I have wanted to have a go at making these for ages but have always been put off because they seemed to be quite fiddly to make. Every time I've seen them made on the (numerous!) cookery programmes I watch, the baker always seems to be saying how complicated they are. But after getting some liquid egg white delivered with my weekly shop I thought I would have a go.
There are numerous recipes and everyone seems to approach them in a different way but I decided to use the recipe in the Great British Bakeoff - How to Bake book (from the second series). The recipe itself was simple: whisk egg whites, add icing sugar, add colouring, add ground almonds. This formed a mixture which was then piped onto baking sheets and then baked in the oven for 14-18 minutes.
The reality was a little a different though! They came out ok but did not have the lift that macaroons should have - I think the technical term is 'legs'. They also needed a little longer in the oven as I don't think they were cooked properly all the way through. The double cream I used to fill them also needed to be whipped for longer. But not too bad for my first attempt!
I've looked at some more detailed recipes online and found a few hints and tips. So to improve on my next batch (which I'll probably make tomorrow as I need to use up the egg whites!):
1. Be careful not to overmix when adding the almonds. 50 turns should be enough apparently!
2. Don't pipe such big macaroons. I need to aim for 4 cms in diameter.
3. Once piped, drop the baking sheets two or three times on the worktop. This should help to prevent cooking.
4. Whip the double cream for the filling for longer.
I will update after the second batch!