Strawberry Macaroons

Strawberry Macaroons

I really felt it was necessary to share this recipe. Macaroons are not easy to make. Don’t get me wrong, they always taste delicious, but for those of us that have tasted a true macaroon at the likes of Ladurée or Sprüngli, homemade macaroons seem to be almost impossible to make as perfectly as they do.

The recipe I used for these badboys is one by Raymond Blanc who I am slightly obsessed with. How could you possibly dislike this man?! Anyway, back to the macaroons. I closely followed his recipe although I changed the flavourings.

Overall, they turned out extremely tasty, however there were a couple of little details which just weren’t quite right. They had little peaked hats on them which I am putting down to a possible slight over-whipping of the Italian meringue. They cracked slightly which I am also putting down to a possible slight over-whipping of the Italian meringue. Finally, and probably the most upsetting fail on detail is that my pretty pink macaroons didn’t get fluffy feet. Guess what I’m blaming that on?

So, until the next attempt – voilà.

Adapted from Raymond Blanc’s recipe for Chocolate Macaroons from his BBC tv series Kitchen Secrets.

Ingredients:

For the ‘pâté à macaron’:

  • Strawberry flavouring
  • Red food colouring
  • 185g icing sugar
  • 185g ground almonds
  • 2 medium egg whites

For the Italian meringue:

  • 2 medium egg whites
  • 1 drop lemon juice
  • 185g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp water

For the filling:

  • Strawberry jam or conserve


Method:

Preheat oven to 140 °c and place two baking trays onto the middle shelves in order to heat them.

First make the pâté à macaron. Mix together the icing sugar, ground almonds and egg whites until you have made a paste. Now add 1 teaspoon of strawberry flavouring and a few drops of red food colouring until you are happy with the colour. Remember it will end up paler once the Italian meringue has been added.

Set the pâté à macaron aside whilst you make the Italian meringue.

In a large bowl whisk together the egg whites with literally a drop of lemon juice. Do not be tempted to add more! You need to beat this until firm peaks start to form.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan melt the sugar and water on a high heat until it comes to a soft boil.

If using an electric whisk, turn down the speed to the slowest setting and carefully pour in the sugar syrup into one side of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and whisk for around 2 minutes.

Fold the Italian meringue mix into the pâté à macaron and with a spatula gently fold until incorporated.

Transfer to a piping bag and using a small round nozzle, pipe small circles onto sheets of greaseproof paper.

Remove the baking trays from the oven and carefully slide the greaseproof paper with the piped macaroons onto them. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes, then leave to cool entirely before using a palette knife to carefully remove them from the paper.

To assemble the macaroons simply take two macaroons of similar size, carefully spread a little bit of strawberry jam on the bottom of one of them, then stick together.

Makes between 50-60 macaroon discs, 25-30 macaroons

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