We decided to make macarons because they seem to be the ''in'' sweet these days. Having taken over the popularity that cupcakes had in the late 90's we wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
The base is very simple, and it really all depends what filling/colors you decide to play with.
We tried the macarons with a lime curd filling, a ganache filling and with a goat milk caramel-nut filling. But at the end is for you to play with your favorite flavors and textures.
Here is the basic shell recipe:
Almond paste base:
390g ground almonds
390g icing sugar
145g egg whites(from about 5-6 large eggs)
Separate whites from yolks (yolks can be saved to make a curd for your filling) and whisk to break up slightly . Sift together icing sugar and ground almonds then stir in whites.
380g granulated sugar
150g egg whites (make sure that you dont get any yolk in the white , cause it wont work)
Combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan. Cook over high heat until a temperature of 121 degrees is reached.
Meanwhile , start whipping egg whites, making sure your mixing bowl is dry and clean. Once soft peak is reached pour hot syrup down side of bowl so as not to splash any hot syrup on your self. Once combined, continue to whip whites until cooled.
Gently fold meringue into almond paste base in batches. Be exaggeratedly gentle in this step , because you don't want to loose any air from the meringue by mixing hard. Fold until an even texture is achieved. The base can now be colored using food coloring.
Pipe mix onto baking sheet lined with parchment into 1" circles leaving space in between. Let rest for 15 minutes to 1 hour (this depends on humidity and temperature in the room) until shells are no longer tacky to the touch, they should develop a dry shell.
Once dried bake at 300º until crisp on top and very lightly browned on bottoms, rotate trays frequently to avoid hot spots overcooking some shells, The total bake should be about 20-30 mins.