A trip to Paris and a visit to Ladurée has resulted in a love affair with Macaroons. Nothing would make me happier than scoffing a couple of the chewy wonders with mid-morning coffee – unfortunately I am far too impatient to make them at home.
So when I received a macaroon baking mat for Christmas it was quickly dispatched to Jane (the baker in the relationship) with instructions to make me some beautiful elevenses! I was not to be disappointed – these lemon macaroons are glorious!
Detailed below is the recipe for when using a silicon macaroon baking mat. If a traditionalist and using baking parchment there is no need to pre-heat the baking tray and the cooking time should be reduced by 4 minutes.
Makes 28 Whole Macaroons
For the Macaroon Base: 185g Icing Sugar, 185g Ground Almonds, 2 Large Egg Whites, Yellow Food Colouring.
For the Meringue: 185g Caster Sugar, 2 tbsp Water, 2 Large Egg Whites, 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice.
For the Filling: Good Quality Lemon Curd.
1) Pre-heat the oven to 170C. Place the silicon baking mat on a baking tray in the middle of the oven to pre-heat.
2) Make the macaroon base: Combine the icing sugar, ground almonds and egg whites in a large bowl. Mix using an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth. Add around 20 drops of food colouring and mix briefly to combine. Set aside.
3) Make the meringue: Whisk the egg white and lemon juice with an electric mixer until you achieve firm peaks. Meanwhile make a syrup with the sugar and water by placing in a small saucepan and cooking over a high heat until the mixture reaches 120C. Lower the speed of the mixer and slowly pour the syrup into the egg white mixture, continuing to whisk for 2 minutes.
4) Combine the Mixtures: Take a little of the meringue mixture and combine with the macaroon base to loosen. Fold the remaining meringue mixture into the base, being careful not to knock too much air out.
5) Cook the Macaroons: Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a medium plain nozzle attached. Remove the baking tray from the oven. Pipe around 1/2 tbsp of mixture into each macaroon mould, covering the baking mat. Cook in the oven for 12 minutes. Once ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled remove from the mould and set aside on a cooling rack . Repeat this step until the macaroon mixture is exhausted.
6) Assemble the Macaroons: Sandwich two macaroon halves together with the lemon curd.
These taste even better the next day. Stored in the fridge they should last around 4 days.