this week. Yes I will be searching for patisseries and inspiration, the problem is it is a skiing holiday and small patisserie shops might be in short supply.
Macaroons are not the easiest to make but with a little determination, practice and loads of patience you can achieve something quite remarkable. They look good and taste even better, the flavour combinations and colours you can use are endless. I have made coffee and strawberry ones, try lemon, passion fruit, raspberry or dark chocolate. They are small but mighty, don’t skimp on the flavouring, the whole idea is to have this amazing flavour burst. They keep quite well but are extremely fragile.
For the macaroons preheat oven to 160C. Mix together sifted icing sugar (definitely you don’t want any lumps) and ground almonds. Beat the egg whites in a bowl preferably stainless steel to a thick foam, add the caster sugar flavouring and colouring and continue for about minute. Fold almond and sugar mixture until all well mixed. Put mixture in the piping bag with 1 cm nozzle. Pipe macaroons about 3cm diameter, spaced well between (they will spread a little) on the baking sheet lined with silicone baking parchment. Bake macaroons for 12 min, let them cool before you handle them. Where is the difficult bit I hear you ask…well you must get the macaroon consistency right, too thick and it is difficult to pipe, to runny and you will end up with a flat disk resembling colourful crisps, and you must know your oven, 160C is a guide and in some ovens this will be too hot causing the top of the macaroons to crack, my advice is to start wit a small batch at 140C especially if it is fan assisted oven. It is worth persevering, who knows you might be the one who gets it right the first time!