baking, macarons, recipe,

Make some sweet macarons with this simple recipe

Everybody loves a delicious homemade surprise, so why not have a go at these colourful macarons filled with zesty lemon curd? Simply follow the recipe below from Handmade Gifts from the Kitchen by Alison Walker (£20, Jacqui Small) and enjoy!

Preparation time:
    • 1 hour, plus resting
Cooking time:
    • 15 minutes
    • 20
    • 100g egg whites
    • 100g ground almonds
    • 180g icing sugar
    • 40g caster sugar
    • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
    • Yellow food colouring paste
    • 85g good-quality shop-bought lemon curd
    1. The day before you make the macarons, separate the eggs and put the whites in a bowl in the fridge loosely covered.
    2. When you are ready to make the macarons, bring the egg whites to room temperature. Draw 4cm (1½in) circles at spaced intervals on two to three sheets of baking parchment as a template to guide your piping. Turn it over and use this parchment to line two to three baking sheets.
    3. Put the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and whizz until they become a fine powder. Sieve three times to remove any lumps of almond – this is essential to ensure a smooth surface to your macarons.
    4. Whisk the egg whites to a medium peak, then whisk in the caster sugar. Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and food colouring – be generous with the colouring paste as it fades during baking.
    5. Using a spatula, fold the almond mixture into the egg whites in two batches – it should be a fairly fluid mix but still be able to be piped.
    6. Dot blobs of this mixture on to the underside of each corner of parchment to keep it still during cooking. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle and pipe mounds of the mixture just within the circles. Tap each tray on the work surface a couple of times to remove any air bubbles and leave to stand for anything from 30 minutes to 4 hours (depending on humidity) until the surface of the macarons is no longer tacky – again this is crucial to ensure the macarons have their characteristic frilled feet.
    7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C/310°F/gas mark 2½. Bake the macarons in a preheated oven for 10–15 minutes until they just peel away from the paper when tested. Remove from the oven and immediately slide the baking parchment with the macarons onto a damp work surface – this will stop them cooking further and also make them easier to remove.
    8. Sandwich two shells together with a blob of lemon curd. These macarons keep for up to a week in the fridge. The unfilled shells can be frozen for up to a month.