Foundation macaron recipe
Preparation time: 30 mins plus 2 days drying and sieving
Cooking time: 25 mins
Makes: 80 macarons
200g almond meal
200g pure icing sugar, sieved
150g (from about 5-6 extra-large eggs) eggwhites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1g dry eggwhite powder (optional)
200g caster sugar
Few drops of food colouring (see recipes, over the page, for options)
STEP 1 Spread almond meal over an oven tray and set aside for 2 days to dry. Put eggwhites in a sieve over a large bowl and set aside at room temperature overnight.
STEP 2 Put dried almond meal and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a fine consistency. Sieve through a fine sieve
into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
STEP 3 Divide sieved eggwhite in half.
STEP 4 Stir 1 portion of eggwhite into almond meal mixture until a thick paste forms. Set aside.
STEP 5 Transfer remaining portion of eggwhite to the bowl of an electric mixer and add cream of tartar and eggwhite powder, if using.
STEP 6 Put caster sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat. When sugar syrup is 110°C on a cook’s thermometer, start beating eggwhite mixture in mixer on low. Gradually increase speed to medium and beat until mixture is thick. (If the sugar syrup is getting too hot before the eggwhite mixture is ready, add 3 tsp cold water to syrup to reduce the temperature).
STEP 7 When sugar syrup reaches 118°C, take off heat.
STEP 8 Reduce mixer speed to medium and slowly pour syrup into eggwhite mixture, beating continuously and letting syrup run down side of mixer bowl.
Continue to beat for 5 minutes or until meringue cools, then add colouring and beat for a further 5 minutes (the bowl should still feel slightly warm).
STEP 9 Using a pastry scraper, mix a little of the meringue into almond meal paste.
STEP 10 Continue mixing meringue into almond meal paste until mixture is supple and shiny (mixture should be oozy and lava-like; when you fold mixture over itself, it will spread slowly).
STEP 11 Preheat oven to 150°C fan forced. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper and stack each on top of another oven tray. Spoon macaron mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle and pipe onto prepared tray. As you pipe, hold bag perpendicular to oven
tray. Flick the tip of the bag as you finish each macaron to minimise the peaks.
STEP 12 Firmly tap oven tray on work surface a couple of times to get rid of any large air bubbles, settle the shape of the macaron and help make the pied or ‘feet’. Rotate the tray 180° and firmly tap on work surface again (this helps ensure the feet rise evenly), then set aside for 5 minutes to settle and spread. (If you still have peaks, mixture is probably under-mixed – this will not affect the macaron, but the top will not be perfectly smooth. To flatten peaks, dip your finger into water, then gently press peaks).
STEP 13 Bake for 22-25 minutes, rotating oven trays halfway through baking to get an even colour, until macarons are dry and tops and feet are firm.
STEP 14 Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on trays, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. When cool, sandwich with filling of your choice
Note: The unfilled macarons can be frozen for up to six weeks. This recipe makes enough to create 40 filled macarons. Once filled, you can freeze or refrigerate the macarons overnight to get the patisserie-style softer texture, or you can serve immediately.