Ok… So macarons can be tricky to make… up until now that is! Here we will tell you the hidden secret to making the best macarons, previously reserved only for elite pastry chefs with many years of training. So… the secret to preventing your own macarons from cracking is as easy as sitting on the sofa and having a nap or perhaps watching a movie for an hour or so while the macarons rest before baking. We have colour-themed our macarons blue and red and joined each with a dollop of meringue buttercream, making very cute little French flag macarons.
- 3 egg whites
- 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
- 270 g (1⅔) cups icing sugar
- 125 g (1 cup) almond meal
- red and blue gel food colouring
- 2 egg whites
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- 125 g unsalted butter, chopped and at room temperature (see Note)
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 1 hour
To make meringue buttercream, place egg whites and caster sugar into a small heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch simmering water. Using a whisk, mix for 4–5 minutes, until sugar dissolves. Remove bowl from saucepan and beat using an electric mixer until light and cool to touch. Gradually add the butter, beating for 4–5 minutes, until the buttercream is white and smooth. Add vanilla and beat to combine.
Line four baking trays with baking paper.
Place egg whites into a clean, dry, small mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add caster sugar, beating until sugar has dissolved. Continue beating until egg whites are thick, glossy and hold peaks.
Sift icing sugar and almond meal into a separate bowl. Mix to combine. Add egg white mixture, quickly folding (about 30 strokes) until combined. Spoon half of the mixture into a separate bowl. Add red gel food colouring to mixture in one bowl, and blue food colouring to mixture in second bowl. Spoon each mix into separate piping bags fitted with a 1 cm plain nozzle. Pipe 18 x 4 cm rounds of each colour onto prepared baking trays, allowing room for spreading. Allow the macarons to stand at room temperature, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 140°C.
Bake biscuits for 12–15 minutes or until set but not browning. Remove from oven and allow to cool on trays.
Spoon buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm plain nozzle. Sandwich a red and a blue macaron together with buttercream. (You could also use a teaspoon if you don’t have a piping bag.)
These are best eaten the same day.
• It is important to have the butter at room temperature for the buttercream.
The Best of Taste le Tour with Gabriel Gaté airs every night from Saturday 6 July and finishes Sunday 28 July 2019. Visit the Taste le Tour website to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes or find out more about the show.