Basic Macaroons

They’re a fancy bakery favourite but you’ll be really surprised how easy you can make these slightly chewy, crispy crusted delicate biscuits at home.

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The first trick to get all of your macaroons at the same size is to grab some sort of round object that’s about 4cm in diameter. I ‘borrow’ one of Mini-Me’s toy’s, a layer of a wooden ice-cream from her timber high tea set but ssshhhhhhh don’t tell her! Then trace circles onto baking paper leaving about a 2cm gap between each one. Spray some oil on a couple of baking trays to help the baking paper stick without moving & set those prepared trays aside for later.

Next, we’re going to beat 3 egg whites in a mixer until soft peaks form before adding in 2 tablespoons of caster sugar along with whatever food colour floats your boat & beat that until the sugar dissolves, that means you can’t feel any grains of sugar between your fingers anymore.

Then, simply fold through 1 & 1/4 cups of sifted icing sugar with 1 cup of almond meal gently in two separate batches, being extra careful not to knock out all that lovely air you’ve worked so hard to beat in there!

Scoop that luscious mix into a piping bag fitted with just a plain nozzle & fill in the circles drawn on your trays. The next trick to an awesome macaroon is to gently tap the trays on the bench to spread them slightly before dusting with some more icing sugar & then leave them sit there for 15 minutes – this is what allows that signature crunchy crust to form in the air drying!

Whack those in a 150c oven for 20 minutes after which allow them to stand for an extra 5 minutes before very carefully peeling them from the paper & bunging them onto a cooling wire.

Meanwhile whip up a standard chocolate ganache by simply popping 100g of dark chocolate callets into a bowl & pouring in 2 tablespoons of thickened cream. Sit that over a pan of simmering water, make sure that the water never touches the bottom of the bowl or your chocolate will seize & be useless, then gently stir while it melts. Sit it aside to cool slightly so it thickens up a wee  bit before spooning small amounts onto the bottom of a macaroon & using another one to sandwich on top.

When you serve up these fabuliciouz wee beauties you can stand back & bask in the glory chef!

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