The origins of this tasty dessert are rather uncertain. It is said that the first macaroons were made from almond paste and egg whites, and from here the name of the cookie which comes from an Italian word meaning ‘paste’, ‘maccarone’. Some historians claim that macaroons have their roots in Venice, during the Renaissance, while others say that these delightful biscuits can be traced in France, back in 1533.
Still, regardless their origins, macaroons remain a mouth-watering, delicate and lovely treat that allows you to have fun while cooking. Make the most of your culinary skills by adding different colourings and flavour extracts such as chocolate, coffee, coconut or fruits. For the chocolate macaroons replace a quarter of the icing sugar with cocoa powder.
225g icing sugar
130g ground almonds
3 large egg whites, room temperature
75g superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180°C. Macaroons are great when they are made with freshly ground blanched almonds. Pulse the icing sugar and the ground almonds in a food processor until you get a powdery mixture, then sift two or three times in a bowl.
Take another bowl and whisk the egg whites until they double their size and form soft peaks. You can use an electric mixer. Next, gradually add the superfine sugar and whisk until firm peaks form. This is the perfect moment for you to color and flavour your macaroons. Pink, purple, green, yellow, red, orange, their design and taste are up to you.
Fold the almond-sugar mixture into the meringue and mix well until you obtain a smooth and shiny mixture. Take a piping bag with a centimetre-wide round tip and spoon the mixture in. Pipe 4-5cm diameter circles on a baking sheet and let them rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes until a fine skin is formed.
Place macaroons into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until they are firm and can easily be removed from the tray. Let macaroons cool. Sandwich two macaroons together using peanut butter, jam, chocolate ganache, butter cream, or a special filling that you can prepare at home.
For the filling you need 150g unsalted butter, softened, 75g icing sugar, and fruits, nuts, or different flavours. If you want you can also add colourings. Beat butter until fluffy, then gradually beat in the sugar and the rest of the ingredients.