Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mothers Day Macarons

Firstly, Happy Mothers Day to my lovely mum who gave me a love of food - she endured the many burnt offerings I produced in my Home Economics classes in school and didn't murder me when I broke one of her precious Pyrex dishes.  Mum, you're a legend & I salute you!!! Unfortunately Mum has Type 2 diabetes, so rarely gets to sample my sweet treats although she does have a weakness for Pear Gingerbread on the sly...

Last autumn, when we were on holidays in France, I bought a gorgeous Macaron kit which came with a recipe book, a piping bag & nozzles.  I soon discovered that the bag was less than useless, but the macaron recipe was superb - I was initially put off by the 15 steps required, but after a dreadful experience with a supposedly foolproof recipe, I gave it a go.  The results were outstandingly gorgeous and very delicious too.  I used food colouring pastes to get the lurid orange & green colours (it was my first time using them and I can confirm that less is more!!!).  I also used some of my Boyajian citrus oils for the orange macarons & the oil did alter the consistency so I'd recommend using an extract instead.  I also use Two Chicks Egg Whites for macarons & meringues as you need so much egg white and unless you've a recipe lined up to use the yolks, they tend to get thrown away, which is a criminal waste... the egg white carton is far more economical.  This makes about 60 macaron shells

Mint Chocolate, Chocolate Orange & Vanilla Macarons

Mothers Day Macarons

120g Egg Whites (about 4 egg whites)
120g Ground Almonds
220g Icing Sugar
40g Caster Sugar
Food colouring/flavouring of your choice

Preheat your oven to 150c/Gas Mark 2

Put the ground almonds & icing sugar into a blender & whizz to a very fine powder (you might think that it's not necessary, given that both ingredients are so powdery, but the difference it makes is phenomenal)

Sieve the almond/sugar powder onto a large baking sheet & bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes until just starting to colour.  Remove from the oven & allow to cool.

Beat your egg whites until very stiff & then add the caster sugar, beating until the mixture is stiff again.

Now add your colourings & flavourings and continue beating (the mixture will loosen up a bit when you put in the paste or liquid) until stiff.

Time to add the cooled almond/sugar mix.  You need to fold it into the meringue using a spatula so you don't beat all of the air out of the meringue & end up with flat biscuits...  When the almond & sugar have been completely incorporated into the meringue, transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a round nozzle.  Line two large baking sheets with greaseproof paper.

Pipe evenly-sized small round blobs onto the paper, allowing about a 2cm gap between each, as they will expand a little.  Give the baking sheets a bit of a slap onto a hard surface to "settle" them & to lose the little tip made by the piping nozzle and leave them to stand for 20 minutes before baking for 10-12 minutes.

You know they're cooked when you see the 
little frilly "collar" on the base

Remove from the oven & let them cool on the tray for 10 minutes before peeling off & transferring to cooling racks.  If the macarons stick, just transfer the whole sheet to a rack & try again in 10 minutes.

Once cooled, sandwich with your filling of choice - seedless jam, Nutella, ganache or whipped cream all work really well - and eat.  They are really irrestible so probably won't last too long, although they will keep for up to a week in an airtight container (wishful thinking...)


  1. Very fancy! I could murder a few of those right now!

  2. You live in the land of Macarons where you can pick them up in any supermarket (and trust me, I've sampled most of them in my time!!!). Didn't realise how easy they were until I gave them a go...

  3. They look gorgeous! Thanks for linking to the Two Chicks Egg Whites, I have often bemoaned not being able to buy whites separately for meringue making.

  4. Superquinn & Dunnes are both stockists - about €3.49 a carton

  5. Wow these look great fab colours! Must give them a go.

  6. I could sell these on the Glorious Twelfth *snigger*. Those food colour pastes are very potent... use half of what you think is enough! Manuel & The Cousin would scoff the lot

  7. We freeze egg whites in small containers when we've made a sauce with the yolks. Use an address sticker to label the tubs. The macaroons I make are harder and not sandwiched, they make a great treat for non wheat eaters.