Macarons are known for being fancy, but also tricky to make. I haven't had the opportunity to actually bake for a while, but I wanted to share some of my tips on making macarons easier!
Of course, once you've got the hang of the basic recipe, you can start adding other flavours (I find it easiest to do this via the filling as the consistency of the macaron mixture is quite important). The ones you see below have actually been made with ground pistachios instead of almonds, and they were delicious! (If I do say so myself.)
A quick note on the difference between macarons and macaroons: macarons are what you see below, macaroons are made with mostly desiccated coconut.
For the macarons:
100g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
2 egg whites
50g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
For the filling:
200g icing sugar
Start by whisking up egg whites into stiff peaks (this is where you can use the bowl-upside-down-over-head testing method) and whisk in the caster sugar, this forms a basic meringue-y mixture.
Combine the grounds almonds, icing sugar, and baking powder; then GENTLY fold them into the meringue. Mix until you have a 'ribbon' consistency, being careful not to over-mix.
Transfer to a piping bag, and pipe equal blobs onto greaseproof paper lined baking trays, leaving sufficient space for them to spread. Bang the trays onto a flat surface to remove any air bubbles and leave for 30 minutes to form a hard shell - this helps form the 'feet' of the macarons.
After an outer shell has been formed, place trays in a preheated 180°C oven for around 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don't over-bake! Once baked, leave to cool on the tray, and once completely cooled, then you can peel them off the greaseproof paper.
For the filling, buttercream is always a winner, made simply by mixing butter and icing sugar, then piping onto half of the macarons before adding lids.