Macarons or Macaroons?

Macarons 4

Some of you may have been confused about the difference between these two sweet goodies, as I was.  I found that macarons are made from sugar, egg whites and fine almond flour, making these colourful buttons the perfect gluten free treat.

Macaroons, on the other hand, are slightly different from macarons.  Macaroons are lighter, they are similar to meringue-like cookies.  Their origin is a small sweet cake with large ground almonds.   They are most commonly found in the States made from egg whites, ground almonds and dried shredded coconut.

I have been accumulating quite a large amount of eggs in the house, so I decided to give myself a little French challenge – a batch of pink macarons with lemon zest buttercream.

Ingredients for the macarons:-
♥ 120g almond flour
♥ 230g icing sugar
♥ 70g caster sugar
4 egg whites
♥ small pinch of salt
♥ gel food colouring (optional, I used pink)

Ingredients for the lemon zest buttercream filling:-
♥ 140g butter, softened
♥ 280g icing sugar
♥ 1-2 tbsp milk
♥ zest of 1 lemon

Macarons 2

Method:-

 

Macrons 1

My good effort for my first batch of Macarons

♥ Preheat the oven to 150C (or 302F).  For fan assisted oven, set it to 125C (or 257F).
♥ Place egg whites and caster sugar in a bowl and mix with mixer until stiff enough to turn the bowl upside down without it falling out, continue to whip for 1 to 2 more minutes.  How long this takes will depend on your mixer.  
♥ If using any food colouring, add it now and continue to mix for a further 20 seconds.
♥ Sift the almond flour and icing sugar and salt twice, discarding any lumps that are too big to pass through the sieve.  Fold into the egg white mixture, this should take roughly 30-50 folds using a spatula.  The mixture should be smooth, but not runny.  Over-mixing will flatten the finished macarons, under mixing will create bubbles or a rough surface.
♥ Pipe mixture onto trays lined with non-sticky baking paper.  Once you have finished piping, gently drop the trays on to the worktop a couple of times, this will prevent cracking or an uneven surface during the heating process.
♥ Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  Check if comes off the tray fairly cleanly, otherwise, bake for a little longer.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling you desire.  I made my filling with lemon zest with buttercream.
♥ Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft.  Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
♥ Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth.  Beat in the milk, if necessary, to loosen the mixture.
♥ Stir in the lemon zest until well combined.
♥ Once cool, sandwich two macarons together with the filling.
♥  The macarons are now ready to serve and enjoy.

Macarons will last 3 to 4 days if left on the counter, or you can freeze them without filling and thaw them when you are ready to serve.

Macarons 3

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