Buttercream made in the Microwave (Recipe ID: 1201444)
Combine the almond flour and the powdered sugar and sift into a bowl. Add the egg whites and mix until even with a rubber spatula.
Make the Italian meringue. Add the egg whites, and dehydrated egg whites (if you have them) to a bowl and whip with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
While you are whipping the eggs, add the sugar and water to a heat-resistant container and heat in a microwave at 600 W for 80-90 seconds. The bowl will be hot so use oven mitts to take it out.
Drizzle the syrup you just made in a thin stream into the mixture from Step 2 while whipping with a hand mixer on a high speed. Whisk until stiff peaks form and the mixture has returned to room temperature.
Split the meringue into 3-4 parts and add 1 part at a time to the mixture from Step 4, mixing thoroughly after each addition. (The mixture will be quite stiff at first so mixing may take a bit of work!)
Get rid of any excess air bubbles. Fold the mixture over itself a few times until it falls away from the spatula like a ribbon.
Add the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm circular nozzle and pipe 3.5 cm diameter circles onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Let the macarons dry until you can touch the mixture with your finger without any sticking to you and you can see a skin start to form. (This should take about 30 minutes, don't let them dry too much though or the texture will go bad.)
Compared to French meringue, I feel that Italian meringue dries out quicker, so make sure to check how it's drying earlier than you normally would.
If the macarons aren't dry enough they may crack. It's best to start baking them as soon as you can touch them without them feeling wet and you can see a skin forming.
Bake for 5-6 minutes in an oven preheated to 160-170℃. Then turn the tray around, turn the temperature down to 140℃ and bake for a further 8-10 minutes.
Personally, before I bake the macarons after preheating the oven, I let the oven bake one time without the macarons at 160℃ for 10-15 minutes. (This prevents them coming out undercooked later.)
When they've been in the oven for a few minutes the shells will expand and the bottoms of the macarons will rise up a little.Once they've risen up around 3-4 mm it's time to turn down the heat.
When you press down gently on the macaron shells, if the pied (the risen bottom) moves, bake for a little longer.
Cool on the baking tray. (Don't take the macarons off the baking sheet too soon or they won't come away neatly.)
Once the macaron shells have completely cooled, gently peel them away from the parchment paper. If it's difficult to peel, use your finger to push from the back of the baking sheet, tracing around the macaron.
Pair up the macaron shells with shells of similar size and sandwich together with your preferred cream. Refer to (Recipe ID:1201444). Let them rest in the refrigerator for half a day or 1 day to finish.
To make vanilla macarons, take the vanilla beans from 3 cm of vanilla pod and mix them in at Step 1. Add the same amount of beans to the buttercream.
For berry macarons, add a tiny amount of edible food colouring to the mixture at Step 1, and if you have it, add 1 g strawberry powder. Sandwich with strawberry cream.
For cocoa macarons, reduce the amount of almond flour to 68 g and add 5 g cocoa powder. Sandwich with ganache or cocoa cream.
For black tea macarons, add 1.5 g black tea powder to the powder ingredients. Sandwich together with buttercream infused with a little black tea powder and a few drops of your favourite liquor.
Story Behind this Recipe
The syrup is made in the microwave so is easy as possible to make. I used a standard combination of ingredients and summarized everything into an easy to understand number of steps. Please note that I made this number of macarons based on the size of my oven.
If you bake with twice the amount of ingredients heat the syrup on a high heat for 3 minutes. (If the syrup clumps together when dropped in water, it's good. If it looks like it will dissolve, its not hot enough.) Refer to this recipe for a French meringue macaron: (Recipe ID: 686456)