FOR THE MACARONS
60gm Egg white
1.5 tsp Egg White Powder
60gm Caster Sugar
120gm Icing sugar
60gm Ground almonds
A little crushed sea salt
Orange paste food colour
FOR THE FILLING
175gm Granulated sugar
60mls Cold water
175gm Unsalted butter
120mls Double Cream
Slightly heaped ½ teasp Salt Set the oven to130°C Fan
1. Line a baking tray with parchment and draw 24 circles about 46mm or 1¾ inches. Turn the paper over so you can still see the circles but the pencil is not near the mix.
2. Mix the icing sugar and ground almonds together an then blitz in a food processor for a 2 or 3 minutes. Push through a sieve into a medium bowl discarding any gritty pieces. If you do not have a processor sieve 3 times.
3. Place the egg white, egg white powder and caster sugar in a clean bowl and whisk together until standing up in soft peaks. Be careful not to over whisk!
4. Mix the egg whites in with the almond mixture folding carefully until just combined. Add 3 or 4 drops of orange colour and carry on folding until the mix falls in soft ribbons from your spoon and the mix disappears into the main mix after about 30 seconds. It is important that care is taken at this stage... if the mix stays as piped the mixture is too stiff, too runny means they lose their shape altogether.
5. Place into a piping bag with a plain ½ inch pipe and pipe into your circles being careful not to go over the circle edges.
6. Bang the tray on a table or bench for a few times to disperse the air. If you have any little points remaining from the piping, lightly dampen your finger and just smooth them out.
7. Sprinkle a little sea salt into the centre of each one.
8. Leave the macarons to rest for at least 30 minutes in a warm, dry environment or until a skin has formed on the tops.
9. Bake for 12 minutes but open the oven door briefly after about 8 minutes to let any steam out. You should have crisp tops and the characteristic 'feet' that macarons have.
10. Leave on the tray until completely cold and then place on a wire rack or store in an airtight container if you wish to fill them at a later date.
11. To make the filling mix the sugar and water together and dissolve over medium heat stirring constantly. Turn the heat up and boil (do not stir, just shake the pan now and then) until you have a lovely golden caramel colour. Watch carefully at this stage!
12. Add the cream whisking briskly. It will spit and rise up the pan so be careful not to get it on your hands!
13. Whisk in the soft butter piece at a time until you have a smooth caramel mix. Stir in the salt.
14. Place in the fridge to chill and then when ready to fill the macarons whisk the mix on high speed. It will lighten in colour and be creamy and soft.
15. Fill the macarons by spooning or piping the mix in and sandwich them together in pairs.
N.B. These will keep in the fridge for 5 or 6 days! Bring out an hour or so before serving.