French Macaroons

French Macaroons

Makes 16

3 egg whites
2 Tbsp caster sugar
few drops rose pink food colouring
few drops almond essence, optional
1 1/4 cups (200g) icing sugar mixture
1 cup almond meal
2 Tbsp icing sugar mixture, extra

White Chocolate Ganache:
150g premium white cooking chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (60ml) thickened cream
few drops rose pink food colouring

1. Preheat the oven to slow (150C/130C fan forced). Grease two oven trays and line with baking paper.
2. Beat egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar and food colouring, beat until sugar dissolves. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Fold in essence if using, sifted icing sugar and almond meal in two batches.
3. Spoon Mixture into a large piping bag fitted with 1.5cm plain tube. Pipe 4cm rounds, 2cm apart, onto prepared trays. Tap trays on bench to allow macaroons to spread slightly. Flatten peaks lightly with a damp finger. Dust with extra icing sugar. Stand for fifteen minutes.
4. Bake macaroons in a slow oven for about 20 minutes or until dry to touch. Stand macaroons on trays for five minutes. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.
5. White Chocolate Ganache: Meanwhile, combine chocolate and cream in a small heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water; stir until the chocolate is melted. Tint with a few drops of food colouring. Cover; refrigerate until mixture is a spreadable consistency.
6. Sandwich macaroons together with white chocolate ganache.

Variation

Chocolate French Macaroons:
# Omit the rose pink food colouring from the recipe above.
# Use 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp (185g) icing sugar mixture instead of the 1 1/4 cups (200g).
# Sift 1 Tbsp cocoa powder with the icing sugar and fold in with the almond (or hazelnut) meal.
# Before baking, dust the macaroons lightly with 1ts cocoa powder, extra.

Dark Chocolate Ganache:
# Use 150g dark eating chocolate in place of the white chocolate and omit the rose pink food colouring.

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