Here's the recipe Abi used for her macaroons! Taken from Secrets of Macarons by Jose Marechal
· 200g ground almonds
· 200g icing sugar
· 75ml water
· 200g caster sugar
· 2 x 80g egg whites
· 1x vanilla bean
· white coloring (optional)
note: the vanilla bean and white coloring can be replaced depending on the flavor you wish to make them
1. Process then carefully sift the ground almonds and icing sugar (this is called the tant pour tant). Set aside.
2. In a saucepan, bring the water and caster sugar to the boil. Without stirring, make sure the temperature of the resulting syrup doesn’t go above 115 degrees Celsius.
3. Gently beat 80g egg whites to soft peaks, then increase the speed of the beater when the temperature of the syrup passes 105 degrees Celsius. When the syrup reaches 115 degrees Celsius, remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the syrup in a thin stream into the beaten egg whites. Continue to beat the meringue for about 10 minutes, so that it cools.
4. Combine the tant pour tant and the remaining unbeaten egg whites, making a smooth almond paste.
5. Scrape the vanilla bean and incorporate a few vanilla seeds into the almond paste, then add the coloring (if desired)
6. Using a flexible spatula, incorporate about a third of the meringue into the almond paste to loosen the mixture a little, then add the rest of the meringue, working the batter carefully.
7. Fill a piping bag fitted with an 8mm nozzle with batter. Attach a sheet of baking paper to each baking tray, placing small dots of batter in each corner. Pipe out small, regular and well-spaced rounds, each about the size of a walnut. Lightly tap the bottom of the trays and allow the macarons to form a crust at room temperature for 30 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
9. Bake in the oven for 14 minutes. When you take them out, carefully place the baking paper on a dampened benchtop: the shells will be easier to remove.
For the filling Abi made a buttercream made of powered sugar and butter and cut fresh strawberries until the mixture was a buttercream paste.