For the Macaron Shells
- 125g Ground almonds
- 175g Icing sugar
- 50g Strawberry milkshake powder
- 100g Egg whites
- 25g Caster sugar
- Pink food gel colouring
For the Frosting
- Strawberry jam, optional
- Preheat the oven to 170C
- Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment. On each of tray, draw circles onto the parchment using a cookie cutter as a guide, about 3.5cm in diameter. The circles should be about 2.5cm apart to although the macaron shells to spread a little. Line the sheets with a 2nd sheet of baking parchment over the top of the 1st and clip together using a paperclip.
- In a food processor, add the icing sugar and the milkshake powder and pulse for 30 seconds until there are no lumps.
- Add the ground almonds, and pulse for another 30 seconds.
- In a standmixer, with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and whisk until they start to form soft peaks.
- Add the caster sugar to the egg whites, and whisk for approximately 10 minutes until they form stiff peaks, and are dense and white.
- Add the almond & icing sugar mixture to the eggs whites, and fold in quickly to break deflate the mixture, beating out the large bubbles. The mixture will start to become shiny, smooth and pourable, mix gently now, until a streak of the mix on the surface disappears after 30 seconds.
- Add the pink food colouring to the mixture. Make sure it is quite bright, as the colour will pale when the shells are baked. Alternatively split the mixture in half and colour half pink and leave half natural, as I did.
- Place the macaron mix into a disposable piping bag and snip the end off.
- Pipe flat, round mounds of the mix onto the baking sheets, using the circles you drew as a template for the size.
- Gently tap the baking sheets on the work surface to smooth the macarons, and let them rest for 30 minutes. The surface of the shell should not break when it is touched gently.
- Bake the macarons for 10-12 minutes, until just firm. As they bake, the macaron 'feet' will form.
- Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet.
For the Frosting
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.
- Add the remaining icing sugar and beat until smooth.
- If the frosting is too stiff, add a tsp of whole milk and beat until smooth.
- Match the cooled macaron shells into pairs, of roughly the size and shape.
- Fill a piping bag with the frosting, and snip the end off.
- Pipe the frosting into a round, onto one macaron shell, and gently press the other on top.
- Alternatively, pipe a ring of frosting around the edge the macaron shell, and fill the gap with strawberry jam, before sandwiching with the other shell.
Any unused macaron shells can be keep up to 3 days in the fridge, or they work crumbled over ice cream.