I love Macarons…

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Macarons, the ‘it’ sweet of the last few years. Rightfully so in my opinion too, good macarons really are divine. And if you’re lucky enough to have Adriano Zumbo macarons, you will forever be in love with the beautiful candy coloured treats. Zumbo really does make the most exciting flavours you can get, like buttered popcorn, salted toffee, or more recently at his pop up for the crave food festival, passionfruit and basil, and salami (yes I said salami! it was sweet at first, and then you got hit will all the salami peppery heat in the back, amazingly bizarre!)

In all their deliciousness, macarons are known to be difficult to make yourself. So I recently found a bit of a cheats version in Donna Hay magazine, which I tried to great success, its now my fallback easy to make macaron recipe which everyone loves. My favourites are the rosewater & coconut macarons, and also the salted caramel ones, just delicious.

You can also get bake at home kits from Donna Hay, however I found that her recipe made much better macarons than the kits from the supermarket. If you want to give macarons a try I suggest you start with this recipe.

Donna Hay’s Basic Macaron Recipe

Macaron Ingredients:

– 1 ¾ cups (200g) icing sugar

– 1 cup (120g) almond meal (ground almonds)

– 3 eggwhites, at room temperature

– 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar

Macaron Method:

Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Sift the icing sugar and almond meal into a bowl and mix to combine.  Set aside.  Place the eggwhites in an electric mixer and whisk on high for 30 seconds.  Add the caster sugar and whisk for ten minutes until stiff peaks form.

Fold through the almond meal mixture in 2 batches until smooth.

Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 1 ½cm plain nozzle and pipe 4cm rounds onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper.  Lightly tap the trays to help remove any air bubbles from the mixture and ensure a smooth macaron (be sure to do this… I did a few little taps but obviously not enough because my macarons looks like they have headlights!).

Allow to stand for 20 minutes or until a ‘skin’ forms on the top of the macarons.  Reduce temperature to 130°C (260°F) and bake macarons for 17-18minutes or until crisp on the outside and moist in the centre.  Allow to cool completely on trays.

Buttercream Ingredients:

– 125g butter, softened

– 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (see note below)

– ½ cup (80g) icing sugar

– ½ cup (60g) almond meal

Buttercream Method:

Place the butter and vanilla in an electric mixer and beat for 6-8 minutes or until pale and creamy.  Add the icing sugar and beat for a further 10 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Add the almond meal and beat until combined.

Spread the vanilla buttercream onto half the cooled macarons and sandwich with remaining macarons. Makes 24.

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These are the rosewater & coconut macarons from Donna Hay Magazine recipe (crunchy on top, chewy in the middle – delicious!) And the Donna Hay bake at home almond and chocolate macarons (I found the bake at home ones rose a little less and a bit more uneven).

Recipe from Donna Hay Magazine.