Crispy, fruity macarons filled with a deliciously sweet white chocolate ganache. Adapted from this Step-by-Step Guide to French Macarons over at Sally's Baking Addiction.
Begin by "aging" your weighed egg whites. This simply means to leave the egg whites at room temperature for a few hours to overnight. Don't skip this step. It does make a difference.
Sift the measured confectioner's sugar and almond flour together through the fine mesh sieve or flour sifter 2-3 times into a medium bowl. This is essential to remove any large clumps of almond and/or powdered sugar.
Discard any large pieces that do not fit through the sieve.
Fit your stand mixer or hand mixer with its whisk attachment. Make sure that both the stand mixer/large mixing bowl you are using is completely clean and oil free. Even a small amount of oil can stop the egg whites from whipping up. One way you can ensure both your bowl and whisk are completely oil free is to wipe them down lightly with a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar.
Place the aged egg whites in your clean mixing bowl with the salt. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, then increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks just form. You'll know their right when you're able to hold the bowl over your head (or your sous chef's head) without them moving/the peaks falling.
With the mixer on low speed/the stir setting, gently mix in the sugar, a spoonful at a time.
At the same speed, add in the raspberry extract and food coloring.
Using a rubber spatula or metal spoon, stir in the almond flour and confectioner's sugar mix. Do not over mix, as you risk removing too much air from the meringue and making the mixture too slack.
You'll know the consistency is correct when the mixture is sticky, glossy, and smooth. It should come off your spatula or spoon in a smooth, thick ribbon before rejoining the rest of the batter in the bowl.
Leave the batter to rest in the bowl for 10-30 minutes.
While the batter rests, prepare the baking sheets by lining with the silicone mats or parchment paper. I'll be completely honest here, I had far more success with parchment paper than I did with the silicone mats I bought, but that could be because the first time I made them, I over mixed the batter.
After the batter has rested, pour it into one of the piping bags. I find it helpful to place the piping bag in a large cup, but if you have another set of hands around, get that person to help you out.
Cut off about 1/2 inch off the tip of the piping bag. Pipe rounds of roughly equal size onto your prepared baking sheets. You want them to be about 1 1/2 inch to 2 inches in size and about 2 inches apart. The size and spacing are important because the batter spreads slightly as it rests bakes and if they're not far enough apart they can become one gigantic rectangular macaron.
Lightly tap the baking trays on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
Leave to rest for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour. During this time, they'll form a skin and should be dry to the touch on top. Don't skip this last rest!
While the macarons are resting, preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the oven is preheated, bake one tray of macarons at a time for 10 minutes. Rotate after 5 minutes to prevent uneven baking. If the shells are not lifting off the baking tray cleanly or the feet move/are soft when touched, they're not ready. Bake for another 1-2 minutes. Continue until all shells are baked.
Allow the shells to cool completely without removing from the baking sheet.
In the meantime, make the ganache by heating the whipping until hot, but not boiling, in the microwave or over a double boiler. Pour in the white chocolate and set aside for 2-3 minutes.
After the 2-3 minutes is up, stir the white chocolate and hot cream together. It may appear to separate slightly, but keep stirring and it will come together as the chocolate melts.
Set aside in the fridge to cool and firm up slightly. It is ready to use when it's similar in texture to cake frosting.
Place the prepared ganache into the second piping bag. Cut off the tip of the bag and pipe the ganache onto the flat side of one shell. Place another shell on top of the ganache, forming a sandwich. Continue until you have no more pairs of shells.