About this recipe:Light and delicate French macaroons, or macarons - are impressive, deliciously moreish and actually not at all hard to make! This four-in-one recipe takes one macaroon base and turns it into four different flavours - lemon, pistachio, chocolate and strawberry.
Makes: 40 macaroons
6 egg whites
1 pinch salt
400g icing sugar
250g finely ground almonds
1 to 2 drops food colouring (yellow, pink, brown and green)
350g icing sugar
240g softened butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons double cream
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon crushed pistachios
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon strawberry jam
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Place the egg whites in a metallic bowl and add a pinch of salt. Beat the egg whites till stiff. Add 1 tablespoon of the icing sugar, and continue to beat. Sift in 1/2 of the remaining icing sugar, and beat till glossy on high speed. Sift in the remaining icing sugar and beat till combined.
Gently fold the ground almonds into the egg white mixture. Lift and fold until the mixture is smooth and ribbon-like.
Divide the mixture into four separate bowls. Mix in one to two drops of the food colouring to each bowl to create pink, yellow, green and brown mixtures. (You may want to start with one very small drop of food colouring, as you can always add more!)
Fill a piping bag with one of the mixtures. Pipe small circles, about 2cm in diameter, onto a parchment-lined baking tray. (Work with the bag perpendicular to the tray for best results!) Repeat with remaining mixtures, working with a clean piping bag for each mixture.
Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Set the macaroons aside for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Cream the softened butter with an electric mixer. Add the icing sugar and continue to beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and double cream, and continue beating till the mixture is light and fluffy.
Divide the buttercream into four separate bowls. Stir in the cocoa, lemon zest, pistachios and strawberry jam into each bowl to create four different fillings. Set aside.
After 30 minutes resting at room temperature, bake the macaroons in the preheated oven for 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking tray.
Once cool, spread the flat side of one macaroon with its corresponding filling. Top with a second macaroon. Serve straightaway or keep in the fridge in an airtight container.
Use the egg yolks in another recipe, such as crème brûlée, lemon curd or homemade ice cream.