A few years ago I went on a course to learn how to master macaroons. It is not an easy skill and quite time consuming but if you have time and energy a fun way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon.
350g icing sugar
250g ground almonds
215g egg whites (use older eggs)
150g caster sugar
5g powdered food colour
For the macaroon shells:
Preheat the oven to 155’C.
Sift the ground almonds and the icing sugar together.
Whisk the egg whites until white and fluffy and then add the caster sugar to the egg whites and continue whisking until you have stiff, glossy peaks.
Fold the ground almonds and icing sugar into the meringue mixture.
Cut and fold the mixture with a spatula until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth, shiny and has reached the ribbon stage.
Carefully add the food colouring making sure not to overwork the mixture. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag. Pipe 2cm circles in straight lines across a baking sheet lined with parchment. Leave a 1 cm gap between each macaroon shell. (Hold the icing bag straight up and count to 3 when squeezing)
Tap the bottom of the tray of macaroons to remove any large air bubbles and to smooth out the surface. Allow the macaroons to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes or until the macaroon shells are no longer sticky to touch.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. If you are baking lots of macaroons you may need to keep the oven door slightly ajar (with a spoon or paper) to prevent steam building up in the oven. After 15 minutes, check the macaroons are cooked by gently lifting a macaroon at the edge of a tray. If the test macaroon does not stick, allow the tray of macaroons to finish cooking on the tray as it cools.
Allow the macaroons to cool completely before filling.
Allow the macaroon shells to cool completely before filling.
Fill half of the macaroon shells with the buttercream and then top with a second macaroon shell.
Serve with a light dusting of icing sugar.