Vanilla Macarons

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Source: ‘Secrets of Macarons’ Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 200g almond meal
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 75ml water
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 x 80g egg whites
  • 1/2 a vanilla bean
  • White colouring (optional)

Method

Process then carefully sift the almond meal and icing sugar. Set aside. 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 115ºC. Gently beat 80g egg whites to soft peaks, then increase the beater speed once the temperature of the syrup passes 105ºC. When the syrup reaches 115ºC 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 a little. Combine the icing sugar and almond meal with the remaining egg whites, making a smooth almond paste. Scrape the half vanilla bean and incorporate a few vanilla seeds, then add the white colouring (if desired). Using a flexible spatula, incorporate about a third of the meringue into the almond paste in order to loosen the mixture a little, then add the rest of the meringue, working the batter. Fill a piping bag fitted with an 8mm plain nozzle with batter. Attach a sheet a baking paper to each baking tray by placing small dots of batter in the corners. Pipe out small, regular and well-spaced rounds, 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. Preheat oven to 150ºC (130ºC fan-forced). Bake for 14 minutes then place the baking paper on a dampened benchtop: the shells will be easier to remove. Prepare a simple buttercream and pipe on every second shell before sanwiching the non-piped shells with the piped shells. Makes 30.

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