- 75g unsalted butter
- 150g icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tsp Crème de Cassis (I used Tesco Finest priced at £8.50)
- food colouring (paste)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Using a food processor, whizz up the icing sugar and ground almonds until you have a fine dust that resembles flour.
- Whisk the egg whites with the salt until you reach stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar in a steady stream, still whisking the whole time until the whites are stiff and glassy. Add the food colouring and whisk so that the colour is evenly distributed throughout the whites.
- Using a metal spoon, gently fold the almond and icing sugar mixture into the egg whites until the texture is uniform. Don't be heavy-handed here, you want to keep it as voluminous as possible.
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium nozzle, or alternatively, use a disposable one. Standing the bag in a tumbler helps, as this can get a bit messy.
- Pipe circles of the mixture on to the baking sheet, roughly 3cm wide. Leave space in between each one, as they tend to spread out a little, and puff up during cooking.
- Bang your baking sheet on the kitchen work surface a couple of times to get rid of any large air bubbles, then set aside for 30 minutes to dry out the shells. They're ready when you can touch the surface without leaving a fingerprint.
- Cook for 12 minutes in the middle of the oven, and leave to cool on the tray.
- To make the filling, whisk the butter until soft and fluffy. Add half of the sifted icing sugar and beat until mixed.
- Add the remaining sugar, crème de cassis, and food colouring. Beat until smooth.
- Use the mixture to sandwich the macarons together - piping it is best.
- Pop the champagne and serve.