Swiss Meringue Macarons

For the macaron cookies (recipe makes 20):

150g ground almonds

150g icing sugar

55g egg whites (1st portion)

150g caster sugar

55g egg whites (2nd portion)

3 drops yellow food gel

For the Swiss meringue filling:

50g egg whites

62.5g caster sugar

225g butter

1tsp vanilla extract

1 drop yellow food gel

Preparation tips

  • Buy a candy thermometer
  • Leave the egg whites in the fridge over night to liquidise and let them reach room temperature before using them
  • Take out the butter hours before use so it’s extra soft

To make the macaron cookies…

  • Combine the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor, adding only half of each ingredient at a time, then transfer to a large mixing bowl
  • Add the 1st portion of egg whites, mix well and set aside with cling film covering the bowl
  • Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan on a medium-high heat, using a candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature
  • When the syrup reaches 115ºC, whisk the 2nd portion of egg whites in a stand mixer on a high speed
  • When the syrup reaches 118ºC, pour it over the egg whites very slowly as they continue to whisk
  • After 3 minutes more of whisking, add the yellow food gel, and whisk for another 3 minutes
  • Fold one spatula of the meringue into the almond mixture, then add the rest of the meringue and mix thoroughly (use the spatula to go around the bowl and through the mixture)
  • When the batter falls off the spatula in a ribbon and disappears into the mixture after 10 seconds, it’s ready to pipe
  • Put the mixture into a piping bag with a round tip and pipe small circles onto a tray covered with baking paper (leave ample space between each cookie)
  • Tap the tray on the work surface twice on each side to eliminate air bubbles
  • Leave the cookies to develop a skin for 30 minutes (you’ll know they’re ready when they’re dry to the touch)
  • Heat the oven to 160ºC and bake the macaron cookies for 10-12 minutes, then leave to cool

To make the Swiss meringue filling…

  • Whisk together the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until the syrup is warm and the sugar is completely dissolved
  • Transfer the syrup to a stand mixer and whisk for 10 minutes, gradually increasing the speed from low to medium-high
  • Add the softened butter in small chunks, followed by the vanilla essence and yellow food gel, then whisk for another 5 minutes
  • Use a star tipped piping nozzle to pipe a swirl on the underside of one macaron cookie, then place another cookie on top to make a sandwich
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