On our recent #NextInParis trip, we wanted to get a feel for anything and everything Parisian. Naturally, this lead us to sample some of the foodie delights of the captial – including delectable chocolate eclairs, scrumptious French onion soup and of course the almost-too-good-to-eat macarons. We were lucky enough to not only taste them but have a go at making the little treats – so we thought we’d share the classic macaron recipe as well as a few tips and tricks we learnt (or at least tried to) along the way.
Apron on and whisks at the ready? Firstly let’s start with the recipe!
For 16-18 macarons will need:
3 aged egg whites
4 tbsp caster sugar
125g ground almonds
175g icing sugar
A few drops of food colouring of your choice
Filling such as whipped cream or ganache – these are pistachio flavoured cream!
1. Whip egg whites until they become frothy.
2. Add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time.
3. Continue to whip until the mixture forms glossy, white peaks.
4. Carefully fold in the ground almonds and icing sugar without deflating the meringue.
5. Add a couple of drops of food colouring and slowly mix in.
6. Using a piping bag, pipe small similar sized circles onto the lined baking tray.
7. Let the shells dry for 10-15 minutes until they are dry to touch.
8. Preheat your oven to 150°C/Gas mark 2.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
10. Let them cool on the paper for 5 minutes before lifting away with a spatula.
We learnt the trick to successful macarons is all in the preparation of ingredients and equipment! So what did we learn?
● The meringue biscuits are all the same almond flavour – it is the food colouring and cream filling that sets them apart.
● Age your egg whites 2-3 days before by separating them in a bowl and keeping in the fridge. This will reduce the fat content and help them to whip easier.
● Bring egg whites to room temperature before beginning the recipe.
● Line your baking trays with two sheets of baking paper and draw evenly spread out circles as a guide. Perhaps use a spice jar or dressing bottle for a circle template.
● Sieve the ground almonds and discard any lumps and bumps.
● Use a gel food colouring for a more vivid colour.
● The mixture should form glossy opaque peaks.
● A pinch of cream of tartar can help form perfect peaks.
● Use a piping tip such as a 1A to pipe out the macarons.
● Don’t be tempted to open the oven whilst baking as this will deflate them!
● Persevere – you’ll be a macaron pro before you know it!
For more pictures of our trip, why not check out the #NextInParis editorial?