SKILL LEVEL : Advanced
TIME: 2 ½ hours
KCALS: 80 per macaron
Gluten Free, can be adapted to a vegan diet
- Vegan dark chocolate 50g
- Macaron mix (Ground almonds 72g & Icing sugar 108g & cocoa 5g)
- Cane sugar (40g)
- Icing & cinnamon mix (65g icing sugar & 5g cinnamon)
- Icing sugar 20g
- Sugared Holly & Berry x 24
- 30ml brandy*
*Optional- you can substitute for vanilla extract or milk
- Silicone macaron baking mat 48 cavities
- Reusable piping bag
- 60g egg whites or for vegan 60ml aquafaba we like Oggs brand plus a pinch of cream of tartar
- 75ml butter (dairy or plant)
- Baking tray
*Or put the mould straight onto the rack of your oven if you can’t find a tray large enough
- Mixing bowl
- Electric whisk
Full list of ingredients contained in the kit: Sugar, almonds, vegan dark chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), brandy**, cocoa powder, cinnamon.
Allergens: Nuts, Soy
*Risk of trace particles from manufacturing of Sesame, peanuts, milk, dairy, gluten
- Using a wooden spoon as a wedge if needed, open your oven door by 1-2cm and heat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2/ 300°F. Alternatively, if your oven is a well-ventilated fan oven you can have the door closed and lower the temperature to 120°C/gas mark ½/250°F
- Lay the macaron baking mat onto a large baking tray.
- Place the piping bag pointy end down, into a tall glass. Slightly tilt upwards so that the mixture doesn’t fall through.
- Carefully separate out 60ml of egg whites or aquafaba & cream of tartar (approx. 2 large eggs) into a clean mixing bowl or a freestanding mixer.
- Into the mixing bowl add 40g of caster sugar. Using an electric whisk, whisk the ingredients together on a high speed for 5 minutes. Once complete, turn your whisk to face upwards and check that the ‘peaks’ in the mixture are very stiff (they should remain upright unaided). You now have a meringue mixture. *If you do not have an electric whisk you can do this by hand, but you will need to really whisk vigorously and potentially have to whisk for at least 10-15 mins until you have stiff peaks as described above.
- Empty the macaron mix into a bowl. Sieve our obvious lumps. The almond will not go through a fine sieve but that is ok, you just want to get rid of any obvious large bits (over 3mm diameter).
- Once the macaron mix is lump free empty the dry contents into the meringue.
- Now comes the crucial part of mixing the batter. Do this by scooping the mixture up with your spatula and pressing it back down into the centre of the bowl. Repeat this action 30 times, rotating the bowl as you go. With the spatula raised, you should now see a treacle like ribbon of batter that takes about 20 seconds to fall back into the batter. If it is thicker than this, fold again and re-check until the consistency is perfect. It should be smooth and shiny with no grainy bits.
- When you have the right consistency, pour the mixture into the piping bag, keeping it in the glass. Pick up the bag with one hand on the nozzle end, and the other hand sealing the open end in a twist.
- Pipe batter onto each of the cavities on the macaron baking mat. Pipe generous rounds (circular disks of mixture) 1mm outside of the inner circles of the macaron baking mat.
- Pipe using a slight swirling motion from the centre of the round to disperse the batter, or pipe using a 45-degree angle. Experiment and see what works better for you. Take your time. The key is to get control of the flow of the mixture. Tilt the bag upward if you feel it starts oozing out too much.
- Remove any air bubbles by tapping the baking mat firmly against your kitchen counter several times, rotating the sheet as you go. When complete, the macarons will form perfect circular rounds in the grooves of the mat. If they do not you may need to tease them a little with a teaspoon.
- Let the macarons rest on your kitchen counter until the tops form a skin. They are ready to bake when you touch the tops of the rounds, and the mixture doesn’t stick to your finger. Depending on humidity, this will take around 15-30 minutes. You want to make sure they are dry.
- Wash and dry your piping bag.
- Meanwhile whilst your macarons are resting you can get on with the filling, put the dark chocolate and brandy (or vanilla or milk) in a saucepan and gently heat until the chocolate has melted. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Make sure your butter is at room temperature and squidgy to the touch. Put this in a bowl or a freestanding mixer. Whisk on a high speed with an electric whisk on a high speed until your butter is very pale.
- Add a tablespoonful of icing sugar and cinnamon mix and continue mixing until the powder is incorporated into the butter. Then pour in a little chocolate and cognac mixture until incorporated also. Continue in alternates like this until your powder and chocolate are all used up. You will be left with a fluffy and smooth filling.
- Place your piping bag into a tall glass again and spoon in the filling into the bag set aside in a cool place.
- Put your macarons into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Check if the macarons come away from the mat easily. If not, return them to the oven for 5-10 minutes at a time and keep rechecking.
- The easiest way to take them off the mat is to flip the mat onto a tea towel (so shells are upside down) and peel the mat away. IMPORTANT: Check out the video section on our website for a full demo on all of this!
- Whilst the macarons are baking Make a thick icing with the 20g icing sugar and tsp of water- it should be the consistency of toothpaste* *But not the taste!
- Cool the macarons upside down for 10 minutes or until completely hardened.
- Turn the half the shells the right way up.
- Stick on a holly and berry decoration onto half of the shell using the icing paste you have made.
- Pipe the filling (10 pence piece size blob) onto half the macaron shells without the leaves. Try to pair up shells according to size and form sandwiches twist rather than pushing them together otherwise they may break.
- Your beautiful macarons are finished! You can enjoy them straight away, but they are even better 24-48 hours later. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature before you serve them. This process is called “ageing” and softens the inside of the shells, whilst keeping the outer shells crisp. Yummy
TIP: Your macarons can be enjoyed for up to 7 days (if kept refrigerated). You can also freeze them 48 hours after they are made and bring them out when you have guests that you would like to impress! Make sure you defrost them for at least two hours at room temperature before eating.