17th Nov 2011

Obsessed with Macarons…

Another day of macarons with the Marmalade Cookery School.

Food Styling and Photography by Jon Lewin

Simple steps for perfect Raspberry Macarons!

Ingredients

For the Shells:
200g icing sugar
200g ground almonds
80 ml of water
200g of caster sugar
2 X 80g of egg whites
1 to 2 tsp of deep pink food colouring

For the Raspberry Filling:
80g caster sugar
300g raspberries
30g pectin

Make the Filling
The filling should be made the day before as it needs to set before filling the macarons.
Dissolve the sugar in a little water over a low heat. Add the raspberries and leave to cook for about 2 – 3 minutes. Add the pectin, mix well and put in the fridge.

Make the Macarons Shells
Step 1 – The base
Mix the icing sugar and ground almonds thoroughly until you have a fine, even powder. Sieve and set aside.
Step 2 – The syrup
In a saucepan, bring the water and the caster sugar to the boil . Use a Thermometer to ensure that the temperature of the syrup does not exceed 110 °c (230 °F). This is quite important.
Step 3 – The egg whites
Whisk half the egg whites until they form soft peaks – not too stiff.
Step 4 – The meringue
Decrease the speed of the whisk, then still whisking, pour the sugar syrup over the egg whites in a thin line. Continue whisking until the mixture has almost cooled, this should take a while.
Step 5 – The almond paste
Mix the other half of the egg whites (unbeaten) with the sugar and almond base to get a thick paste.
Step 6 – The colouring
At this point add your pink food colouring to your almond/sugar paste.
Step 7 – The macaroon mix
Add a little of the meringue to the almond paste with a flexible spatula and stir in with regular motions from the bottom towards the top and from the edges towards the centre of the bowl. Add the rest of the meringue in one go and mix gently. This is a crucial step: it is the art of making macaroons. The consistency of the macaroon mix should be smooth, even and runny.
Step 8 – Piping
Fill the piping bag with macaroon mix and pipe small even discs of mix on a tray covered with greaseproof paper, lightly tap the bottom of the tray on your work surface. Put the tray aside to rest for 30 minutes to allow the meringue to dry.
Step 9 – Baking
Bake your shells in a pre-heated oven at 145 °c ( 125 °c Fan oven / gas mark 1 1/2) for 15 minutes.
Remove the Macarons from the oven and allow them to cool down before removing from the greaseproof paper and filling them with the raspberry jam.
Step 10 – Filing your shells
Grab one of the shells and with the aid of a teaspoon pour a bit of the raspberry mix in the centre. Place another shell on top, repeat with your remaining shells.
Arrange in a plate, decorate and serve at room temperature.