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year-one-mag:

We’ve already posted a recipe this month, but it’s National Baking Week so we decided to take on a challenge. That’s right, we’ve been making

MACAROONS

You will need:

  • 125g ground almonds
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g caster sugar
  • food colouring

… and for the filling:

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 50g butter
  • flavouring (we used vanilla extract and coffee)

1. First prepare your baking sheets - draw circles of 3-4cm diameter (we drew around a roll of electrical tape!), with enough space between for your macaroons to expand. Use a thick pen that will be visible from the other side - the mixture will pick up any markings on the paper.
2. Mix together the ground almonds and icing sugar in a bowl.
3. Separate your eggs (try this) and whisk the whites in another bowl until they form soft peaks. Add the caster sugar in 3 or 4 portions, whisking well in between each, until you have a smooth glossy mixture.
4. Time to add your colour! We went for red and purple, so we separated the egg white mixture into two bowls before adding the colouring. Mix well.
5. Add your coloured mixture to the almond mixture (don’t forget to split the almond mixture in half if you’ve used two colours like we did!) Use a spatula to fold the mixtures together, until you have a thick smooth consistency.
6. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag (we just used a sandwich bag with the corner cut off) and pipe into the circles on your baking sheet. MAKE SURE you use the pen-less side!
7. Leave the macaroons at room temperature for about 20 minutes - in the meantime pre-heat the oven to 160. Your macaroons are ready to go in when they’ve become firm, and you can touch the top without the mixture sticking to your finger.
8. Bake for 10-15 minutes (10 for a smaller macaroon, 15 if they’re slightly bigger). When they’ve risen and are firm and dry on the top, they’re done. Cool on a wire rack, then use a palette knife to get them off the baking paper. 
9. For the filling, mix icing sugar and softened butter, then add a flavouring. We split the mixture in two, adding vanilla essence to one batch and a few drops of strong coffee to the other. Spread the filling on the underside of one macaroon and sandwich it together with another one.

So there we have it - macaroons. Not the easiest thing we’ve ever baked, but a lot easier than we were expecting (especially for our first try!) Our attempts were hardly the smooth little globes of perfection you can buy in fancy bakeries, but hey. Thankfully we prefer the homemade look - and they taste just as good! 

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