I’ve said it before, that I’m not a fan of macarons. They’re too sweet, and I don’t really like the texture of the shells… but they are so much fun to make! Baking to me is a sacred art, one that removes me from this realm and takes me onto another plane of peace and calm and sugar and happiness. So on a particularly bad day, I tackle the most complicated recipes.
A lot of my baker friends ask how I have the patience to work on macarons, but really… it’s so calming. The fact that you need to be 100% focused on the task, and then to have all the conditions around you at just the right state… and after all that concentration, when you peek into the oven after 10 minutes and see the little “feet” forming… it’s like pulling off magic.
I made these little pink macaron shells to fill with passionfruit curd and leftover passionfruit cream cheese frosting. They followed a particularly difficult work week, and I realised how completely stress free I had become while snapping pics of these little delights. I might have to make more macarons tonight.
Makes around 20 macarons (about 40 shells)
- 100g aged egg whites (I simply left them uncovered on the counter for 48 hours, though I’ve read that this is unnecessary)
- 1 tsp meringue powder (optional)
- 110g ground almonds
- 200g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 50g caster sugar
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper
- Run the ground almonds, icing sugar, and salt in the food processor for roughly 30 seconds, then set aside
- Whisk the egg whites and meringue powder in your large stand mixer bowl until soft peaks have formed
- Gradually add the caster sugar to the egg whites, and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form
- Here’s the tricky bit (but easily overcome by watching a few youtube how to vids): dump the dry mixture into the meringue, then with a spatula, just fold it in. I really cannot give you definite instructions for when to stop, but I stopped when the batter was softly oozing (like the lava in that film, Dante’s Peak), and when a dollop over it blended into the rest within 30 seconds (just watch this video, maybe?)
- Once you’ve possibly achieved the correct consistency, transfer the batter into a piping bag, snip off the edge and then pipe out 1″ circles onto the baking trays, roughly 1″ apart
- When you’ve piped everything out, bang the trays on the counter 3-5 times
- Leave the trays out for 30 minutes to an hour, and then bake in a preheated oven at 150C for 18 minutes
- Let the mac shells cool completely before removing them from the paper or they will peel and break off from the bottoms
- Pair the shells up with similar sized ones, then pipe in your filling and sandwich them together