I remember making macarons on The Great British Bake Off. Back then I’d never even tasted one so I quickly hopped off to a fancy café to know what to aim for. It was love at first bite, sweet, crisp, chewy, flavourful and delicate all in one! I then set about making them; I made over ten batches before I was pleased. Macarons aren’t that difficult to be honest, they can just be tricky – particularly in the mixing, so pay careful attention and when the mixture falls from the spatula in a ribbon stop right there!
Makes 20 pairs
Printer-friendly PDF (including macaron template)
for the filling
- 150ml double cream
- 2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers (available from health food shops)
for the macarons
- 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
- 225g icing sugar
- 3 egg whites (from medium eggs)
- purple gel food colouring
- 105g ground almonds
The night before: heat the cream and lavender in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Allow the infused cream to cool completely before storing in the fridge at least overnight, for the flavours to develop. Combine the icing sugar and lavender and store in air-tight container, at least overnight or as long as possible.
One the day: line two large baking trays with greaseproof paper. Sift the lavender sugar into a bowl to remove the lavender flowers – you can re-use the lavender to scent more sugar. In a large bowl, whisk the whites to soft peaks then gradually whisk in half the scented sugar, whisking until the mixture is very thick and glossy. Whisk in enough food colouring to colour the mixture the same shade as lavender.
Combine the almonds with the remaining sugar, then carefully fold into the coloured mixture using a rubber spatula. The perfect consistency is when the mixture falls from the spatula in a ribbon and sinks back into the mixture after 30 seconds. Be careful not to overmix.
Using a large piping bag fitted with a 1cm diameter plain nozzle, pipe twenty, 4cm diameter circles of the mix on each of the baking trays (using this template). Any peaks should flatten on their own. Leave the macarons to stand for 30 minutes for the macarons to develop a skin. Preheat the oven to 120°C (110°C fan)/250°F/gas mark ¼.
Bake the macarons in the oven for 30 minutes until they have risen and are firm to the touch. Do not let them brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Assemble the macarons: whip the lavender cream and use to sandwich pairs of macarons together.