A lot of #gbbo viewers have asked me for my tried and tested Macaron recipe, so here it is. As blackberries are in season, I made a fruit gel from them for the filling. A few tips to help you achieve perfect Macarons: eggs at room temperature, weigh out your ingredients carefully (applies to all baking!), don’t be scared to mix the egg whites in with the ground almonds and icing sugar, get everything ready before you start – including your baking sheets with your Macaron circles marked out ready, make sure the shells have time to rest and have formed a ‘skin’ before you bake them, bake one sheet at a time, humidity is bad, leave the shells to cool before peeling off the baking parchment. Now go to the kitchen and have a go!
- 175g Icing Sugar
- 125g Ground Almonds
- 75g Caster Sugar
- 3 Large Egg Whites
- Pinch of Salt
- Pink Food Paste
- 250g Blackberries
- 1 teaspoon of Agar flakes
- Lemon Juice
- 2 ½ teaspoons of Caster Sugar
To make the Macaron shells, preheat the oven to Gas 2/130 Celsius and line a baking tray with a sheet of silicone paper, marked with rounds measuring 3cm in diameter. Mark out the rounds of Macarons on the reverse side of the paper with a pencil and set to one side. Blitz the almonds with the icing sugar in the food processor then pass through a sieve to get rid of any larger bits of almond. Put the egg white in a food mixer with a pinch of salt and whisk until frothy, then gradually add in the caster sugar a little a time until the whites are glossy and have firm peaks. Towards the end of the whisking add in a few drops of food colour then add the egg whites to the icing sugar and almonds. Mix until combined and so that the mixture falls off of a spatula in a ribbon consistency. Put the mixture into a piping bag which has a small round nozzle attached, no bigger than 1cm in diameter. Pipe the mixture onto the tray and leave to set for around 15 minutes before baking in the oven for 12-15 minutes. The shells should then peel off the paper easily and leave to cool on a wire rack.
To make the blackberry gel, place the blackberries into a food processor and blitz into a puree. Sieve the puree into a saucepan to remove the pips and add the sugar to take the edge off the sharpness – do this to taste. Sprinkle the agar flakes over the puree and place on the heat without stirring. Once the puree has heated through, stir the puree and keep on the heat for 3-5 minutes. Pour the puree into a clingfilm lined cake tin and put into the fridge until set, around 30 minutes. Once set, break the jelly into pieces and put into the food processor with a few drops of lemon juice and blend until smooth and is a gel consistency. Scrape into a piping bag and keep cool until needed.
To assemble the Macarons, match up the shells and pipe a small quantity of the gel onto one half of the Macaron shells.
Sandwich together and keep chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.