Enjoy these colourful and lightly baked almond meringue-like treats, filled with a delicate rose flavoured buttercream filling, with afternoon tea or at a party
- 150g (5oz) icing sugar
- 100g (3½oz) ground almonds
- 3 large egg whites
- 75g (2½oz) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp of rose water
- About ¼ tsp of pink food colouring
- For the filling
- 90g (3oz) butter
- 175g (6oz) icing sugar
- A few drops of rose water
- Pink food colouring
- Piping bag with a 5mm (¼in) plain nozzle and a star nozzle
- 2 baking trays, lined with Bakewell paper
Put the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor and whizz for 30 seconds, then sift them through a fine sieve into a bowl.
Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric whisk to soft-peak stage. Add the sugar in 3 batches, whisking in well to create a thick, smooth, glossy meringue.
Add half the ground almonds and icing sugar mixture with the rose water and food colouring. Fold them in with a spatula, using a figure of 8 motion, but only for a minute. Fold in the rest, but don’t over-mix. The mixture should be glossy and bright pink.
Spoon the mixture into the piping bag and, keeping it upright, pipe small rounds, about 4cm (1½in) in diameter, spaced apart on the lined baking trays. Pipe 50 rounds. Rap each tray sharply just once on the kitchen surface, then leave the macaroons in a cool, dry place to settle and firm a little — for about 30 mins and up to 1 hour, or until the mixture is no longer sticky when you touch it with your fingertips.
Set the oven to Gas Mark 5 or 190°C. Put one tray at a time in the centre of the oven and bake for 10 mins until just set and crisp, but not cracking or brown.
Take the tray out of the oven and leave the macaroons to cool completely on the tray. Peel macaroons off the parchment and pair them up on a wire rack.
To make the filling: Soften the butter and beat in the icing sugar, 1 tbsp hot water, rose water and enough food colouring to make a bright pink buttercream. Put in the piping bag with a star nozzle, pipe on to the base of half the macaroons and sandwich together carefully with the tops. Serve the same day or keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
If you’re unsure about getting the macaroons an even size when piping them, draw circles the size you want on the paper first