- 100g / 1 cup icing
- 100g / 1 cup ground almonds
- 2 medium, free-range egg whites
- Small pinch salt
- 55g / ¼ cup caster / fine sugar
- For the filling:
- 150g / 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
- 75 g / 2/3 powder sugar
Preheat the oven to 140°C/ 300°F no fan.
- Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds into a large mixing bowl. Throw any lumps left behind away. Mix the two together.
- In a separate, scrupulously clean bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks. Add the caster / fine sugar, a little at a time and continue to whisk until the whites are very thick and glossy. Gently stir in the icing sugar and almond mix. The mixture will lose some air and become quite loose, don't worry, this is the way it should be.
- Using a piping bag with a 1cm / 1/3" nozzle, fill with the macaron mixture. Place the paper template onto a baking sheet. Pipe small blobs onto the sheet remembering that less is more at this stage because the mixture will settle and form into the allotted spaces.
- Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to help the macaron mixture to settle and to break any air bubbles, then leave to dry for 20 minutes - the surface of the macaron will become smooth and shiny
- Bake the macarons in the preheated for 7 - 8 minutes minutes, open the door to release any steam, close the oven door and cook for a further 7 - 8 minutes. The macarons are cooked when they feel firm and are slightly risen.
- Slide the mat or greaseproof paper onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely. Do not be tempted to remove the macarons from the paper until they are cold or you will break them.
Make the Filling
- Beat the softened butter until it is fluffy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. At this point you can beat in any flavourings you may choose.
- Place approx 1/2 a tsp of the filling to the flat side of one macaroon and sandwich together with another then twist ever so slightly to create a bond. Continue with the remaining macarons.
- The macarons can be eaten immediately but will benefit from being refrigerated for 24 hours as this will make them even more chewy and tasty.