|Ingredients (makes x 40 medium sized macaroons)
180g ground almonds
Top tip: Macaroons can keep for up to a week if kept chilled in the fridge. Sealed plastic containers work well as do biscuit tins. You can also freeze them for up to three months. Simply defrost them an hour before serving them at room temperature.
2. Whisk the egg whites (at room temperature) to glossy firm peaks adding the caster sugar gradually. If making coloured macarons, then add a dash of colouring towards the end of mixing.
3. Sift together your ground almonds with the icing sugar using a medium sieve and mix well.
4. Incorporate the beaten egg whites into the dry ingredients using a large spatula. Mix well. (There is no need to “fold” the mixture.)
5. Work on the mixture using a plastic scraper. Press down well with the scraper, going back and forward, to press out the oxygen from the whites. Do this for no more than 5 minutes until you have a smooth mixture. The result should fall like a “ribbon” off the scraper.
6. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a plain 1cm round tip.
7. Pipe out 3cm rounds, leaving a good space between each as they do spread out.
8. Leave for about 30 minutes to set.
9. While they are setting preheat the oven to 160°C fan setting. If you do not have a fan oven you may need to make the temperature slightly higher.
10. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 10-12 minutes.
11. When ready, leave on the baking tray until cool then scrape them all off carefully with a palette knife.
200g dark chocolate (at least 64% cocoa solids)
1 Follow the basic macaron recipe, but add 10g cocoa powder (or brown colouring) to the mix.
2 To make the ganache, break the chocolate into small pieces into a bowl. In a saucepan, heat the cream and coffee until nearly boiling then pour over the chocolate.
4 Leave to cool but be careful not to wait too long as the chocolate hardens quite quickly. Transfer to a piping bag, arrange the macaron shells in pairs, pipe filling onto one shell of each pair and assemble the macarons.
5 Leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours, preferably 36, before serving.
Pistachio Macaroon Recipe
1 Follow the basic macaroon recipe, adding a dash of green and caramel colouring (3 parts green to 1 part caramel).
2 Cream the butter and set aside.
3 In a saucepan, bring the milk, pistachio paste and ground pistachios to near boiling. (If you have no pistachio paste, add extra ground pistachios and a few drops of almond extract.)
4 In a bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar and custard powder.
5 Add the pistachio milk to the egg mix and return to the pan, whisking constantly until it thickens, then take off the heat and cool.
6 When cool, gradually mix in the creamed butter and transfer to a piping bag.
7 Arrange the macaron shells in pairs, pipe filling onto one shell of each pair and assemble the macaroons.
8 Chill in the fridge for about 24 hours before serving.
Recipes taken from Jill Colonna’s Mad about Macaroons, all recipes and photographs copyright © Jill Colonna.