For the buttercream filling and to assemble
- 1 medium free range egg
- 2 medium free range egg yolks
- 180g caster sugar
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g smooth peanut butter
- 1 tsp crushed sea salt
For the Macaron shells
- 175g caster sugar
- 130g free range egg whites, room temperature
- 175g ground almonds
- 175g icing sugar
- 4-5 drops red gel food colouring
- 2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam (60g)
For the buttercream
1. Place the egg and yolks into a large mixing bowl in a standalone mixer and whisk on a high speed for 7-8 minutes until light and fluffy and risen in volume.
2. In a medium saucepan place the sugar with 75ml of cold water and cook to 120?, using a sugar thermometer to check the temperature. Once the desired temperature is reached, slowly pour the hot sugar mixture onto the whipping eggs and yolks. Leave to whisk until the mixture has cooled down to body temperature.
3. Slowly start dropping in the softened butter until all emulsified. Add the peanut butter and sea salt and whisk to combine.
4. Use a spatula to transfer the mixture into a piping bag and reserve for assembly.
For the Macaron Shells
1. Preheat the oven to 135°C/Gas mark ½. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
2. Tip the caster sugar and 75ml cold water in a small saucepan and stir. Place a sugar thermometer in the pan and set over a high heat.
3. Meanwhile, place 65g of the egg whites in a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment.
4. Once the sugar syrup reaches 110°C start whisking the egg whites on a high speed.
5. Once the temperature has reached 114°C at which point the eggs should be frothy rather than whipped, lift the thermometer out of the pan and quickly pour the syrup into the egg whites. Beat at full speed for 5 minutes until you have a glossy and whipped Italian meringue that holds its shape.
6. In a separate large bowl, make the almond paste by combining the ground almonds, and icing sugar. Add the remaining 65g of egg whites and food colouring, then mix with a wooden spoon until you have a stiff paste. Your mixture should be bright pink at this point as its colour will be diluted with the addition of meringue.
7. Add one-third of the meringue to the bowl with the paste and mix well with a wooden spoon. You need to be as gentle as possible when adding the remaining meringue. Using a spatula, fold another third of the meringue into the paste, then fold in the final third extremely gently. You should have a fairly thick mixture of dropping consistency.
8. Carefully fill 2 piping bags with the mixture and snip a 1-2cm hole from the end. Lift the baking parchment and pipe small dots of the mixture into each corner of the trays, then smooth the parchment back down to secure it. Holding the piping bag directly above the trays, pipe 40-50 macarons about 4cm in diameter, leaving a 2cm gap between each one. Smooth down any peaks with a damp fingertip.
9. Bake for 7 minutes, then open the door to release some steam. Bake for a further 7 minutes. Check the macarons are ready by gently easing them off the baking parchment. It’s fine if they are a little bit sticky when they come away, but if very sticky return them to the oven for 2 more minutes. Leave to cool on the trays.
10. To assemble the macarons, arrange the cooked shells in columns, flat side facing up, matching the sizes. Pipe the buttercream around the outside of one shell and then pipe a small amount of raspberry jam into the centre of each of these. Sandwich together until buttercream reaches the edge.
Chef’s tip: Store the macarons in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. Consume within 3 days. They will also freeze well for up to a month, wrapped in cling film.
Recipe courtesy of the Waitrose Cookery School. Find more baking inspiration at Waitrose.com