A Very Difficult Biscuit

I wasn't sure if I was going to post this yet. I haven't quite figured out the secret to macarons, haven't perfected the art, but I thought I would share, just in case you would like to try. :) So the first time I made them, they failed. They were huge and all cracked and they looked kinda weird. They tasted like the should, and the chocolate buttercream was really good, but they didn't look very good. So I didn't take any photos, sorry! The second time, I decided to go down a citrus path, a bit odd ae? So I actually tinted the shell dough two different colours because I was going to do two different flavours of filling, but I couldn't really be bothered in the end! You have to have a lot of time to do macarons, they definitely take a while. I actually started practising them because I was going to make them for the cookie bake off that Tristan and I did today, but I hadn't perfected them, so I ended up doing a version of my Awesome Double Chocolate Cookies instead. I tweaked them a little by adding milk and white chocolate to them so that they were quadruple chocolate! I didn't have any peanut butter chips though unfortunately, so I used lots of extra chocolate! I cooked them a little too long too so they were crunchy... :( But, I still won. Tristan tried to make out that I didn't, but people marked their favourites on post-its... I had more! :D Anyway, so one tray of the macarons turned out much better. They were a little cracked, but they had feet and they tasted really good, so I was quite happy! I took those ones into work... :) I would recommend drying the macarons for as long as possible. On the recipe it says 30 minutes, but I think an hour could mean that they would crack less. Good luck!

NB: This recipe made 4 trays of macaron shells. And we have big trays. So maybe halve the recipe?

These were the good ones!
Macarons with Lemon Buttercream

200g caster sugar
75ml water
4 egg whites
200g almond meal, sifted
200g (1 1/4 cups) icing sugar, sifted

115g butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
1t vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon, juice of two lemons


To make macaroons, preheat oven to 200°C. Combine caster sugar and water in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat, stirring, for 8-10 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Heat sugar syrup until it reaches 118°C (test using a sugar thermometer), brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush to avoid crystallisation. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk 2 egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high, then slowly add sugar syrup in a constant stream until combined. Set aside. Combine almond meal and icing sugar in a medium stainless-steel bowl, then gradually add remaining unbeaten egg whites, mixing with a wooden spoon until the mixture is firm and paste-like. Separate mixture into smaller bowls, depending on how many colours you want. Add desired food colouring to each bowl and combine well, then divide beaten egg whites evenly between each bowl and thoroughly combine. The mixtures should have a velvety texture. Spoon coloured mixtures into piping bags fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe mixture to make 3cm rounds on silicon-mat lined, or baking paper lined baking trays. Tap trays to flatten peaks and rest for 30 minutes or until mixture feels dry to touch and forms a skin. Reduce oven temperature to 150°C and place trays in oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until bases are firm and a macaroon can be lifted from the tray. Remove trays from oven and cool macaroons on tray. Using an offset spatula or a palette knife, spread one shell with the buttercream and then press together to make the macarons!

Lemon Buttercream:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Slowly begin adding the sugar, and beat until well combined. Beat in the vanilla. Once combined, turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for about 3 minutes straight. Turn the mixer down to low and add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat for another 3 minutes until the frosting is fluffy and light (if it's too thin, add some more icing sugar).

The not so good ones... :(