Jane’s Patisserie’s Macarons
Macrons have a reputation for being technically challenging, but with the help of Jane's Patisserie's failsafe recipe, you'll soon master this French classic.
From the book
An afternoon tea classic. These pink vanilla macarons are filled with a dainty pink buttercream. They may look like an intimidating bake, but honestly they are worth the effort. They taste delicious, they are light, and you can customise them to whatever colours you prefer, or fill with other buttercream flavours. Heaven!
|100g||egg whites (about 3 medium eggs)|
|½ tsp||pink food colouring|
|1 tsp||vanilla extract|
|For the filling:|
|50g||unsalted butter, at room temperature|
|½ tsp||pink food colouring|
You will need: a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (0.5cm), 2–3 baking trays and an electric whisk.
Prep: 2 hours Cook: 18–20 minutes Decorate: 30 minutes Lasts: 5 days, in the fridge.
Sift the icing sugar and the ground almonds into a large bowl. It is very important that you sift it, as this will prevent any lumps. To be really sure you have no lumps, you can sift twice.
Put the egg whites into a separate large bowl and whisk them to stiff peaks. Start adding the caster sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it is all incorporated, then whisk for a further minute. Add the food colouring and whisk until combined and you reach your desired colour.
Add the meringue mixture to the bowl of icing sugar and ground almonds, along with the vanilla extract. Carefully fold the mixture together, making sure that it is all combined. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the mixture around the edges of the bowl (this is called ‘macaronage’).
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (0.5cm) and line 2–3 baking trays with parchment paper. Carefully pipe the mixture onto the lined trays, making circles about 2cm in diameter. Space them well apart, as they will spread in the oven.
Once you have piped all your macarons, tap the trays onto the work surface 5 or 6 times to get any air bubbles out, and set aside for 1 hour to form a skin. Towards the end of the hour, preheat your oven to 150°C/130°C fan.
Bake the macarons for 18–20 minutes. You can check they are done by carefully lifting off one of the shells – it should come off cleanly. Remove from the oven, and leave to cool fully on the trays while you make the filling.
Beat the butter on its own so it is smooth. Add the icing sugar and pink food colouring and beat again until fluffy. Carefully peel the macarons off the parchment paper and then pipe a small amount of buttercream on to one macaron, then sandwich with another macaron. Put them into the fridge for the buttercream to set for an hour or so, and then enjoy.
CUSTOMISE: You can colour these whatever shade you like – I just chose pink! You can flavour them with any flavouring you like as well, such as 1 tsp peppermint/orange/lemon/ coffee extract. The filling can be made any other colour you want, or can be flavoured. Or, instead of buttercream, you can fill the macarons with chocolate ganache (see page 190).