Grey and black macarons
- 185g ground almonds
- 340g icing sugar
- 5 egg whites
- 115g caster sugar
- ½ jar raspberry jam
- Sugarflair food colouring in ‘Liquorice’*
Preheat your oven to 160C fan/180C, line two large trays with baking paper, and fit the nozzle to one of the piping bags.
In a food processor, blitz the ground almonds and icing sugar together for 30 seconds, then set aside.
Using electric beaters, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then a few tablespoons at a time, add the caster sugar and continue to whisk. When you lift the beaters out, you want the peaks to fall over like a swan’s neck, so don’t overwhisk to stiff peaks.
Add half of the ground almond and icing sugar mixture, and gently fold through until almost incorporated. Remove a generous tablespoon of the mixture to a small bowl, and add a good couple of dabs of the solid food colouring – at least the size of two peas. Beat well with the tablespoon of macaron mix until completely incorporated, then scrape the grey mixture back into the remaining macaron mix.
Add the remaining ground almonds and icing sugar mixture to the macaron mix, and gently fold through. You’ll incorporate the grey colouring as you stir. Remove half of the grey mixture to a new bowl, then repeat the colouring process, removing a tablespoon of macaron mix to a small bowl, and stirring it with a good three or four dabs of the solid food colouring (you need a lot to get black macarons). Return this to one half of the macaron mix and gently fold through for the black macarons.
Fill the piping bag with the grey macaron mix, then on a lined baking sheet, pipe the mixture out into 3cm circles, leaving a couple of cms between each macaron. Repeat until you’ve used all the grey mix, then put the nozzle in a fresh piping bag, and repeat with the black mix.
Leave the uncooked macarons for 10 minutes to form a skin, then transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes until firm to the touch. Once cooked, leave the macaron shells to cool on their trays.
Meanwhile, heat the jam in a saucepan until just melted, then sieve to remove the pips. Transfer to a piping bag.
Once the macarons are cooled, match them up to macarons of the same size, and turn one half of them over. Pipe the raspberry jam into the centre of each, then sandwich together. Leave to set for 30 minutes before piling onto serving plates.