About this recipe:Macarons are a very picky sort of biscuit. The process itself isn't too difficult, though you need to get just the right amount of everything for these to succeed. I would suggest making in very small batches if you have not tried these before (perhaps a third of the recipe). They are a true test of the ultimate baker. However, once you have mastered it, the end result is worth it and you will be making macarons with ease!
Sift icing sugar and ground almonds together, then mix thoroughly. Discard larger lumps. The mixture should be a very fine powder; place in a food processor if needed.
With an electric mixer, beat room temperature egg whites and caster sugar for 10 minutes at a high speed. It should be very stiff and be able to stand on its own.
Add food colouring to the egg whites until you get your desired colour. Make the mix roughly two shades darker as it gets more pale as it bakes.
In thirds, fold in the almond mix to the egg whites. It roughly takes you 50 to 60 folds. You do not want to over beat it, they need the exact amount of air in it. If mixture is too thick, use a spatula and push the mixture down into the sides of the bowl. This gets out some air. If lifted and dropped back into the bowl, it should be running down smoothly like a ribbon.
Using a 1cm round tip, pipe out 3cm circles of the mix onto a tray lined with parchment.
Leave for roughly 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how warm the room is. You know when they are ready when you lightly touch one and nothing sticks to your finger. There should be a 'film' around them.
Bake on the top shelf in a preheated 150 C / Gas 2 oven for 20 to 25 minutes. If using more than one tray, do not bake at the same time, bake in batches. Leave to cool. They should come right off the parchment.
For the vanilla buttercream, beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract til smooth, then pipe on half of the macarons. Sandwich together with the remaining macarons.
These macarons can last up to a week in an air tight container, and actually taste nicer as the days go on! To make your eggs room temperature quickly, leave them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.