Monday 15 August 2011

How to: bake lovely macaroons

MMMM macaroons
I'm not going to lie, the festival (as previously mentioned) has completely taken over my life & these lovely macaroons were baked way back in January this year. I also had my superhero mum (who is an incredible baker) to lead the way as we were worried macaroons would be tricky! But they were much (much much much) easier than expected, and if we can make them, you can too! 

First of all, preheat your oven to 160 degrees. As mentioned before I tend to ignore this instruction, but for macaroons you want to be on your best baking behaviour, so just turn it on. Then get your ingredients! You'll need the following:
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 75g caster sugar

Start off by putting the icing sugar and almonds into a food processor and mix until it is very fine and dust-like. A spoon ain't going to cut it, I'm afraid. Then sift (again, I hate sifting, but make the effort) this into a bowl.

In another bowl (which must be SPOTLESS) whisk your egg whites with a tiny bit of salt until they form soft peaks. It is so important your bowl is clean, as egg whites are very sensitive. Once the mixture is peaky, whisk in your caster sugar bit by bit. Add in your food colouring at this point, and remember to do it drop by drop - you can always add more colour but you can't take it away! 

Now gently fold half of the icing sugar/almond mixture into the egg whites. Gentle is an important word here - you've put all the effort into putting air into the mixture & you don't want to ruin that by mixing it with a heavy hand! Gradually add in the rest, cutting and folding the mixture until it is shiny and thick. 

These were the enormous ones. Try to exercise restraint in piping!

At this point you want to get out flat baking trays and cover them in baking paper. Add your macaroon mixture to a piping bag, and carefully pipe small splodges onto the sheets. Try and get them all the same size and shape and initially pipe smaller circles than you think necessary. Otherwise you will end up with gigantic macaroons, like we did (although this is not necessarily a bad thing!).

Now, lift your baking sheets and hit them VERY HARD on the bottom. This seems a bit mad, but it means your macaroon will form "feet" (weird, I know, but go with it). Then leave them sitting on your worktop for 15 minutes and go have a cup of tea. When you come back you want to be able to touch them (LIGHTLY) without any mixture sticking to your finger. This will ensure they rise correctly. Once this is the case, pop them in the oven for 15 minutes, then leave to cool.

At this point, make your filling. This recipe is for plain macaroons so you can add any filling inside (buttercream, jam, chocolate, etc), just remember to colour the filling too! We went for 150g butter and 75g icing sugar, which was nice, but I used too much in each macaroon and it was a little bit sickly on the giant ones.

Sandwich your macaroons together, pop in a nice tin or box and then brag to everyone you know!


  1. I'm far too scared to bake these - you have done an amazing job and they look so yummy x

  2. Thanks for the wonderfully detailed recipe - I can't wait to try them!
    Alexandra Grecco

  3. Thanks. They honestly are so much easier than you would expect! x

  4. Wow, these turned out fantastic! I thought they would be much harder than you described

  5. Me too! (although maybe I just got lucky!).


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