The first thing to do is to “age” your egg whites. You can either leave them in the fridge for 4 days or keep them out on your kitchen’s bench top for a couple of days. I covered mine with a sieve, to prevent small particles to get into it. Remember to bring them back to room temperature BEFORE whisking them. You can use your egg yolks in many other recipes... you could make a yummy Carbonara or some Genovesi Ericine for example.
On the day you want to bake your macarons, make sure you have everything ready, BEFORE you start making your shells. Prepare the piping bag with the right nozzle (a normal circular nozzle of about 1 cm in diameter) and line your oven trays with baking paper or with a silicone cookie mat.
Now you are all set to start making your macarons. Sift the almond meal and the pure icing sugar and mix them together in a large bowl.
The next step is to make the meringue. Put the egg whites in a bowl and start whisking them with an electric mixer. Add the sugar and the food colouring little by little and keep whisking until you get very stiff peaks. The meringue has to look translucent and pear like.
Add the meringue to the almond meal and icing sugar mix and stir well using a spatula. When all the meringue has been incorporated, you need to do what is known as the “macaronnage”. Using a pastry scraper (or the same spatula that you were using to mix), scrape the batter back and forth against the bowl to remove air bubbles, until your batter ribbons off the scraper (or “flows like magma”).
Now you are ready to pipe it! Fill your piping bag and pipe out circles of batter on the lined baking tray/cookie sheet by squeezing the bag while keeping it in one spot.
Sprinkle some matcha green tea powder on each of the shells.
Let the macarons rest between 30 to 60 minutes or until they harden a bit.
Depending on your oven, you can bake them either at 160°C – 320°F for about 12 minutes, or at 150°C – 302°F for 15-17 minutes… it is all about experimenting and getting to know your oven. I also suggest that you buy a small oven thermometer if you have problems, to check the actual temperature of your oven (mine for example heats up to 20°C – 68°F more than what I set it to)!
When ready, take the shells out of the oven and let them cool down BEFORE attempting to detach them from the baking paper/silicone mat… if you try to detach them before, they may break and you will ruin those nice feet on the macaron! So be patient. If you still cannot detach them easily, you can also put them in the freezer for a couple of minutes… they will come off easily then.
Once cool, put them in an air tight container and keep them in the fridge till you are ready to assemble them.
Beat the softened butter with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for a few minutes and then incorporate the icing sugar, food colouring and orchid essence. Mix well.
Put the Orchid buttercream in a piping bag, pipe it on half of the shells and put the remaining shells on the top, like a sandwich.
Store the assembled macarons in an air tight container in the fridge for 24 hours and remove them 2 hours before serving them.