Makes 24 shells, 12 Macarons
For the buttercream filling:
113g ( ½ cup) dairy-free spread
128g (1 cup) icing sugar, sieved
½ tsp lemon extract
½ tsp lemon zest (optional)
For the Macarons:
75g (2/3 cup) ground almonds
65g ( ½ cup) icing sugar
55g reduced, chilled aquafaba* see top tip
Small pinch cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
55g ( ¼ cup) fine caster sugar
A drop of green food colouring
½ tsp lemon extract
White icing pen (optional)
Beat together the ingredients for the butter cream and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Blitz the ground almonds and icing sugar in a high speed blender and then sieve into a bowl, making sure there are no lumps in your mixture. Set aside.
Whisk the aquafaba on high with the cream of tartar until it turns pale and frothy and appears ‘whipped.’
Gradually add in the caster sugar a bit at a time whilst still beating the mixture. Add your food colouring and lemon extract in and then continue whisking on high for another minute. You should end up with a thick, glossy meringue.
Tip in half of your ground almond and icing sugar mixture, and fold gently with a spatula. Add the second half of your almond/icing sugar mixture, and continue to fold it into the batter. It should be a thick batter, do not overbeat or it will turn runny.
Fill a piping bag with macaron mixture and pipe into 2 inch rounds on a lined baking tray.
Once piped, slam the tray down on your kitchen counter to eliminate any air bubbles in your piped macaron mixture. Leave your trays to rest in a cool area for 2 hours. They are ready to bake when they have turned matt and you are able to gently touch the surface of the shells without anything sticking to your finger.
Preheat the oven to 130°C (Gas Mark 2, 250°F) Bake the macarons for 30 minutes, without opening the oven door in between. Smaller macarons or ovens may take slightly more or less than 30 minutes.
Once 30 minutes is up, leave your macarons in the oven for another 15 minutes without opening the door. After 15 minutes, open the oven door slightly and leave macarons in the oven with the door ajar for a further 15 minutes. Remove tray from oven and leave to cool thoroughly before peeling macaron shells off of the tray.
Fill the shells with the buttercream. For a real tennis ball effect, pipe some white lines onto the macarons with an icing pen or a little icing sugar mixed up with water.
Top Tip: To reduce aquafaba, boil the liquid from 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas down to 110g in weight.
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