For the swiss meringue...
- Place the sugar and water in a saucepan, give it a stir and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down slightly and place a sugar thermometer in the pot until the syrup temperature reaches 115c (soft ball stage).
- Meanwhile, whisk up 175g egg whites and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a stand up mixer using a balloon whisk on high speed until it forms a meringue of stiff peaks.
- While the mixer is still whisking, add in the syrup in a slow thin stream between the bowl and whisk until it has all incorporated. (please be careful at this stage, if the stream of syrup touches the whisk, then it may splash back and burn you!) Continue whisking for a further 10 minutes while it cools down slightly. At this stage, the food colouring and flavouring can be added but best to use gels to avoid the meringue thinning out.
For the almond paste
- Place the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor and blend for a few seconds to break down the ground almond particles. Then sieve the dry mix through a flour sieve (this may be difficult but worth it!, use a spoon to help sieve it through).
- Place the almond mix and 85g of egg whites in a large bowl and whist to a paste using a hand whisk (2 minutes).
- Add1/3 of the meringue to the paste and whisk it in until all paste lumps have integrated into the meringue.
- Then add in another 1/3 of the meringue mix and slowly fold it into the mix. Then finally add in the remainder meringue and incorporate it all in slowly while still folding.
- You should now have a silky texture meringue that slowly drips/ slides off a spoon. Well done if you got this far! It’s a finicky process and you are over the hard part!
- Turn the oven on to 170c
- Using a piping bag and a plain nozzle, scoop the macaroon mix into the bag until half full.
- Line2 trays with baking parchment or silicone macaroon mats (see tip below).
- Pipe the macaroon in circular discs approx. 4cm in diameter and leave a space of 4cm between each macaroon. Each macaroon should be the same size!
- Turn the preheated oven down to 160c
- When they are all piped, tap the tray lightly 2 or 3 times of the worktop to help remove any bubbles and thus allow the meringue to settle. If you notice any bubbles left, use a needle to pop them.
- Place the trays of macaroons in the kitchen for 20 minutes until they slightly set(this is important as it gives you macaroon “legs” and avoids the mix from spreading during baking, thus holding its shape)
- Place the trays of macaroons in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. You don’t want to colour the macaroons as this will have an effect on the colouring you have added.
- Remove the trays from the oven and allow to cool fully on the tray until completely cold.
Filling the macaroons
- To make the buttercream filling, whisk together the sieved icing sugar and softened butter together along with the rosewater for approx. 10 minutes with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. You can also add 1 tsp of jam to the buttercream to give it a strawberry flavour if you don’t have rosewater, or add for additional taste if you like.
- Place the icing in a piping bag and pipe a disc of icing on half of the macaroons topped off with a little jam. Place the remainder macaroons on top and there you have it. Perfect macaroons! Enjoy!
- In order to get the same size macaroons, I design an A4 page with 4cm circles leaving a space of 4 cm using my computer. I print out 2 pages and place this under the parchment paper and use this as a tracing guide to get the perfect size macaroons.
For the swiss meringue
- 240g granulated sugar
- 160ml cold water
- 175g egg whites
- Food Colouring paste/gel
(I used a tiny dot of red paste, using the tip of a cocktail stick and added more if needed to achieve the desired colour)
- 1 tsp Food flavouring
(I used Rosewater)
For the Almond paste
- 215g icing sugar
- 215g ground almonds
- 85g egg whites
For the filling
- 100g softened Butter
- 200g sieved Icing sugar
- 1 tsp rosewater
- 100g Strawberry jam