200 g almond meal
6 large egg whites
200 g pure icing sugar, sieved
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1 g dry eggwhite powder (optional)
200 g caster sugar
50 g water
3 drops liquid food colouring
- Spread almond meal over an oven tray and set aside for 2 days to dry. Put egg whites in a sieve over a large bowl and set aside at room temperature overnight.
- Put dried almond meal and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a fine consistency. Sieve through a fine sieve into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Weigh out sieved eggwhite so you have 150g, then divide in half.
- Stir 1 portion of eggwhite into almond meal mixture until a thick paste forms. Set aside.
- Transfer remaining portion of eggwhite to the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment, then add cream of tartar and eggwhite powder, if using. Do not start mixer at this point.
- Put caster sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat. When sugar syrup is 110°C on a cook’s thermometer, start beating eggwhite mixture in mixer on low. Gradually increase speed to medium and beat until mixture is thick. (If the sugar syrup is getting too hot before the eggwhite mixture is ready, add 3 tsp cold water to syrup to reduce the temperature).
- When sugar syrup reaches 118°C, take off the heat.
- Slowly pour sugar syrup into eggwhite mixture, avoiding side of mixer bowl and whisk, and beating continuously. Continue to beat for 10 minutes or until meringue cools (the bowl should still feel slightly warm). Add food colouring of choice and beat for a further few minutes to combine.
- Using a pastry scraper, begin mixing meringue into almond meal paste. You don’t have to be gentle.
- Continue mixing meringue into almond meal paste until mixture is supple and shiny (it is important to have correct consistency; mixture should be oozy and lava-like, and when you fold mixture over itself, it will spread slowly).
- Preheat oven to 150°C fan forced. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper and stack each on top of another oven tray. Spoon macaron mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle and pipe onto prepared tray. As you pipe, hold bag perpendicular to oven tray. Flick the tip of the bag as you finish each macaron to minimise the peaks.
- Firmly tap oven tray on work surface a couple of times to get rid of any large air bubbles, settle the shape of the macaron and help make the pieds or ‘feet’. Rotate the tray 180° and firmly tap on work surface again (this helps ensure the feet rise evenly), then set aside for 5 minutes to settle and spread. If you still have peaks, mixture is probably under-mixed – this will not affect the macaron, but the top will not be perfectly smooth. To flatten peaks, dip your finger into water, then gently press peaks.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, rotating oven trays halfway through baking to get an even colour, until macarons are dry and tops and feet are firm.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on trays, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. When cool, sandwich with filling of your choice.